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Spring 2013
Apr 16,2014
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LIBS 656 - AMERICAN "FOLK": CONSTRUCTING THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE IN AMERICAN LITERATURE AND CULTURE
Various attempts have been made to capture (or at least define) the "authentic" voice of the American people. Visual artists, performing artists, and literary artists will even create fictional personae for themselves, so they will be identified with "real Americans." This course will examine works by several such American artists. Readings will ask students to question notions of "authenticity" and national identity, as well as ideas of class, race, and gender. Some of our readings will be canonical work by literary artists--Walt Whitman's LEAVES OF GRASS, Mark Twain's ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN, and John Steinbeck's GRAPES OF WRATH and contemporary poetry, like Tyehimba Jess's LEADBELLY. Some readings will be by what we might term "outsider artists": Lead Belly's ballads, Woody Guthrie's DUST BOWL BALLADS, Harvey Pekar's AMERICAN SPLENDOR. We will also look at popular works by popular performers: Bob Dylan's THE TIMES ARE A'CHANGIN', Bruce Springsteen's THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD. Through free verse poetry; dialect fiction; folk, blues, and rock music; and even comic strips, writers from Whitman to Guthrie share is a desire to capture what they believe to be the voice of the people.
0.000 TO 3.000 Credit hours
0.000 TO 3.000 Lecture hours

Levels: Graduate
Schedule Types: Seminar

Liberal Studies Department

Course Attributes:
MLS COURSE FOR GRAD FEE ASSESS

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Release: 8.5.4