30 Credits SPRING

Aims/Description: San Francisco and New Orleans are perhaps the most atypical cities in the United States. San Francisco ephasises youth culture, choice of sexuality, and freedom, and New Orleans stresses multi-ethnicity, music, history, language, vice, and vampires. What is especially striking in the context of a celebration of the American Metropolis is the interrelation between the images of the city and the literature produced about that city. The features of fragmentation, rootlessness, and lack of structure put forward in much postmodern fiction as a simulacrum of postmodern life (cf. Baudrillard's description of Los Angeles in America (1985) are glorified in the fictions of San Francisco and New Orleans. Do these cities and these fictions contrast with recent immigrant fiction, African-American fiction, and/or Chicano fictions located in Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia? In this course, I would like to explore the literary spaces of these metropolises and investigate the effects of living in this space on its literary inhabitants. In these cities, the apartment building, the mall, downtown, the sports arena, the bar replace the structires of family, gender, and race, predominant in so much other American fiction. Whether these new architectures offer truly liberated conditions will be further examined.

Assessment: Course work

Information on the department responsible for this unit (English Literature):

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Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK