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Two New Courses Offered in Fall 23

EWLP is introducing two new literature courses in Fall 2023. The two courses will expand our upper division offerings for both the Major and the Minor in English Literature. In these advanced courses at the 300 level, students will take a closer look at literary periods and genre first approached in our survey courses to explore not only the breadth of literary production in the English language, but also its depth. Each upper divison course takes a close look at a particular set of texts and examines what characteristics they share, how they came to be, and where they fit in the larger cultural, political, and philosophical conversations of their time. The new courses are:

ENG 319 A Mirror to Life: Realism in Literature. Wedged between the Romantic and Modern periods, Realism in literature is a substantive and stylistic course correction from the sentimental excesses of its predecessor and an essential stepping stone in the development of the psychological acuity of its successor. This course explores the character and legacy of realism, with its unique and surprising blend of Enlightenment values, progressive politics, and sharp critique of the alienating effects of intense urbanization in the techno-scientific 19th century. Realist writers tackled urban poverty and degradation, the “new woman”, race, and immigration, inventing new narrative techniques to match the novelty of the human experience in the heart of the age of empire, expansion of capital, and mass society.

(Crowd in downtown Los Angeles, ca. 1910. California Historical Society Collection)

ENG 323 Postcolonial Literature in English. As the British Empire began its decline in the wake of World War II, an outpouring of literature emerged from its former colonies. As Indian-born British novelist Salman Rushdie pointed out, the empire was writing back “with a vengeance.” In this course we will read and analyze contemporary works by writers from Africa, The Caribbeans, India, and Britain. In addition, this course will examine how these authors negotiate the legacies of empire, ongoing processes of de-colonization, and evolving forms of neo-colonialism. We will also look at pivotal post-colonial theoretical texts that investigate issues of identity, nationalism, language, diaspora, race, gender, and hybridity.

(The British Empire in 1942. Rare map published by the British Information Services)



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