Sacha E. Frey
Techniques and practice in reading and enjoying literature. Examines some of the best works in English and American literature and considers such features of literary meaning as imagery, characterization, narration, and patterning in sound and sense. Emphasis on literature as a source of pleasure and knowledge about human experience.
For AUTUMN 2003: Art and Mass Culture.
This course will use several novels in conjunction with visual art and critical essays to interrogate the dichotomy that is often set up between art and mass culture. In particular, we will look at the way that mass culture is represented, incorporated, and contested in the literary and visual arts. We will ask the following questions: How do we distinguish art from mass culture? How are art and mass culture related to each other? How do they work with (or against) each other to shape our cultural imagination?
The focus of this class will be learining how to read texts closely and critically. Doing this means asking interesting questions of the texts—and exploring these questions—through critical writing and discussion. Towards this end, there will be two major and several minor writing assignments required, along with in-class presentations and discussion-leading. There will be midterm and final exams based on reading, viewing, and in-class discussion.
Our reading will include the following texts: White Noise by Don DeLillo, Ubik by Philip K. Dick, John Henry Days by Colson Whitehead, Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk, and Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem. A course packet and additional reserve readings will be available at the beginning of the quarter.
Class Assignments and Grading