Course Description

"Courses focus on specific themes or topics, such as literature of the city, artists in literature, or coming of age. All topics include literature in at least three genres (selected from poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and drama). May be repeated for credit if topics differ."

Summer 2024 Topics:

Section 012: Beat Generation

In this course we will read Beat literature from the mid twentieth century, and we will watch several related contemporary films to consider how Hollywood packages and profits from these writers and their stories. The Beat Generation was a crew of bohemian writers rose from the urban underground in the 1950s to posit a new style of writing—and a new way of living. Beyond Kerouac, Ginsberg, and Burroughs, Black writers like Bob Kaufman and Amiri Baraka, and women such as Shirley Clarke and Diane di Prima borrowed from the transcendence of Eastern spirituality, the rhythms of jazz and bebop, and the mobility of a growing American middle class in their works. This course surveys a diverse range of Beat writers while regarding their works through a contemporary lens.

Section 013: Noir Fiction

Lust, violence, danger, despair. Despite several persistent elements, noir fiction has proven remarkably difficult to classify. They may simply be detectiveless crime novels. Or perhaps they are about the corrosive effects of money, the meaninglessness and absurdity of existence, the bureaucratization of American life, a fascination with the grotesque? Above all, they might be in love with a certain kind of aesthetic: black streets soaked with rain, drops running red into the gutter. Buckle your seat belts. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.


This course is available for undergraduate credit. Students must possess a high school diploma and must be an adult age 18 or older to participate.

Students should have prior experience taking at least one Undergraduate level Literature course.

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Section Title
Topics in Literature: Beat Generation
Jul 09, 2024 to Aug 21, 2024
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Undergraduate Tuition credit (4 units) $3,400.00
Potential Discount(s)
Available for Credit
4 units
Drop Request Deadline
Aug 18, 2024
Transfer to a Different Course
No transfer request allowed after enrollment. Students may drop a course and re-enroll in a new course prior to the course start date.
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