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ENGH 442: Topics: American Literary Periods

ENGH 442-001: 20th- and 21st-Century Southern Fictions
(Spring 2021)

01:30 PM to 02:45 PM MW


Section Information for Spring 2021

This course is not about Gone With the Wind. The novels and short stories we’ll read are far stranger and far more daring than what you’ll find on any given page of Margaret Mitchell’s very big novel. We'll investigate multiple Souths and various Southern literary multicultures—including Native Southern and African-American—in this course. We'll read stories of Southern ecstasies and terrors, uplift and degradation, fragility and brutality, healing and trauma, gossip and silence. Except for some blues, film clips, respectful nods to the Athens, GA music scene, and criticism, our course texts will be all fiction, all the time, beginning with early 1930s novels and ending in the here and now. We’ll read a Faulkner novel early on, then consider Civil Rights/Cold War era Southern fictions by women writers, then dedicate a significant portion of the class to what’s going on now in 21st-century southern literature. As Annette Trefzer and Kathryn McKee write, "the U.S. South is not an enclave of hyperregionalism but a porous space through which other places have always circulated." When we consider the South as the northern rim of the Caribbean or as one among many Atlantic coasts or as a place that has been inhabited by interesting human beings for over 100 centuries or as a hotbed of American literature, our sense of Southern cultures and literatures changes for the richer.

We'll start with William Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor and end with a virtual reality Trail of Tears theme park and various other recent takes on the South.

ENGH 442-001 is a distance education section.


Course Information from the University Catalog

Credits: 3

In-depth study of selected period of American literature. In addition to literary examples, materials may be chosen from art, philosophy, or popular culture of time. Notes: May be repeated when topic is different with permission of department. May be repeated within the term for a maximum 6 credits.
Specialized Designation: Topic Varies
Recommended Prerequisite: Satisfaction of University requirements in 100-level English and in Mason Core literature.
Schedule Type: Lecture
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes.