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Upper School Curriculum

  • Advanced (ADV)
  • English
ADV English 12: Postmodernism 
Grade: 12
PREREQ: Teacher recommendation advised 

Is the search for meaning elusive, futile or fun? Is your reality constructed from simulacra that are copies of copies of long lost originals? Do you live in a hyperreality? To define and assess late 20th-century literary innovation, Postmodernism examines postmodern theory, including Lyotard, Hassan, Derrida, Baudrillard, and Jameson. Students will discuss binarisms, metafiction, allusive play and fragmentation, and they will identify postmodern literary experimentation in novels, stories and poetry. Students will read and analyze Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49 as well as short stories by John Barth, Donald Barthelme, Jorge Luis Borges, Rosario Ferré, David Foster Wallace, Sherman Alexie, Ted Chiang, and ZZ Packer. The course features a postmodern poetry project that asks students to conduct research and use critical essays to prepare a presentation that explicates the work of one Beat or New York School poet. To conclude the course, students will examine and review two postmodern films, Blade Runner and Memento.

  • Grade 12