ENGL S-117. How to Change the World

Instructor: Andrew Warren, PhD
Associate of the Department of English and Co-Chair, Seminar in Dialectical Thinking in the Humanities, Mahindra Humanities Center
Day & Time: Tuesdays & Thursdays 12:00–3:00pm (EDT)
Summer 7-week session | CRN 34817
Limited to 45 students

Writers have long imagined new worlds as a way of changing this one. As Percy Shelley said way back in 1821, creative writers are "the unacknowledged legislators of the world." This course asks how literature depicts and intervenes in the world and models new worlds. It reads works addressing a range of pressing issues: climate and the environment; social and economic inequality; immigration; questions regarding race, gender, and sexuality. We begin with Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale and end with N.K. Jemisin's Hugo Award-winning The Fifth Season. In between we read science fiction (Ursula Le Guin and Kim Stanley Robinson), realism (James Joyce), romance (Nathaniel Hawthorne), and examples of hybrid genres such as Claudia Rankine's Citizen: An American Lyric.



This course meets via live web conference. Students must attend and participate at the scheduled meeting time.