Department of English

University of Toronto


ENG365H1F  L5101  M6-9
Contemporary American Fiction
Professor Scott Rayter

Brief Description of Course: This course will look at how contemporary American fiction writers deal with the politics of representation in their works, particularly in relation to certain historical events such as McCarthyism, slavery, the Holocaust, and AIDS. How do these events trouble larger notions of national identity in the United States? Moreover, in what ways do American writers explore issues of identity—be it sexual, gender, ethnic, or racial—especially in the context of a postmodern questioning of subjectivity itself?

Required Reading: E. L. Doctorow, The Book of Daniel; Toni Morrison, Beloved; Art Spiegelman, Maus I & II; Rebecca Brown, Gifts of the Body; Lorrie Moore, Birds of America. Texts will be available at UofT Bookstore. Other readings will be available on Blackboard.

First Three Authors/Texts: Carver; Barth; Mukherjee; Doctorow; Morrison.

Method of Instruction: Lecture and discussion

Method of Evaluation: Mid-term test (25%), essay (35%), exam (30%), participation (10%).

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