Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College


English 101 Section A05. Writing about the American Culture of Conspiracy

Contemporary culture in this political season—a landscape characterized by doubt, ambiguity, fragmentation, information overload, and mistrust in terms of race, sex, gender etc.—has fostered a radical skepticism so pervasive that the tendency to envision or construct conspiracies often seems to provide the best explanation for the chaos that surrounds us. We will identify and explore conspiracies on line and at the heart of several novels and films. These will include Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49, Don DeLillo’s Libra, Robert Stone’s Damascus Gate, Joan Didion’s A Book of Common Prayer, Tim O’Brien’s In the Lake of the Woods and include such films as The Matrix, Spotlight and The Big Short. The course will include five five-page papers, peer editing, book panels and discussion.