ENGLISH 364 - The Contemporary Novel
Winter 2022, Section 001 - Networks of the Contemporary Novel
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 1/5/22 - 4/19/22 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


In the last two years, we’ve all become newly aware of the ways our lives are connected, regardless of our geographical locations: from the global pandemic to empty grocery store shelves and our reliance on Zoom for social interaction. These forms of interconnection are often described as networks, a term that gets applied to everything from the internet to ecosystems, infrastructure, and global politics. These connections are not new, and neither is the term “network.” But have you ever stopped to think about what a network actually is? In this course, we will reflect critically on the concept of the network and on its utility as a lens for understanding contemporary life and literature.

The relationship between contemporary novels and networks is complex: novels depict networks, they are created by networks (of authors, editors, publishers and publicists) and they are themselves part of transmedia networks made up of intertextual citations, movie adaptations, fan fiction, Bookstagram and more. In this course, we’ll read novels by authors including Jennifer Egan, Sally Rooney, Ruth Ozeki, Richard Powers and Teju Cole that engage the concept of the network in each of these different ways. Throughout the semester, we will focus on the materiality of books and their production and circulation, the complex relationship between contemporary literature, literary culture, and digital media, and the relationship between novelistic form and content. This course will introduce you to a range of scholarly approaches to the contemporary novel, including ecocriticism, postcolonial theory, publishing studies and digital studies, exploring the ways that the concept of the network shows up in each field. In doing so, we will have many opportunities to think critically about the metaphors that we use to interpret and understand the present.


ENGLISH 364 - The Contemporary Novel
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
 In Person
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
1/5/22 - 4/19/22

Textbooks/Other Materials

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