Brief Description of Course: This course looks at five 21st-century novels that actively the matise and reflect on what it means to be contemporary. It is a common place that Anglophone culture is undergoing one of the most rapid transformations in human history; developments in science, media, technology, and communication are radically revising how we understand our lives, our relationship to our physical environment, and our relations to others. We will ask how the contemporary novel at once reflects upon and prepares us for living, knowing,and acting in the unprecedented world in which we find ourselves. In order to address these concerns we will read and think about novels as they engage in larger political, scientific, and philosophical conversations about the contemporary condition.
Required Reading: David Mitchell, Zadie Smith, Kazuo Ishiguro, Ian McEwan, Tom McCarthy, James Meek, Colson Whitehead, Ken Kalfus, David Shields (subject to change).
First Three Authors: McCarthy, Shields, Mitchell.Method of Evaluation: Essays, group work, quizzes, participation.