English 167bl. Post-1945 British Literature

Instructor: Kelly Rich
Terms: Spring Term

Tuesdays & Thursdays, 11 am-12 pm | Location: Barker 211

Why are we so taken by Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Downton Abbey, James Bond, and “Keep Calm and Carry On,” and the ideas of Britain they project? This course will use this recent surge of Anglophilia as a springboard into our study of post-1945 British literature: a period whose social and political upheavals both radically redefine and conservatively re-entrench “British” as a category of analysis. Among the issues we’ll be considering are war and end of empire, new patterns of migration, emerging formations based on race, gender, and sexuality, and devolution and globalization. Our readings will range from highbrow to genre fiction; from declassified MI6 files to the latest episode of Doctor Who. Authors will most likely include Caryl Churchill, Helen Fielding, Graham Greene, Alan Hollinghurst, Kazuo Ishiguro, John Le Carré, Philip Larkin, David Mitchell, Samuel Selvon, Zadie Smith, Muriel Spark, Salman Rushdie, and Jeanette Winterson.

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