Autumn 2019-2020


Zoe Hughes

Postmodernism is a late-twentieth century movement in literature, art, and philosophy that insists on the difference between the objective, or scientific, and lived, or experienced, world. This course introduces students to the central tenets of postmodernism by way of its predecessor, modernism. Is postmodernism a distinct movement or just a kind of modernism? To answer this question, students will engage in comparative analyses of paradigmatic modernist and postmodernist texts. Authors include Samuel Beckett, Octavia Butler, Jeanette Winterson, and Mark Danielewski. Topics include philosophies of art; inheritances of genres/forms, worlds, and technologies; and engagement with issues of race, gender, and sexuality. For the final, students will produce a postmodernist poem or short story or an essay explaining how a text of their choosing reflects and/or deviates from postmodernist norms. (Fiction, 1830-1940, Theory)