ENGLISH 105W SURREY: INTRODUCTION TO ISSUES IN LITERATURE AND CULTURE
Chick-Lit & Lad-Lit: Good Girl, Bad Boy
Culture - meaning for our purposes print and film media, public education, government programmes, corporate advertising, and the fine arts - represents women and men, girls and boys in a certain way using certain ideas and assumptions. Literature is part of our culture, but with a unique and invaluable feature: the capability of great authors to intuitively capture aspects of a culture that influence the lives of its citizens without their awareness, and then write them into fiction. Reading novels, then, not only gives us artistic enjoyment, but reveals to us what is going on beneath the surface of things in the culture around us. Chick-lit and Lad-lit are two new and complementary genres of fiction that show the separate cultures of men and women, boys and girls, differing in ways that could hardly be starker. In this course we will follow very popular novels – all from England – of both genres alternately and show a trajectory of development for the representation of the two sexes from the turn of the last century to the beginning of ours.We will use afflata – media material, video clips and sections from popular film – to put the novels in their cultural context.
DISCLOSURE: the approach to the course is scholarly and questioning, and the mood is often light and jocular – befitting the primary literary material.
Gaskell, Elizabeth Cranford
Kipling, Rudyard Stalky & Co.
Gibbons, Stella Cold Comfort Farm
Burgess, Anthony A Clockwork Orange
Fielding, Helen Bridget Jones's Diary
Hornby, Nick High Fidelity
Ferriss, Suzanne Chick Lit: The New Woman's Fiction
Twigger, Robert Being a Man (In the Lousy Modern World)
10% Course participation
15% Three seminar writing presentations
20% Group e-Text writing project
20% Mid-term paper (approx. 1500 words plus revisions)
35% Final examination