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University Honors Program

University Honors Program

Kansas State University

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Manhattan, KS 66506


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ENGL 399 - Honors Seminar: The Literature of Rock and Roll

Section A: TU 2:30-3:45—Dan Hoyt

Obtain Permission from the Honors Program in Leasure 007. If rock and roll is designed to be loud, fast, and danceable, how can it be reconciled with literature, which is too often perceived as quiet, slow, and sedentary? What happens when the two forms come together? In this class, we will attempt to find out: to discover something about rock and roll, about literature, and about the confluence of the two. We will have a substantial workload each week, and we will read and discuss everything from music criticism to novels to personal narratives. Although we will touch on the history of rock and roll, our texts will often explore the "alternative" movements of rock from the 1970s through today. Possible texts include Mystery Train by Greil Marcus, Great Jones Street by Don DeLillo, Stone Arabia by Dana Spiotta, and Our Band Could Be Your Life by Michael Azerrad. During the semester, students will read a great deal, complete a variety of creative exercises, take a quiz every day, participate in discussion every day, write a creative/critical term paper, and perhaps even form their own punk bands. That last item is neither a typo nor a joke. However — in the spirit of punk — no musical training or skill is required for this class. K-State 8 Tag: Aesthetic Interpretation.