ENGLISH 362 - The American Novel
Spring 2022, Section 101 - The Literature of Now: 21st Century American Fiction
Instruction Mode: Section 101 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 5/3/22 - 6/20/22 (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.


How can we determine which recently published novels speak most powerfully to our present times? What will be the Great Novels of our age? This course will consider the trends and texts of 21st Century American Fiction and the many questions they raise, including narrative forms inspired by new media, visual & digital technologies, and political & social developments.

Is it possible to write literary criticism about the fiction of our current moment? When did the literary 21st century begin? Which events and trends have informed the creative work published in the past two decades? How have changing media and technologies spurred new narrative forms? Have changing visual and digital artforms influenced the languages of contemporary literature? In an effort to develop a few rigorous, if provisional, answers to these broad questions, this seminar will begin with questions of media/platform, reading methods, and cultural value (which novels will future historians consider “important” or representative of our time?) and then generate interpretations of a wide range of genres in early 21st century prose fiction, including short (micro or flash) fiction, experimental and mixed-media novels, speculative fiction, graphic narratives, and digital fiction, among others. If you would like to pursue any of these considerations in greater detail or with an eye toward future projects, you will have opportunities to pursue research into particular themes, techniques, and/or texts. Authors we may read include Jennifer Egan, Yaa Gyasi, Nalo Hopkinson, N.K. Jemisin, Jonathan Lethem, Ben Lerner, Valeria Luiselli, Tommy Orange, Ruth Ozeki, Claudia Rankine, and Ocean Vuong.

Major Requirement: American Literature 

Course Requirements:

Course requirements include participation, discussion posts, two exams, and two essays. 


ENGLISH 362 - The American Novel
Schedule Listing
101 (LEC)
 In Person
MW 10:00AM - 1:00PM
5/3/22 - 6/20/22

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