Research papers may focus on one topic, or might be structured as a compare-and-contrast essay. Topics might include: The influence of Walt Whitman on Henry Miller; the feminist critique of Miller’s writing, and its defense; Miller and Ignatius J. Reilly (A Confederacy of Dunces) as literary antiheros; Whitman, Henry David Thoreau, Into the Wild and the literary celebration of escapes into nature; Allen Ginsberg and James Baldwin as postwar protest writers; James Baldwin, Richard Wright, and African-American literary identity; Baldwin and Miller as literary exiles; a comparison of The Fire Next Time and Ta-Nehesi Coates’s recent bestseller, Between the World and Me, which was directly influenced by it. Into the Wild and the genre of literary journalism; A Confederacy of Dunces as social satire; Tropic of Cancer, Howl, and literary censorship in the United States. These are just a few of the many research topic possibilities offered by our required texts. Class time will be devoted to discussion and development of these and other ideas – including your own.

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