ENGL 25954
T/Th 10:30-11:50 Harper 145

Instructor: Patrick Jagoda, Office Hours: Thursday 1:30-3:30pm or by appointment (Walker 504)

TA: Peter McDonald, Office Hours Tuesday 12:30-1:30 and by appointment (Grounds of Being).

This course explores genres, across literature and new media, which emerged in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Throughout the quarter, we will turn to genres that follow “postmodernism” — a now-standard category that describes literary experiments that unfolded in the years following World War II. The new genres that will concern us include cyberpunk fiction, steampunk, the New Weird, the post-ironic novel, long arc serial television, art games, electronic literature, interactive fiction, and autobiographical comics. Through a survey of the literature of our historical present, we will examine movements that complicate and depart from the earlier literary category of the “postmodern.” We will also interrogate the very category of the “new.” Novelty, in our historical moment, is so often celebrated. Still, it remains an open question of contemporary literature and politics alike whether we, like the modernists of the early twentieth century, can or should “make it new.”

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