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AHG 510 2B: Great American Texts – Joseph Heller & Kurt Vonnegut

June 30, 2019 - July 5, 2019

$578 – $1631

Ashland University, Ashland, Ohio

Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 (1961) and Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five (1969) are two of the most interesting and important novels about the American World War II experience. Heller and Vonnegut, both veterans, take innovative approaches to fictionalize their ‘wars.’ Heller devastatingly uses satire and humor to depict the absurdities of Army bureaucracy, officers’ ambition, and the very logic of war. Vonnegut, who struggled for years to write a war novel, ultimately found inspiration in the genre of science fiction. Heller’s protagonist John Yossarian and Vonnegut’s protagonist Billy Pilgrim are unforgettable, original, and, in their own ways, enduring literary heroes. In this course, we will undertake close readings of Catch-22 and Slaughterhouse-Five to learn how Heller and Vonnegut not only defined the American World War II experience through fiction but also fundamentally changed literary expectations of the modern war novel.



David F. Krugler (University of Wisconsin-Platteville)


Course Materials:

Syllabus and course readings can be found on Blackboard 



  • Audit (25 in-service hours): $578
  • Graduate credit (2 semester hours): $1,156


Room & Board:

  • Double-occupancy air-conditioned room and all meals: $475

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June 30, 2019
July 5, 2019
$578 – $1631
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Ashland University