ENGL 3078 Literature in English, 1945-Present

ENGL 3078: Literature in English 1945 to Present 581


Christopher Haynes

Email:  christopher.haynes@colorado.edu

Course Description

Contemporary literature is a wild and wooly animal. Novels and comic books, poems and electronic texts, all have developed as legitimate means for expressing literary art in the modern world. In fact, the shifts in format, access, and interface across these narratives have important things to say about the way we understand and interact with the stories they tell. Open yourself to new conceptions of what literature is and can be, to new experiences with how you engage these various forms of literary expression. Seize your opportunity to choose your own adventures in literature! To help you, this course will present a broad range of the forms literary art takes in our era. In spreading a wide net, my hope is that you will cultivate an appreciation for the vibrant and diverse corpus of contemporary literature. Additionally, I hope that you find a format you enjoy and through it a healthy relationship with the act of reading. We will also be continuously developing three important skills: close reading, critical thinking, and analytical writing. Improving your abilities in these three categories not only strengthens your talents as literary readers but also as generally literate citizens. Just about any task you are asked to perform in your collegiate and professional lives will involve at least two out of those three skills. Thus, the most broadly defined objective of the course is to inspire and foster your respect for literary culture while helping you apply that respect to all aspects of your present and future lives.


  1. participants will be able to identify and navigate various forms in which modern literature is produced and distributed, including both physical and digital media
  2. participants will be able to confidently employ collaborative technologies (Google Docs, Twitter) in their professional and personal lives
  3. participants will be able to identify salient details in literary texts and their historical and cultural contexts, synthesize meaningful relationships between those details, and make interpretive claims about those relationships
  4. participants will be able to express themselves maturely and professionally across a number of media and different formats, including Twitter, online discussion forums, collaborative Google docs, and analytical prose

Required Readings

  1. Alison Bechdel – Fun Home (ISBN: 9780618871711)
  2. Eleanor Davis – How To Be Happy (ISBN: 9781606997406)
  3. Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine DeLandro – Bitch Planet Vol. 1: Extraordinary Machine (ISBN: 9781632153661)
  4. Toni Morrison – Beloved (ISBN: 9781400033416)
  5. Octavia E. Butler – Kindred (ISBN: 9780807083697)
  6. Margaret Atwood – Oryx and Crake (ISBN: 9780385721677)
  7. Sylvia Plath – Ariel (provided in PDF)
  8. Gwendolyn Brooks – Selections from Blacks (provided in PDF)
  9. Flannery O’Connor – Selected Stories (provided in PDF):
  10. “A Good Man is Hard to Find”
  11. “View from the Woods”
  12. “Everything that Rises Must Converge” 

Assignment Categories / Grade Breakdown:

  1. Module I: Twitter Close Reading and Engagement 30% (30 pts)
  2. Module II: Collaborative Reading 30% (30 pts)
  3. Module III: 1-on-1 Essay Project 30% (30 pts)
  4. Assignment Bundle: 10% (10 pts)
  5. Opening Survey
  6. Instructor Video Chat
  7. Midterm Survey
  8. Closing Survey
  9. Reflection Threads 1, 2, 3

Now that you’ve selected your favorite Continuing Education courses, email or print the information, including class number, to more easily search Buff Portal and enroll. Still have questions? Contact an advisor.


Monday – Friday
8:00am to 5:00pm


We are located at the corner of University Avenue and 15th Street in a white brick building.


1505 University Avenue
University of Colorado Boulder
178 UCB
Boulder, Colorado