Honors Course: ENGL 2328 – American Literature II

“American Apocalypse: Wrecking and Rebuilding”

This course focuses on apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic works of American literature and film, ranging from the early 20th century to the present day. The goal is to foster an appreciation for the works of a wide variety of American writers, all of whom tackle the greatest challenge of our times (or any time): what if the world as we know it ends? What if we end? And if we still go on, how do we make the world anew? In pondering these questions by analyzing the literature and researching the context in which these texts were written, students will further develop their critical thinking skills; the variety of learning experiences in the class will encourage a close examination of the most fundamental problems of our times, stimulating a profound appreciation for the creativity of those American speculative writers who dare to imagine the unthinkable. Texts include those by Octavia Butler, Richard Matheson, Philip K. Dick, Paolo Bacigalupi, Ray Bradbury, Ursula K. LeGuin, Margaret Atwood, and Nnedi Okorafor. Apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic films will also be highlighted.