Print Version

Effective: Summer 2014

Advisory: Advisory: Demonstrated proficiency in English by placement as determined by score on the English placement test OR through an equivalent placement process OR completion of ESLL 25 & ESLL 249.
Grade Type: Letter Grade, the student may select Pass/No Pass
Not Repeatable.
FHGE: Humanities Transferable: CSU/UC
4 hours lecture. (48 hours total per quarter)

Student Learning Outcomes -
  • Students can understand postmodernism in literature and recognize its effect on selected contemporary fiction.
  • Students can articulate a main idea at essay level (thesis)
Description -
Selected fiction written between l950 and the present, with emphasis on English, Canadian, and international works in translation. Students are introduced to various thematic and stylistic trends in contemporary fiction; use of current scientific discoveries, historical theories, religious and cultural developments.

Course Objectives -
The student will be able to:
  1. Distinguish features and aspects of various contemporary works, recognizing categories, motifs, and genres appropriate to an introductory college-level discussion of literature.
  2. Critique texts with insight and accuracy, applying basic literary terminologies and theories.
  3. Read and discuss a variety of forms of contemporary fiction.
Special Facilities and/or Equipment -
None required.

Course Content (Body of knowledge) -
  1. Introduction to various contemporary works:
    1. "New journalism" and the non-fiction novel;
    2. Feminist writing;
    3. "Pop" literature;
    4. Post-modernists, e.g. magical realism, metafiction, flash fiction, etc.;
    5. Multicultural and international fiction.
  2. Critique of contemporary works
    1. oral presentations
    2. instructor-facilitated discussions
  3. Introduction to forms of fiction
    1. read and discuss at least two novels
    2. read and discuss an anthology of short stories
    3. read and discuss other forms, e.g. novella, single-page pieces
Methods of Evaluation -
  1. At least two critical papers and/or essay exams.
  2. Quizzes, midterm, oral reports, and final exam.
  3. Participation in classroom discussion.
Representative Text(s) -
Eaglestone, Robert. Contemporary Fiction: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford, 2013.
Solomon, Barbara, Other Voices, Other Vistas: short stories from Africa, India, China, Japan, and Latin America, Signet, 2002.
Oe, Kenzabur, A Personal Matter, Trans. John Nathan, Grove, 1969.
Marquez, Gabriel Garcia, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Trans. Gregory Rabassa, Vintage, 1982.
Allende, Isabel, The House of the Spirits, Bantam, 1986.
Atwood, Margaret, Surfacing, Random House, 1998.
Bernard, Thomas, The Woodcutters, Chicago UP, 1989.
Carver, Raymond, Cathedral, Vintage, 1989.
Charters, Ann, Major Writers of Short Fiction: Stories and Commentaries, Bedford, 2006.
Coetzee, J.M., Waiting for the Barbarians, Penguin, 1982.
Doubiago, Sharon, The Book of Seeing with One??s Own Eyes, Graywolf, 1988.
Hagedorn, Jessica, Dogeaters, Penguin, 1991.
Johnson, Denis, Jesus?? Son, Harper Perennial, 1993.
Mohsin, Hamid, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Houghton Mifflin, 2007.
Wole, Soyinka, Death and the King's Horseman, Norton, 1975.
Manea, Norman, October, Eight O??Clock, Grove Press, 1992.
Mailer, Norman, The Armies of the Night: History as a Novel, the Novel as History, Penguin, 1994.
Morrison, Toni, The Bluest Eye, Vintage International, 1970.

Disciplines -
Method of Instruction -
Lecture presentations, classroom discussions, group discussion, and group presentations.
Lab Content -
Not applicable.
Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing and Outside of Class Assignments -
  1. Reading
    1. Mohsin, Hamid. The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 2007.
    2. Wole, Soyinka. Death and the King's Horseman. New York: Norton, 1975.
    3. Solomon, Barbara. Other Voices, Other Vistas: short stories from Africa, India, China, Japan, and Latin America. Signet: New York. 2002.
    4. Oe, Kenzabur??. A Personal Matter. Trans. John Nathan. New York: Grove, 1969.
    5. M?°rquez, Gabriel Garc??a. Chronicle of a Death Foretold. Trans. Gregory Rabassa. New York: Vintage, 1982.
    6. Bechdel, Alison. Fun Home: A famiy tragicomic. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2007.
    7. Moore, Alan, writer. Watchmen. Illustrated & Lettered by Dave Gibbons. Colored by John Higgins. New York: DC, 1986.
  2. Essays:
    1. Analysis of African Play, Wole Soyinka's Death and the King's Horseman.
    2. Comparison/Contrast of 2 Non-western works, possibly male/female writers.
    3. Analysis of American Graphic novel.
    4. Lit review: an essay that touches briefly on each of the works read.