Aesthetics and Politics in Contemporary Fiction

This course will introduce students
to elements of imaginative writing (plot, character, dialogue, sign/symbol,
point of view, timbre, setting, theme, genre); discuss the located-ness or
enmeshment of texts in history and culture; and explore the relationships
between politics and aesthetics in a series of literary works, including essays
by Eduardo Galeano, Martin Espada, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Albert Wendt. With
each text, the aim will be to broaden our understanding of the challenges,
pleasures, ethics, purposes, stakes of literary acts, as well as to practice
the art of reading carefully and crafting critical arguments about imaginative

Required Texts: Sia Figiel, WHERE ‘WE’ ONCE BELONGED; William Kennedy,
IRONWEED; Toni Morrison, THE BLUEST EYE; Patricia Grace, POTIKI; and a course pack with short
stories (including James Baldwin, Raymond Carver, Vladimir Nabokov), poems
(including Martin Espada, Derek Walcott, Pablo Neruda), essays (including
Eduardo Galeano, Adrienne Rich, Leslie Marmon Silko, Albert Wendt).