ENGL 3700/Summer 2022
Welcome to ENGL 3700, Studies in the Postmodern Novel
This section of ENGL 3700 will consider the “Postmodern Voices” in novels after World War II. Authors and subjects will include traditionally marginalized or silenced perspectives of contemporary literature that often challenge conventional narratives of sex, gender, race, ethnicity, identity, reproduction, beauty, war, technoculture, etc.
What does it mean to be alive after the most disruptive conflict in human history? How does the western world come to terms with the atrocities of World War II? What do traditional values and narratives still have to offer us? Can new myths replace the old and offer paths that do not lead to similar outcomes? IS apocalypse inevitable? This course will consider traditionally marginalized voices in the postmodern novel. What ideas inform “America” and how do these various expressions support, reevaluate, or undermine them? We will also consider the novel as a literary genre and how it has changed to support changing cultural expectations.
The document you’re reading is your syllabus. Everything you need for this class is on this page and linked off of it. Bookmark it now and return here if you get lost or confused. Use the tabs above to navigate to the various sections of the syllabus.
Before you begin, take a moment and familiarize yourself with the general resources I have for students. All of these may be found in the “For Students” menu at the top of the page, or you can just begin on the student start page. These pages are designed to help you succeed in this class. While you may not read everything, you should know what’s available if you need it.
Please read this document and those it links to carefully at the beginning of the semester. There is much information to process, and it can be somewhat daunting — especially if you read cursorily. If you are confused, do your best to work through it by (re)reading this document carefully and completely, searching this site, or consulting the FAQ. I promise, there is an answer to your question. If all else fails, you may contact me. Trust yourself to follow directions and find the answers. Be careful and deliberate.
This online course will probably be unlike any college course you have ever taken. It is designed to let you — the students — discover and create your own knowledge. If you’ve not taken an online course before, you will essentially be teaching yourself with my guidance. I’m assuming, since you’re taking this class online, that you are comfortable with working by yourself, are confident in your ability to take risks and try new approaches, are fine with making some mistakes, do not need the constant reassurance of an authority figure, and have a basic Internet literacy. Please enter with an open mind.
If you are uncomfortable making decisions, researching your own answers, working consistently on your own, making mistakes, teaching yourself, or get frustrated easily, you may be more comfortable in a traditional, face-to-face section of this course.
- While you may certainly choose to print it—we will do our best to follow the schedule hereon—it may change during the course of the semester due to unforeseen circumstances. Should this occur, I will let you know in class and via an announcement on the class forum, but ultimately, this online document has the final say—not a printed one.
- You might, too, follow links by opening them in browser tabs—click the link by holding the ⌘ Command on a Mac or Ctrl on a PC—so you can easily return to where you left off.
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