Objectives

Course Objectives: English 436b familiarizes students with the cultural and literary changes taking hold in the United Kingdom in the wake of World War II. It will enhance their awareness of the inextricable links between literary production and the vibrant emerging youth cultures of the post-war period. It will also illuminate the legacy of successive generations of world wars for young men and their sense of masculinity in particular. Students will also gain a basic understanding of how to compare film and textual versions of the same work, pharm as we will watch film adaptations of nearly all the works on the syllabus. Students will gain familiarity with the conventions of writing focussed on coming-of-age, and learn to identify when those conventions are being ironized or repurposed to new effects. Students will acquire basic literary critical skills and learn about more sophisticated approaches to the study of literature as well. Through individual and group assignments they will practice these skills and build their abilities to read cultural texts carefully.

Students will learn how to

  • write convincing arguments in stylish prose
  • identify patterns of political engagement in ostensibly non-political texts
  • read style and form as signifying patterns with real socio-political effects
  • understand how cultural products engage with and help shape cultural contexts

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