Professor: Dr. Robert
Office: Grainger G08
Office Hours: MW 11-11:50, TR 8:30-9:20 and by appt.
An examination of American satire since the late 1950s. Students will develop an understanding of satire as a genre and how it differs from other forms of humor and comedy. We will explore the shifting sociological and political landscape in America during the past half century and the satire this has spawned, with some special emphasis on ethnic and woman's satire. While our reading list is primarily drawn from novels and plays, we will also explore contemporary satire in a number of other forums, such as film, television, and various print media..
The course is a seminar and not a lecture course. Thus it will be exploratory rather than a "canned" course and each individual in the course will be expected to make significant contributions to the content and direction of the course.
Caveat: Satire frequently challenges our beliefs and value systems targeting issues of class, gender, sexuality, nationality, politics, religion, etc. It can, and often intentionally seeks to, offend our sensibilities. If you are at all offended by non-political correctness, then this course may not be for you.
Upon the completion of the course, students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate a capacity for critical and analytical thought in terms of interpreting various forms of American
literature, especially as they relate to the genre of satire.
2. Understand the nature of satire and the devices that various authors have used in employing satire in their creative productions.
3. Understand the ways in which satire varies from other uses of humor and comedy.
4. Understand the development of this genre during the past fifty to sixty
years in America.
5. Demonstrate an ability to convey their own thoughts verbally and in writing concerning the modernist and postmodernist periods in American literature.
6. Demonstrate an understanding of the cultural background surrounding the works we read and examine.
7. Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of this genre in relation to the rest of American Literature.
8. Revise and edit their writing to make it more concise, effective, and correct. Write in accordance with the
conventions of standard English usage and punctuation.
9. Demonstrate an ability to engage in the collaborative learning process.
Aug. 21: Introduction to Course
23: Albee, Edward, The Zoo Story
28: Sociological Satire—Albee, Edward, Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Acts 1 and 2
30: Albee, Edward, Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Acts 2 and 3
Sept. 04: Political Satire--Joseph Heller
Heller, Joseph, Catch-22, Chaps 1-11
06: Heller, Joseph, Catch-22, Chaps 11-22
Heller, Joseph, Catch-22, Chaps 23-31
13: Heller, Joseph, Catch-22, Chaps 31-end
Vonnegut, Kurt, Cat's Cradle, Chaps 1-46
20: Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle, Chaps 47-89
Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle, 90-end
27: Kesey, Ken, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, 1-82
Kesey, Ken, One
Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, 83-155
04: Kesey, Ken, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, 156-218
09: Kesey, Ken, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, 219-end
11: Kozinski, Jerzy, Being There--1st half
October 15-16: FALL BREAK
18: Kozinski, Jerzy, Being There—2nd half
David, Glengarry Glen Ross, Act 1
25: Mamet, David, Glengarry Glen Ross, Act 2-end
30: Ethnicity and Satire: Beatty, Paul. The White Boy Shuffle, 1-75
Nov. 01: Beatty, Paul. The White Boy Shuffle, 76-150
06: Beatty, Paul. The White Boy Shuffle, 151-end
08: Gender and Women's Satire: Wasserman, Wendy. The Heidi Chronicles, Act 1
13: Wasserman, Wendy. The Heidi Chronicles
, Act 2
15: Smiley, Jane. Moo, Chapters 1-21
21-23: Thanksgiving Break
27: Smiley, Jane. Moo, Chapters, 42-59
29: Smiley, Jane. Moo, Chapters 59-end
*A=90-100% *B=80-89% *C=70-79% *D=60-69%
Establishing an active learning community is essential in a seminar. Thus class participation, both in class and via Twitter, is essential and required in this course. There is no single interpretation of these readings; thus, discussion is essential if we are to explore the multiple and various interpretations of these texts. Participation includes active discussion in person and online via Twitter.
The attendance policy for this course is the same as the university policy in the University Catalog and the Student Handbook. Thus if you miss three or more times your grade may be reduced. Absences beyond 25% (excused and unexcused) will result in failure of the course as set out in Student Handbook. Tardies will count as absences unless I'm notified beforehand. No quizzes will be given out to those who come late.
Students are expected to live by the Longwood University Honor Code. All work done for the class must be pledged. Your instructor will not tolerate any form of cheating. You are expected to know what constitutes plagiarism and how to avoid it. All ideas taken from sources, whether in texts or online, must be cited. Remember that your instructor also has access to these materials and they are easy to track on-line. Any student caught plagiarizing will automatically fail the course and his/her name will be forwarded to the Judicial Board.
All papers are due on the date assigned. Late papers will not be accepted.
My office hours are posted and I will be available during these times. If you need to see me and these times are not convenient, please feel free to schedule a conference for some other mutually agreeable time.
In the event of classes being cancelled, students are expected to keep up with the reading.
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Chapman, Edgar L. "Sex, Satire, and Feminism in the Science Fiction of Suzette Haden Elgin." The Feminine Eye: Science Fiction and the Women Who Write It. Ed. Tom Staicar. New York, NY: Frederick Ungar, 1982, 89-102.
Clark, John R. The Modern Satiric Grotesque. Lexington: Univ of Kentucky, 1991
Clark, John R., ed. Satire: Language and Style. Special Issue of Thalia: Studies in Literary Humor 5.1 (1983): 1-49.
Clark, John R. "Symbolic Violence in Vile Bodies." Studies in Contemporary Satire 2 (1975): 17-27.
Clark, John R., and Anna Lydia Motto. "Anthologies of Satire in Print (1979): A Critical Bibliography." Studies in Contemporary Satire 5 (1979): 35-52.
Clark, John R., and Anna Lydia Motto. "Funny Bones: The Deadly Laughter of the Grotesque." Thalia: Studies in Literary Humor 9.2 (1987): 24-31.
Clark, John R., and Anna Lydia Motto. "Modern Gothic: The Satiric Grotesque." Studies in Contemporary Satire 13 (1986): 5-15.
Clark, John R., and Anna Motto, eds. Satire--That Blasted Art. New York, NY: Putnam and Capricorn, 1973.
Clark, William Bedford and W. Craig Turner. Critical Essays on American Humor. Boston: GK Hall, 1984.
Cohen. Sarah Blacher. Ed. Comic Relief: Humor in Contemporary American Literature. Ed. Urbana: Univ of Illinois Press, 1979.
Coleman, John R. ed. Six Satirists. Pittsburgh, PA: Carnegie Inst of Tech, 1965.
Cook, William W. "Change the Joke and Slip the Yoke: Traditions of Afro-American Satire." Journal of Ethnic Studies 13.1 (1985): 109-34.
Crawford, Mary. "Just Kidding: Gender and Conversational Humor." New Perspectives on Women and Comedy. Ed. Regina Barreca. Philadelphia: Gordon and Breach, 1992. 23-38.
Dance, Daryl C. "Contemporary Militant Black Humor." Negro American Literature Forum 8 (1974): 217-22.
Dance, Daryl Cumber, ed. Honey, hush! : an anthology of African American women's humor. New York: W.W. Norton, 1998.
Davis, Douglas M., ed. The World of Black Humor: An Introductory Anthology of Selections and Criticism. New York: Dutton, 1967.
Dickstein, Morris. "Black Humor and History: Fiction in the Sixties." Partisan Review 43.2 (1976): 185-211.
Dorinson, Joseph, and Joseph Boskin. "Racial and Ethnic Humor." Humor in America: A Research Guide to Genres and Topics. Ed. Lawrence E. Mintz. London: Greenwood, 1988. 163-94.
Dudden, Arthur Power. "The Record of Political Humor." American Quarterly 37.1 (1985): 50-70.
Dresner, Zita. "Women's Humor." Humor in America: A Research Guide to Genres and Topics. Ed. Lawrence E. Mintz. London: Greenwood, 1988. 137-62.
Dudden, Arthur Power. American Humor. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987.
Elliott, Robert C. "The Satirist and Society." Satire: Modern Essays in Criticism. Ed. Ronald Paulson. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1971, 214.
Euba, Femi. Archetypes, Imprecators, and Victims of Fate: Origins and Development of Satire in Black Drama. New York: Greenwood P, 1989.
Feinberg, Leonard. Introduction to Satire. Ames: Iowa State Univ Press, 1967.
Feldman, Burton. "Anatomy of Black Humor." Dissent 15 (1968): 158-60.
Finney, Gail, ed. Look Who's Laughing: Gender and Comedy. Langhorne: Gordon and Breach, 1994.
Festa, Conrad. "Vonnegut's Satire." Vonnegut in America. Eds. Jerome Klinkowitz and Donald Lawler. New York, NY: Delta, 1977, 133-149.
FitzGerald, Gregory. "The Satiric Use of Setting." Studies in Contemporary Satire 13 (1986): 2-4.
Fletcher, M. D. Contemporary Political Satire: Narrative Strategies in the Post-Modern Context. New York, NY: University Press of America, 1987.
Fletcher, M. D. "Heller's Catch-22: Satiric Political Apalogue." Contemporary Political Satire: Narrative Strategies in the Post-Modern Context. NY: Lanham, 1987, 59-82.
Fletcher, M. D. "Vidal's Duluth as 'Post-Modern' Political Satire." Thalia 9.1 (1986): 10-21.
Friedman, Bruce Jay, ed. Black Humor. NY: Bantam, 1965.
Fry, William F. "The Power of Political Humor." Journal of Popular Culture 10 (1976): 227-31.
Galloway, David. The Absurd Hero in American Fiction: Updike, Styron, Bellow, Salinger. 2nd ed. Austin: Univ of Texas Press, 1981.
Gale, Steven ed. The Encyclopedia of American Humorists, New York: Garland, 1988.
Gardner, Gerald C. All the President's Wits: The Power of Political Humor. New York: Morrow, 1986.
---. The Mocking of the President: A History of Campaign Humor from Ike to Ronnie. Detroit: Wayne State U P, 1988.
Garland, Nicholas. "Political Cartooning." Laughing Matters: A Serious Look at Humour. Ed. John Durant and Jonathan Miller. New York: Longman, 1988. 75-89.
Gehring, Wes D. American Dark Comedy: Beyond Satire. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1996.
Gehring, Wes D. "Film Comedy." Humor in America: A Research Guide to Genres and Topics. Ed. Lawrence E. Mintz. London: Greenwood, 1988. 67-90.
George, William. "Teaching Satire and Satirists." English Journal 78.3 (1989): 38-43.
Gilooly, Eileen. "Women and Humor." Feminist Studies 17.3 (1991): 473-92.
Greenbaum, Andrea. "Women's Comic Voices: The Art and Craft of Female Humor." American Studies 38:1 (Spring 1997): 117-138.
Griffin, Alice and John Griffin. "Satire in the New York Theatre," Satire Newsletter 2.1 (1965): 41-46
Grimm, Reinhold, and Jost Hermand, eds. Laughter Unlimited: Essays on Humor, Satire, and the Comic. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1991.
Gruner, Charles. "An Experimental Study of Satire as Humor." Speech Monographs 32 (1965): 149-153.
Hall, Ernest Johnson. The Satirical Element in the American Novel. New York: Haskell House, 1969.
Harris, Charles B. Contemporary American Novelists of the Absurd. New Haven, CT; College & University Press, 1971.
Harris, Leon. The Fine Art of Political Wit. New York: Dutton, 1964.
Hassan, Ihab. "Echoes of Dark Laughter: The Comic Sense in Contemporary American Fiction." Humor in America. Ed. Enid Veron. NY: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1976, 316-21.
Hassan, Ihab. "Laughter in the Dark: The New Voice in American Fiction." American Scholar 33 (1964): 636-40.
Hauck, Richard Boyd. A Cheerful Nihilism: Confidence and 'The Absurd' in American Humorous Fiction. Bloomington: Indiana Univ Press.
Heath-Stubbs, John. The Verse Satire. New York, NY: Oxford Univ Press, 1969.
Heller, Terry. "Notes on Technique in Black Humor." Thalia: Studies in Literary Humor 2.3 (1979-80): 15-21
Highet, Gilbert. The Anatomy of Satire. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ Press, 1962.
Hill, Hamlin. "Black Humor and the Mass Audience." American Humor. Ed. O. M. Brack, Jr. Scottsdale, AZ: Arrete Press, 1977, 1-11.
Hodgart, Matthew. Satire. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1969.
Janoff, Bruce. “Black Humor: Beyond Satire." The Ohio Review. 14.1 (1972): 5-20.
Janoff, Bruce. "Black Humor, Existentialism, and Absurdity: A Generic Confusion." The Arizona Quarterly 30.4 (1974): 293-304.
Jensen, James H., and Malvin R. Zirker, Jr. eds. The Satirist's Art. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1972.
Johnson, Edgar. A Treasury of Satire. NY: Simon and Schuster, 1945.
Jones, Harry L. "Black Humor and the American Way of Life." Satire Newsletter 7.1 (1969): 1-4.
Kane, Thomas R., Jerry Suls, and James T. Tedeschi. "Humour as a Tool of Social Interaction." It's a Funny Thing, Humour. Ed. Antony J. Chapman and Hugh C. Foot. Oxford and New York: Pergamon Press, 1976. 13-16.
Kaufman, Gloria. "Introduction." Pulling Our Own Strings: Feminist Humor and Satire. Ed. Gloria Kaufman and Mary Kay Blakely. Bloomington: Indiana U P, 1980. 13-16.
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Levy, Barbara. Ladies Laughing: Wit as Control in Contemporary American Women Writers. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Gordon and Breach, 1997.
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