News Archive

Suggested 9/11 Reading

Posted by Mark Sample on Friday, December 2nd, 2005

If you have the time, check out a few of the articles in the Spring 2002 edition of  South Atlantic Quarterly, which is devoted entirely to considering 9/11 and its aftermath(s) from a critical perspective. It’s volume 101, issue 2, and the journal is accessible online through GMU’s library (off-campus access).

In particular, check out the provocative essays by Fredric Jameson, John Milbank, Susan Willis, and Slavoj Zizek. 

Also, I recommend DeLillo’s essay "In the Ruins of the Future," which first appeared in Harper’s in December 2001 and is also available at the Guardian as well.

These readings, though not required, will definitely resonate with Spiegelman’s own account of the happenings and consequences of 9/11.

Wacky Song of Solomon Misreading

Posted by Mark Sample on Thursday, October 20th, 2005

If you have time, don’t forget to check out the crazy wacked-out Song of Solomon (mis)reading I highlighted in class.

bell hooks and “Postmodern Blackness”

Posted by Mark Sample on Monday, September 19th, 2005

I’ve discovered that the link on the reading schedule to the bell hooks article sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t. If it’s not working for you, then you can also get the article by searching for the journal "Postmodern Culture" from the library’s search page. Follow the link to the PMC site (you may or may not need to use your G number). From there, use the pulldown menus to select Volume 1, number 1 of the journal. You’ll see the hooks article listed second in the table of contents. Here’s the citation of the article:

hooks, bell. "Postmodern Blackness" Postmodern Culture 1.1 (September 1990).

Sorry about the confusion (if there was any). 

Postmodern Literature in a Global Context

Posted by Mark Sample on Friday, September 9th, 2005

A few years ago in The Chronicle of Higher Education there was an interesting article by Michael Berube about teaching postmodern literature classes. Berube is an an eminent literary scholar, and he essentially questions whether the genre of postmodern literature even exists at all. Mostly because everything so-called postmodern literature does has been done before (in as varied forms as Tristam Shandy, Don Quixote, and even Moby Dick).

Now, debating whether X, Y, or Z text counts as postmodern is exactly the sort of thing I said we wouldn’t be doing in class. Nonetheless, Berube reaches some interesting conclusions, the most important of which is that if there is a postmodern literature that English literary critics can talk about, it is in the international literature produced as effect of imperialism, postcolonialism, and now, globalization.

I encourage you to read the Chronicle article, Teaching Postmodern Fiction Without Being Sure That the Genre Exists, and to think about some of these issues as the semester goes on.

Here’s the link to the online bookstore.

Posted by Mike Scalise on Tuesday, September 6th, 2005

You can search by course number, etc.: http://gmu.bkstore.com/

Welcome to ENGL 660

Posted by Mark Sample on Tuesday, August 16th, 2005

This is the Fall 2005 class blog for American Postmodernism, a graduate course in the English Department at George Mason University. More news will follow soon.

For now, you can find the most recent versions of the syllabus and reading schedule in the sidebar to the right. I’m still tweaking these documents, so they’re subject to change, but I will post any major revisions to the front page here. And of course, I will hand out a paper version of the syllabus on the first day of class.