ENGLIT 0570: American Liteary Traditions

Today marks the beginning of a new school year, and it is one I am very much looking forward to, as I’ve designed the course I’m teaching, “American Literary Traditions,” subtitled, “The American Disaster: 21st C. Perspectives,” specifically around many of the avenues I’m exploring in a dissertation-type way right now.  As such, I assume I will occasionally be posting on the progress of this course over the next year, and thought I’d provide the reading list for the fall semester:

Maurice Blanchot, The Writing of the Disaster, 2nd ed., trans. Ann Smock (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1995 [1986]).

Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man (New York: Vintage, 1953).

Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (Norton Critical Edition), 2nd Ed., eds. Hershel Parker & Harrison Hayford (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2002).

The Shock Doctrine (Matt Whitecross, Michael Winterbottom & Naomi Klein, 2009).

David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest (New York: Back Bay Books, 1996).

Slavoj Žižek, Welcome to the Desert of the Real (New York: Verso, 2002).

It is an ambitious, and slightly idiosyncratic class, but I hope it proves challenging, thought-provoking, and fun for both my students and I.  We’re watching a documentary adaptation of Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine this first week, followed by reading Zizek’s book on 9/11 and Maurice Blanchot the following weeks, that’s before we even get to the three massive novels.  I can’t wait to see how it all goes down.

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