Spring 2011 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Cotter, Sean
Discipline and Number
LIT 4346 Section 001
MW Time 12:30 PM - 1:45 PM
Course Title
Contemporary Literature

Description of Course:

Who is an outlaw? Who is a dictator? Who decides? In this course, we will read writers who try to understand how to live in a world where the answers to these questions are not always clear. Before the fall of Communism, the writers of Eastern Europe knew the rules: who was in charge, and who was the dissident. Writers from these countries have seen the rules change in startling ways: those who were in exile can come home, those who were dissidents find they have no government to resist, those who wrote in peaceful countries now find them at war with their neighbors. The contemporary literature of countries like Poland, Romania, and Serbia has the urgency and intensity of writers engaging with a new world. In this course, we will read some of the most interesting new works from these writers, and we will discuss their strategies for coping with radical change. The course gives a broad overview of a region in which literature is written with intensity and read with passion.

Required Texts:

Herta Müller: The Land of Green Plums. Picador, 2010. 0312429940.

Andrzej Stasiuk: Tales of Galicia. Twisted Spoon, 2003. 808626405X.

Dubravka Ugresic: Thank You for Not Reading. Dalkey Archive, 2003. 1564782980.

Bogdan Suceava: Coming from an Off-Key Time. Northwestern, 2010. 0810126842.

Pavel Vilikovsky: Ever Green Is… . Northwestern, 2002. 0810119080.

Peter Esterhazy: Not Art: a Novel. Ecco, 2010. 0061792969.

David Albahari: Götz and Meyer. Mariner Books, 2004. 0156031108.

Magdalena Tulli: Moving Parts. Archipelago Books, 2005. 0976395002.

Vlado Žabot: The Succubus. Dalkey Archive, 2010. 1564785955.

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

Two 5 to 6 - page papers, a mid-term, and final exam

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