The Beat Generation


Course Description

Jack Kerouac’s seminal novel On the Road precipitated what was called the “rucksack revolution,” defining the values and culture of the 1960s and the youth movement of that time. By focusing on the writing of Kerouac, Ginsberg, Burroughs, Corso, Snyder, Ferlinghetti, Di Prima, and others, we will ask the following questions: What were the values and aesthetics of this literary movement? What is their connection to jazz and bebop? How did the political poetry of Allen Ginsberg come out of this movement, and how did it shape the politics of protest of the 1960s and 70s? What are the many meanings of the term “beat”? How did the beats influence popular culture? Does the “message” of beat literature still speak to our time?

Books to Purchase (will be available at Argo Bookshop during the weeks prior to the course beginning):

    • The Portable Beat Reader by Ann Charters (9780142437537)
    • Minor Characters by Joyce Johnson (9780140283570)
    • On the Road by Jack Kerouac (9780142437254)

This course is full. To join the waitlist, please email

Course Details

Location: Zoom

First Session: Thursday 22 September 2022

Course Length: 12 weeks

Discussion Team: Zsolt Alapi, Anne Fitzpatrick, Michael Tritt

Degree Credit: 3.0 credits

Course Fees: 

$150.00 (standard tuition)

$100.00 (promotion for new students)

Administrative Fee:



$185.00 (standard tuition)

$135.00 (promotion for new students)


Course fees are refundable in full before the second session. After the second session, a fee of $50 for the withdrawal will be applied. Refunds will not be issued after the third session. Please note that non-attendance does not constitute a withdrawal.

Degree students, course leaders, and students wishing to use credit vouchers should not register online. 

Students pursuing studies for credit are encouraged to consult with their advisers as they register for courses.

Course leaders, and students wishing to use credit vouchers, should call (514) 935-9585 to pay by phone or to schedule an appointment to pay in person.

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