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Approaches to Teaching DeLillo's White Noise
  • Tim Engles, Eastern Illinois University

Don DeLillo's satiric novel White Noise, prophetic in 1985 about American society's rampant consumerism, information overload, overreliance on the media, and environmental problems, may seem to today's students simply a description of their lived reality. The challenge for teachers, then, is to help them appreciate both the postmodern qualities of the novel and its social critique.

This volume, like others in the MLA's Approaches to Teaching World Literature series, is divided into two parts. The first part, "Materials," suggests readings and resources for both instructor and students of White Noise. The second part, "Approaches," contains eighteen essays that establish cultural, technological, and theoretical contexts (e.g., whiteness studies); place the novel in different survey courses (e.g., one that explores the theme of American materialism); compare it with other novels by DeLillo (e.g., Mao II); and give examples of classroom techniques and strategies in teaching it (e.g., the use of disaster films).

  • Don DeLillo,
  • White Noise,
  • postmodernism,
  • postmodern literature,
  • teaching literature
Publication Date
Tim Engles & John N. Duvall
Modern Language Association
Citation Information
Engles, Tim and John N. Duvall, eds. Approaches to Teaching DeLillo's White Noise. New York: Modern Language Association, 2006.