BAPostmodern American Literature

Credit points: 2
Contact hours: 30
Type: Lectures

Instructor

Mojca Krevel, PhD, Professor

Course Description

Objectives and subject-specific competences:

  1. Development of  a comparative insight into the directions of the post-WW2 American literature development
  2. Ability to professionally typologise and classify individual works according to the content and formal characteristics of Postmodern literature with an emphasis on the Geistesgeschichte approach
  3. Ability to critically handle literary works
  4. Ability to independently analyse and value literary works
  5. Ability to apply the knowledge gained to other areas of artistic expression
  6. Ability to critically handle primary and secondary sources

 

Description of Content:

The course offers a comparative insight into various directions of American literature development after Postmodernism, taking into account their social, economic and cultural contexts. Attention is also paid to those Postmodernist literary works which in some segments already transcend the standard pattern of Postmodernism.

The course begins with an introduction to the Geistesgeschichte methodology of defining the characteristics of respective literary periods and epochs by examining the defining features of literary Postmodernism and Postmodernity in general. This is followed by an outline of contemporary philosophical and sociological approaches to the so-called Postmodern Age with an emphasis on the theories developed by Jean Francis Lyotard, Frederic Jameson and especially Jean Baudrillard. The theoretical part of the course concludes with a survey of relevant studies from the field of new media technologies, especially those concerning hypertext and its impact on the concept of literature.

The second part of the course is dedicated to the examination and classification of the actual literary works according to the acquired theoretical frameworks. This rather practical part of the course involves analyses of selected representatives of American Metafiction, literary cyberpunk, “blank generation” and “brat pack” literature, literary Avant-Pop, degenerative prose, hyperfiction, etc., as well as the most significant authors of contemporary American mainstream production.

Basic bibliography:

 

  • Amerika, Mark, in Olsen, Lance, eds. In Memoriam to Postmodernism. Essays on the Avant-Pop. San Diego: San Diego State University Press, 1995.
  • Baudrillard, Jean. Simulaker in simulacija. Popoln zločin. Trans. Anja Kosjek. Ljubljana: ŠOU, Študentska založba, 1999.
  • Bolter, Jay David. Writing Space: The Computer, Hypertext, and the History of Writing. Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1991.
  • Hayles, N. Katherine. Electronic Literature. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame, 2008
  • Jameson, Fredric. Postmodernism or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism. 1991. Durham: Duke University Press, 2001.
  • Kos, Janko. Na poti v postmoderno. Ljubljana: Literarno-umetniško društvo Literatura, 1995.
  • ----. Postmodernizem. Literarni leksikon 43. Ljubljana: DZS, 1995.
  • McCaffery, Larry, ed. Storming the Reality Studio. A Casebook of Cyberpunk and Postmodern Fiction. Durham: Duke University Press, 1991.
  • McHale, Brian. Constructing Postmodernism. New York: Routledge, 1992.
  • Millard, Kenneth. Contemporary American Fiction. An Introduction to American Fiction since 1970. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.
  • Rebein, Robert. Hicks, Tribes and Dirty Realists. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2001.
  • Strehovec, Janez. Tehnokultura – kultura tehna. Filozofska vprašanja novomedijskih tehnologij in kibernetske umetnosti. Ljubljana: Koda-ŠOU, 1998.

Literary works:

A list of selected literary works is provided at the beginning of the course.

Methods of assessment and the assessment scale:

Written exam.

Assessment scale: 6–10 (positive) or 1–5 (negative); in line with the Statute of the University of Ljubljana and the faculty's examination rules.