Studies: Literature & Culture (From Vietnam to Iraq)

This Writing-Intensive (W), Contemporary Ethical Issues (E) focus course will introduce you to American war literature of the Vietnam and Iraq wars, comparing important works of each conflict across genres. In reading, viewing, discussing, and writing about descriptions and representations of these conflicts, we will look at a variety of academic and popular discourses, including history, political philosophy, ethics, literature, and films. Classes will consider one or more of these as we proceed from history to women’s personal narratives in the course of the semester.
Because this is a writing-intensive, contemporary ethical Focus course, you will be doing a good deal of writing and a good deal of moral reflection about the issues raised by the works, culminating in a substantial research paper (12 –15 pages) on some aspect of either or both wars. There will be a final, open-book exam on everything that we have studied together during the semester.

REQUIRED BOOKS: Michael Walzer, JUST AND UNJUST WARS; Michael Herr, DISPATCHES, Anthony Swofford, JARHEAD, Tim O’Brien, THE THINGS THEY CARRIED, Phil Klay, REDEPLOYMENT, Bruce Weigl, SONG OF NAPALM, Brian Turner, HERE BULLET, Emily Mann, STILL LIFE, Kayla Williams, LOVE MY RIFLE MORE THAN YOU, GO TELL THE SPARTANS, STOP-LOSS

Requirements: Weekly laulima postings on instructor and student-generated questions; six thesis-focused mini-essays that revise initial posts; research paper on ethical issues in one or more work we have read; final exam; report on one extra Vietnam or Iraq-war centered book or film