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Thematic Approaches—Molly Reid, CSU

As far as sequencing goes, I mainly choose to order books thematically. I start out with modernist texts, The Metamorphosis and Mrs. Dalloway, as a way to talk about modernism and literary experiments in the first part of the 20th century. After that, I try to choose books that represent different areas of exploration in postmodernism, and I try to group books together, mostly pairs, that we can compare and contrast. After the Quake and The Things They Carried  are used to start a discussion about literature born of events—in this case, a natural disaster and a war. I paired The Handmaid's Tale and Watchmen together, as they are both dystopic, speculative literature, both implying and criticizing different things about our culture and society. And we end with Watchmen, a graphic novel, in order to talk about the different directions narrative might be heading.