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En 142
Post-1945 American Literature and 'The Death of the Author'
9 units (3-0-6)  | second term
This course will explore the ambiguous status of literature that is published in the wake of an author's death. Should "unfinished" work be edited and published in the late author's name? What if the author left behind no express wishes for her/his unpublished writing or asked that it be destroyed? Alongside such questions, we will analyze posthumously published post-1945 American literature's formal features and its engagements with socio-political transformations related to race, class, gender, and sexuality. Course readings will include Roland Barthes' "The Death of the Author" (1967) and Michel Foucault's "What is an Author?" (1969), as well as posthumously published modernist fiction and poetry by authors including Ralph Ellison, Sylvia Plath, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs.
Instructor: Sherazi