English 451

ENGL 451
Contemporary Literature

Catalog Entry

ENGL 451. Contemporary Literature
Three hours lecture (3).

Prerequisites: CORE 101 and CORE 102

Study of representative works of second half of the 20 th century and new works of the 21 st century: American, British and world.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

Designed primarily for English majors as an American or British literature option, this course may be of interest to the general student population as well in its rigorous overview and in-depth study of contemporary authors and their works.

The course aims to place these works within an historical, aesthetic and critical context; to study individual, representative works in depth; to probe the links between biography of authors and their work; to ground the works in cultural, mythic, psycho- and sociological contexts.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The course will incorporate traditional lecture by instructor as well as participation by students. The format of the class is designed so that students become active participants in seminar fashion. A reader-response writer’s log may be required.

Occasional quizzes may be scheduled. All students are required to complete at least two formal research and/or creative papers, in addition to the final exam (which may take the form of a third paper), by the end of the semester. They may also be required at this time to turn in their reading/writing logs.


Goals and Objectives of Course

Students will acquire a knowledge base–- a body of current, theoretical, critical, philosophic, biographical and aesthetic data that enhance their appreciation of primary texts. But the focus of the course will be upon a rigorous examination of those primary texts themselves. Students will, upon completion of the course, understand what features distinguish contemporary literature from the tradition, and how tradition served as its seedbed. Students will recognize the qualities that characterize a specific literary era.


Assessment Measures

Students can be assessed in a variety of ways, including oral reports, objective tests, essay exams, formal papers, informal logs and class participation. Specific methods of assessment will vary from instructor to instructor. Assessment measures will be shaped to the needs of the class community.


Other Course Information


Review and Approval

October, 2009