Contemporary American Fiction

University of Otago

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Contemporary American Fiction

  • Host University

    University of Otago

  • Location

    Dunedin, New Zealand

  • Area of Study

    American Studies, English, Literature

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    One 100-level ENGL paper (excluding ENGL 126) or 36 points

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    A study of American fiction that traces the development of Post-Modernism.

    This introduction to American fiction considers the novel from national and regional perspectives and traces the development of postmodernism. Other topics to be studied include gender, ethnicity, class, history, the media and popular culture.

    Learning Outcomes
    By the end of the paper, students should:
    1. Be familiar with a range of contemporary American novels
    2. Be able to discuss specific images and broad themes in American writing
    3. Be able to compare and contrast works using historical, theoretical and critical approaches
    4. Have developed their expertise in critical reading and writing

    Pynchon, Thomas. The Crying of Lot 49 (Pan)
    Didion, Joan. Play It As It Lays (Flamingo)
    Morrison, Toni. Sula (Picador)
    Doctorow, E. L. Ragtime (Pan)
    DeLillo, Don. White Noise (Penguin)
    Diaz, Junot. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007)
    Franzen, Jonathan. The Corrections (Fourth Estate)
    Egan, Jennifer. A Visit from the Goon Squad (Random House)

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.