Short Course Description
The attacks that took place on Sept 11, 2001 were a defining event in American culture and this course will examine their effect and aftereffect on American fiction. We will read from a selection of canonical works of fiction and graphic art that deal directly with the event: Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Claire Messud?s The Emperor's Children, Art Speigelman?s In the Shadow of No Towers. We will also read from works of fiction that are more tangentially related to 9/11: My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh, Open City by Teju Cole and excerpts from Guapa by Saleem Haddad.
Full syllabus will be available to registered students only
Our discussion of these works will be informed by theoretical approaches that deal with the question of an event (Derrida and Habermas) and the collapse of the towers as a global media spectacle (Baudrillard); seminal works on trauma and memory (Caruth, Felman and Laub, La Capra); dissenting ideas on America?s role in global affairs and its foreign policies (Sontag, Dorfman); and relate to questions of language (Apter- translation after 9/11).
In the course of the semester, students will grapple not only with this specific event that ushered in the 21st century, but also gain a broad (and timely) perspective on how such catastrophic and collective events are experienced, reflected and represented in the literary imagination.