|| EN33730 |
|| POSTMODERN FICTIONS |
|| 2007/2008 |
|| Dr William G Slocombe |
|| Semester 2 |
|| Mr Michael J Smith |
| Course delivery
|| Seminars / Tutorials || 20 Hours. Seminar. (10 x 2 hr seminar workshops) |
|Assessment Type||Assessment Length/Details||Proportion|
|Semester Assessment|| Continuous Assessment: 2 x 3000 word essays||100%|
|Supplementary Assessment|| Resubmit any failed elements and/or make good any missing elements. Where this involves re-submission of work, a new topic must be selected.||100%|
At the end of the module, students will be able to:
1. describe and appraise the main theories of and debates within postmodernism;
2. relate theories and practices of postmodernism to set texts;
3. describe the broad effects of postmodern devices on literary and cultural forms;
4. apply examples from the arguments of principal exponents of postmodern theory;
5. comment critically on the material chosen for study;
6. engage in coherent oral discussion of the texts and background material;
7. write about the subject in a well-structured and argued manner.
Currently a buzz word, everything appears to be 'postmodern': the clothes you wear, the houses in which we live and the culture with which we engage. This option will focus on the theories and practices of postmodernism.
To what does the 'post' refer?
How is it (un)connected to modernism?
What are the ramifications for literary practice?
Framing the device, the death of the author, the destructible text, the unwriting of the text: what have we learned from such techniques?
In what sense has self-reflexiveness made the writing of fiction more interesting and perhaps even more potent?
To what extent have the interrogations of self-reflexivity liberated the novel from certain obsolete conventions?
The module will focus principally on literary examples of postmodernism, but attention will also be paid to other areas of cultural practice, such as film, visual art, and architecture. The seminar pattern will follow a series of thematic interests, which centre upon the characteristic features of postmodern practice, as well as considering some of the theoretical essays of the principal exponents of postmodern theory.
Seminar 1: Theories of Postmodernism
Fredric Jameson, Postmodernism, or The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism; J-F Lyotard, The Postmodern Condition; Jurgen Habermas, Modernity - An Incomplete Project
Seminar 2: Erasing Worlds?
The Novel Undone: Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49
Seminar 3: Deconstructing Fiction
Paul Auster, The New York Trilogy
Seminar 4: Poetry in the Age of Electronic Reproduction
Extracts from American 'L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E' Poets: Susan Howe, Lyn Hejinian, Ron Silliman, Bob Perelman, Charles Bernstein
Seminar 5: Desire, Simulacra, and Spectacles
Angela Carter, The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman
Seminar 6: Feminism/Postmodernism
Joanna Russ, The Female Man
Seminar 7: Architecture and Urbanicity
Charles Jencks, The Emergent Rules; Robert Venturi, The Duck and the Decorated Shed; Paolo Portoghesi, Postmodern
Seminar 8: Magic Realism
Salman Rushdie, Midnight's Children
Seminar 9: Other Worlds
William Gibson, Neuromancer
Seminar 10: Postmodern and Film
Ridley Scott, Blade Runner; The Wachowski Brothers, The Matrix
There is currently a vast proliferation of texts and studies of postmodernism and its various impacts upon spheres of our society. There is a good selection of the principal texts in the Hugh Owen Library (and this is well supplemented by texts in the National Library). Additional bibliographies concerning individual writers will be compiled and given to students on a weekly basis. The Hugh Owen Library has large holdings on most of the authors represented on this course (including writers not mentioned but nevertheless prominent in postmodern culture).
** Essential Reading
Auster, Paul (1987) The New York Trilogy
Carter, Angela (1982) The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman
Gibson, William (1986) Neuromancer
Harper Collins 0586066454
Pynchon, Thomas (1967) The Crying of Lot 49
Rushdie, Salman (1995) Midnight's Children
David Campbell 1857152174
Russ, Joanna (1994) The Female Man
Women's Press 0704347377
** Recommended Text
Woods, Tim (1999) Beginning Postmodernism
Manchester University Press 0719052106
** Supplementary Text
Bertens, Hans, and Joseph Natoli. (2002) Postmodernism: The Key Figures
Callinicos, Alex (2002) Against Postmodernism: A Marxist Critique
Polity Press 074560613X
Docherty, Thomas, ed. (1993) Postmodernism: A Reader
Harvester Wheatsheaf 0745012426
Hassan, Ihab (1971) The Dismemberment of Orpheus: Toward a Postmodern Literature
Oxford University Press
Lucy, Niall (2000) Postmodern Literary Theory: An Anthology
Malpas, Simon (2005) The Postmodern
Sardar, Ziauddin (2002) The A-Z of Postmodern Life: Essays on Global Culture in the Noughties
This module is at CQFW Level 6