ENGLIT 0365: Literature and the Contemporary

I will be teaching Literature and the Contemporary this summer during the second six week session at the University of Pittsburgh. This course examines contemporary cultural expression across a range of forms and media. It investigates the contemporary as both a complex reworking of past narratives and traditions, and as the production of the experimental and the new. In particular, this section of Literature and the Contemporary, subtitled “Human/Machine: Exploring the Posthuman Imagination,” will examine how intersections between human and machine, between the biological and the technological have been represented in a wide range of texts. Beginning with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, we will then read significant 20th and 21st century novels that approach questions of posthumanity in complex and often quite shocking ways:

Paolo Bacigalupi, The Windup Girl (San Francisco: Night Shade Books, 2010 [2009]).

J.G. Ballard, Crash (New York: Picador, 2001 [1973]).

Jennifer Egan, Look at Me (New York: Anchor Books, 2002 [2001]).

Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49 (New York: Perennial, 2006 [1965]).

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (Norton Critical Edition), 2nd ed., ed. J. Paul Hunter (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2012 [1818]).

Videodrome (David Cronenberg, 1983).

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