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English 298: The Rock-and-Roll Novel—

Pauls Toutonghi, assistant professor of English, was interviewed by the Los Angeles Times about his course on the rock-and-roll novel, which explores the interplay between literature, music, and pop culture.

The class, which includes works such as Salman Rushdie’s The Ground Beneath Her Feet and Jessica Hagedorn’s The Gangster of Love, was offered for the first time last spring.

“I think that there is a strong yearning among students for classes that connect, in some way, with their daily lives,” Toutonghi told the Times. “Here we were looking at books that were, many of them, published within their lifetime. Compared to some of the other texts we study, these felt quite immediate to them, and so they felt perhaps a little more in control of their educational experience.”

History 348: Modern Cuba—

Elliott Young, associate professor of history, teaches one of “America’s 10 Hottest Classes,” according to the Daily Beast, a news and opinion website.

Young says students in his Modern Cuba class are interested in the island nation, in part, because it has been offlimits to U.S. tourist travel for nearly 40 years. ”I think Cuba’s popularity suggests that this generation of college students doesn’t like their government to shield them from experiences and prevent them from gaining firsthand knowledge of alternative political and cultural ways of being.”

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