Link to Part One
Week Nine: Introduction to Post-modernism
One of the most challenging aspects of understanding American culture is trying to come to grips with Postmodern thought. Confusing, self-contradictory, and often shocking (especially for Korean ESL students), Postmodernism nevertheless offers an important opportunity for understanding the radical individualism and skepticism about tradition and authority which make up the foundations of Western social consciousness.
Here is a link to the Purdue University Writing Lab resource on Literary Criticism, one of the simplest explanations of modern LitCrit. A summary of it can be found in this Prezi: "Literary Theory and Schools of Criticism."
"...angel headed hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of the night..."
Revolutionary. Violent. Sexy. The Beat movement sought to destroy the pretensions of the American elite by writing raw literature that explored the animal madness inside all of us. Things would never be the same. Please read the following article by Josh Rahn on the Beats. There will be a quiz on it in class.
"Howl" by Allen Ginsberg
Allen Ginsberg brought the Beat Generation to the forefront of public discourse with the publication of his controversial poem "Howl." We will look at the poem closely and see the ways in which he outlines the main ideas of the Beat's unique and radical worldview.
Here is a link to the class lecture Prezi: "Allen Ginsberg."
"One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"
Continuing our theme of madness as a metaphor we will watch and analyze the classic film based on Ken Kesey's novel of the same name. In it, a band of mental patients attempt to subvert the authority of their abusive minders. The film is a tragic commentary on the reaction to and revolt against authoritarian regimes in the politically turbulent 1960s.
LINK: "The Guide: A Theatergoer's Resource for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," a program for a production of this work as a play with many interesting resources.
One of America's most unique and honest voices, Bukowski wrote about the lives of the unloved and forgotten underbelly of American society. His poetry and stories record the daily struggles of drunks, prostitutes, gamblers, and the everyday working class.
1960s Countercultural Movements
Final Exam Instructions
Since I am posting this information on Monday for the evening class and the day class will not see it until Wednesday, in order to insure that all students have the same amount of time for preparation I have asked the department to send a message to all students from both classes to inform them of the exam format. Please carefully read the information in the presentation below and see the attached document: the "Final Exam Essay Question." We will discuss all of this in class.