|In Memoriam – Glyn Salton-Cox
The English Department is devastated to announce the death over the New Year of our colleague Glyn Salton-Cox. To his family, loved ones, and friends here, in his native Britain, and throughout the world, we offer our deepest and most heartfelt condolences. Glyn was a brilliant scholar, a very popular teacher, and the kindest of colleagues.
The Department of English invites you to a commemoration of our colleague Glyn Salton-Cox on Friday, March 3d, 2023.
We will gather in the Faculty Club’s Betty Elings Wells Pavilion at 3:00 pm and then move to the Terrace at 4:00 pm for a reception. Please let us know of any accessibility requests.
Contemporary American Literature:
- Course Number: ENGL 140
Check on GOLD.
- Catalog Course Entry: ENGL 140
- Quarter: Spring 2016
This experimental course will consider a number of works of contemporary American fiction through the critical lens of encryption. Encryption is a process by which information is encoded in a form that is no longer directly readable. Encrypted information requires a “key” to reveal its original structure and meaning. In the age of digital information propagated through networks, encryption and de-encryption has become the dominant paradigm of meaning extraction, rather than, for example, access. Encrypted information is readily accessible, but not readily decodable. What might it mean to consider literature, a much older technology of encoding and decoding, through this lens? How have events and periods of American history been encrypted in narrative form, and what does its decryption, as a reading practice, tell us about either identity as a function of information sharing, or reading itself? We’ll begin by reading Neil Stephenson’s epic adventure novel about encryption and decryption techniques in both World War II and the modern dot-com startup era, Cryptonomicon. We will then move into more experimental territory with Don Dilillo’s postmodern exploration of the assassination of JFK, Libra. This will then lead us to a speculative reading of Toni Morrison’s equally postmodern novel about encrypting and decrypting the traumas of slavery, Beloved. Our final novel will be Mark Danielewski’s bizarre, algorithmic work that recodes all of American history in a database-like form of poetics, Only Revolutions. Interspersed with these challenging works will be short stories, theoretical texts, and films that explore the concepts and practices of encryption, coding, and hacking.