New to campus this semester, the English department’s Michael Clune created national buzz when The Daily Beast, a popular news blog, called his upper-level English seminar, Forms of Life, one of the year’s hottest college courses.
The assistant professor’s Forms of Life seminar explores how writers have stopped time to infuse their subjects with immortality. He also teaches an American literature survey course.
In spring semester, he plans to appeal to other students on campus with a science fiction offering. Another planned course is Literature of the City, which will examine how the city has evolved artificially, through planning by man, or biologically, like living organisms that grow and evolve.
Clune’s ideas for course offerings derive from his personal interests but also are inspired by the variety of disciplines that come into play in a great work of words from anthropology, economics, history and science. “It can take you to many cool places,” he said.
Clune is a 20th century American literature specialist and the author of American Literature and the Free Market, 1945-2000, published by the Cambridge University Press Series in American Literature and Culture. The book explores how literature, music and art after WWII create a new image of the market that exerts a troubling fascination on American society and culture.