ENGLISH 270 - Introduction to American Literature
Winter 2022, Section 001 - Race and American Fiction
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is   Hybrid (see other Sections below)
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
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Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


To what extent does a focus on race offer us an encompassing view of modern America—in the novel or in history more broadly? We’ll be reading four celebrated novels of the last 35 years that together offer a variety of perspectives, both oblique and direct, on matters of race and racism, as well as on a host of related issues. In addition, each novel is formally innovative. What’s the relationship between artistic experimentation and social critique? What’s the difference between discussion of race in a novel and in a work of history or sociology? We’ll try to develop interpretations of our texts and from there work out to these larger problems.

Readings: Toni Morrison, Beloved (1987), David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas (2004), Junot Díaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007), and Ruth Ozeki, A Tale for the Time Being (2013)

Course Requirements:

One on each novel: Three papers of 1000-1500 words each; One five minute oral presentation; no exams. 


ENGLISH 270 - Introduction to American Literature
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM

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