Contemporary American Literature (LTAM 103C)

Andrew’s excellent work in this course consistently reflected his engagement with the readings and concepts explored in this course. His comments in section, though minimal, were always highly original and insightful.  Andrew did very well on both reading exams, receiving a perfect score on the final.  His excellent, precise identifications demonstrated a thorough knowledge of the readings and as well as a consideration of their significance.

His first essay developed an intelligent and penetrating reading of Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49.  This essay articulated a series of wonderfully insightful and persuasive descriptions of Pynchon’s novel, but unfortunately crucial components of his argument were suggested or implied rather than being fully explicated and developed.  This essay was notable for its evocative and engaging yet precisely analytical prose, as well as its humor.

In his final paper Andrew developed creative and conceptually sophisticated reading of Alfredo Vea Jr.’s La Maravilla based on the notion that history is “the phenomena of context.”  This essay explored various characters’ engagement with the histories, ghosts and spirits that form the context of “Buckeye.”  While this essay was demonstrated Andrew’s exceptional skills as a reader of literary texts and an imaginative, expressive writer, it was less strong in terms of articulating a clear and structured argument.  In sum, excellent work from a promising student.

Course description: A selective examination of major writing since WWII, with attention to both literary issues and historical context.

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