Course module - Beat Writing
Code : AMER30792 Credit rating: 20 Semester : 2
• To develop students’ critical awareness by encouraging them to attend to the language, themes, narratives, genres, and political elements of the literary works we study;
• To develop students’ awareness of historical and cultural contexts specific to the 1950s and 1960s that influence the literary works we will study;
• To encourage and develop students’ research, presentation, and writing skills and their capacity to construct a sustained and coherent argument.
Objectives (Learning Outcomes)
By the end of this course students should be able to demonstrate:
• A deep knowledge and understanding of some of the major literary themes and traditions expressed and negotiated through U.S. Beat literature;
• A deep knowledge and understanding of some of the historical and cultural factors which influence the literature of this period, including the Cold War, Counter Cultural theories, the relationship to Modernism and Surrealism and African American literature and culture;
• Ability to understand and theorize the ideological constructs of, and intersections between, race, class, gender, and sexual identity, as well as politics, within a group of writers who came known as the Beat Generation;
• Ability (in the assessed essay) to construct a sustained and cohesive written argument and to deploy scholarly methods of presentation;
• Analyzing texts; speaking in front of groups; making connections to present-day concerns; improved writing; self confidence in abilities.
One 3, 000-word essay (50%) and one 2-hour unseen-written exam (50%).
The use of dictionaries in the examination is prohibited. This rule applies to all categories of students, including all Visiting Students.
THIS COURSE IS AVAILABLE AS FREE-CHOICE.
In this unit we will focus on a group of writers from the 1950s and 1960s who became known as the Beat Generation. We will analyse works by well known writers such as Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, but also authors on the fringes of the movement, such as Bob Kaufman and Harold Norse. We will consider how and why certain writers gained notoriety and we will explore the continuing interest in Beat Writers in order to consider the commodification of what was once a counter-cultural phenomenon.
Field, Dr Douglas
PROVISIONAL TIMETABLE FOR 2013-2014
Plenary Workshop: Thursday 11-1
group 1: Thursday 2-3
group 2: Thursday 3-4
One 1-hour lecture and one 2-hour workshop per week.
James Campbell, This is the Beat Generation (Martin Secker & Warburg Ltd, 1999)
Ann Charters, ed. The Portable Beat Reader (Viking, 1992)
Nancy McCampbell Grace and Ronna C. Johnson, Breaking the Rule of Cool: Interviewing and Reading Beat Women Writers (University Press of Mississippi, 2004)
Rick Moody and George Plimpton, Beat Writers at Work (Modern Library, 1998)
William Morgan, The Typewriter is Holy: The Complete, Uncensored History of the Beat
Generation (Simon Spotlight Entertainment, 2010)