Discovering Literature

L111 — Fall 2019

Paul Gutjahr
Days and Times
MW 12:20-1:10p, F 11:15a-12:05p OR 12:20a-1:10p - (3 CR)
Course Description

This course will explore American literary culture through the lens of novels and other types of writing which have sold extraordinary well in the United States over the past two centuries. By looking at best-selling literary works beginning with Charlotte Temple (1791) and moving through J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter (1997), we will investigate not only why these narratives gained such popularity, but their relationship to a range of cultural practices and expressions including politics, fine arts, gender relations, racial tensions, motion pictures and religion. The course will involve considerable reading, written assignments of various types, and weekly quizzes.