ENGL 499 (Section 902, Schedule #29901)
Virginia Commonwealth University
Fall 2015
MW 4:00-5:15pm :: 431 Hibbs
Prof. David Golumbia
Office: 324D Hibbs Hall
Fall 2015 Office Hours: MW 2:30-3:45pm

Senior Seminar: Contemporary Literature and Media

This course offers a wide-ranging survey of a few of the many themes and issues in contemporary media and literature and the theory and criticism written about them. We'll read across a wide range of genres, global cultures, and media forms. Students will write two 10-page papers or one 20-page paper. Vigorous participation in class discussion is expected.


The following is a list of required texts to purchase for the class. Other texts are provided on Blackboard or on direct links to websites in the Week-by-Week Syllabus below.

Assignments and Evaluation

Evaluation will be based on written exercises and course participation as follows:

Course-Specific Policies

Official VCU Policy Statements

The VCU Office of the Provost maintains a list of official policy statements for each semester. Students are required to review the list of policies in its entirety. They constitute official course policies. Among the important topics covered in this policy statement, students should note the following policy regarding email:

Students are expected to check their official VCU email on a frequent and consistent basis in order to remain informed of university-related communications. The university recommends checking email daily. Students are responsible for the consequences of not reading, in a timely fashion, university-related communications sent to their official VCU student email account.

Week-by-Week Syllabus

Week One. Introduction

Week Two. Homeland

Week Three. The Bridge

Week Four. Caldwell, Women

Week Five. Lin & Gonzalez, Selected Tweets

Week of Sep 19-27. No classes (reading period due to bicycle race)

Week Six. Sloan, Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

Week Seven. Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Week Eight. Bechdel, Fun Home

Week Nine. Lahiri, Interpreter of Maladies

Week Ten. Díaz, This Is How You Lose Her

Week Eleven. Rankine, Citizen

Week Twelve. Satrapi, Persepolis

Week Thirteen. Spiotta, Eat the Document

Week Fourteen. Spiotta, Eat the Document

Week Fifteen. Presentations

Final paper is due by the end of the final exam period for this course, 5:15, Monday Dec 7, per the registrar's exam schedule. The paper or project should be emailed to me at dgolumbia-at-vcu.edu. No late papers can be accepted for the final paper assignment. There is no other final exam for the course.

Last updated November 18, 2015.