Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Units: 4
Hours: 4 lecture per week (48 total per quarter)
Advisory: Demonstrated proficiency in English by placement via multiple measures OR through an equivalent placement process OR completion of ESLL 125 & ESLL 249.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Area I: Humanities
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students can understand postmodernism in literature and recognize its effect on selected contemporary fiction.
  • Students can articulate a main idea at essay level (thesis)
  • Students will demonstrate (verbally and in writing) competence in analyzing, or "close reading" literary texts.


Selected fiction written between 1950 and the present, with emphasis on English, Canadian, and international works in translation. Students are introduced to various thematic and stylistic trends in contemporary fiction; use of current scientific discoveries, historical theories, religious and cultural developments.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. Distinguish features and aspects of various contemporary works, recognizing categories, motifs, and genres appropriate to an introductory college-level discussion of literature.
B. Critique texts with insight and accuracy, applying basic literary terminologies and theories.
C. Read and discuss a variety of forms of contemporary fiction.

Course Content

A. Introduction to various contemporary works
1. "New journalism" and the non-fiction novel
2. Feminist writing
3. "Pop" literature
4. Post-modernists, e.g., magical realism, metafiction, flash fiction, etc.
5. Multicultural and international fiction
B. Critique of contemporary works
1. Oral presentations
2. Instructor-facilitated discussions
C. Introduction to forms of fiction
1. Read and discuss at least two novels
2. Read and discuss an anthology of short stories
3. Read and discuss other forms, e.g., novella, single-page pieces

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

A. When taught via Foothill Global Access, on-going access to computer with email software and hardware; email address.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

A. At least two critical papers and/or essay exams.
B. Quizzes, midterm, oral reports, and final exam.
C. Participation in classroom discussion.

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Lecture presentations, classroom discussions, group discussion, and group presentations.

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Eaglestone, Robert. Contemporary Fiction: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford, 2013.
Ito, Junji. Fragments of Horror. Viz Media, 2017.
Solomon, Barbara. Other Voices, Other Vistas: Short Stories from Africa, India, China, Japan, and Latin America. Signet, 2002.
Oe, Kenzabur. A Personal Matter. Trans. John Nathan. Grove, 1969.
Marquez, Gabriel Garcia. Chronicle of a Death Foretold. Trans. Gregory Rabassa. Vintage, 1982.
Allende, Isabel. The House of the Spirits. Bantam, 1986.
Atwood, Margaret. Surfacing. Random House, 1998.
Bernard, Thomas. The Woodcutters. Chicago UP, 1989.
Carver, Raymond. Cathedral. Vintage, 1989.
Charters, Ann. Major Writers of Short Fiction: Stories and Commentaries. Bedford, 2006.
Coetzee, J.M. Waiting for the Barbarians. Penguin, 1982.
Doubiago, Sharon. The Book of Seeing with One's Own Eyes. Graywolf, 1988.
Hagedorn, Jessica. Dogeaters. Penguin, 1991.
Johnson, Denis. Jesus' Son. Harper Perennial, 1993.
Mohsin, Hamid. The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Houghton Mifflin, 2007.
Wole, Soyinka. Death and the King's Horseman. Norton, 1975.
Manea, Norman. October, Eight O'Clock. Grove Press, 1992.
Mailer, Norman. The Armies of the Night: History as a Novel, the Novel as History. Penguin, 1994.
Morrison, Toni. The Bluest Eye. Vintage International, 1970.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. Reading from assigned text(s), 50-100 pages per week.
B. Essays:
1. Analysis of African play, Wole Soyinka's Death and the King's Horseman.
2. Comparison/contrast of two non-Western works, possibly male/female writers.
3. Analysis of American graphic novel.
4. Literature review: an essay that touches briefly on each of the works read.