this course, we will investigate how modern and postmodern literature explores
issues of identity. As we discuss three print novels and a hypertext work, we
will consider the connection between notions of identity and the cultural
contexts of the 20th-century United States. We will also discuss two major literary
movements: modernism and postmodernism. By the end of the course, students will have acquired an understanding
of the relationship between texts and context and what it means for 20th-century
fiction to be deemed modern or postmodern.
Students in the course work toward several goals: learning to analyze literary works and their contexts and developing as critical thinkers and writers. Course activities promote active learning, with most class sessions including a mix of mini-lectures, discussion, short writing exercises, and group work. My role is to provide the tools and resources you will need to advance your own thinking and writing. I will pose questions, design activities to help you think through these questions, and respond to your ideas. Your role is to do the hard workthe critical reading, discussion, and writing. You will analyze texts, generate ideas in electronic and face-to-face discussions, develop presentations with your peers, construct written arguments, and use feedback to revise those arguments.