I just grabbed a contemporary lit course for fall. I'm excited about it because it has the following required book list:
Flying Home and Other Stories: Ralph Ellison
As I Lay Dying: William Faulkner
Portrait of a Lady: Henry James
Jesus' Son: Denis Johnson
Slaughterhouse-Five: Kurt Vonnegut
House of Mirth: Edith Wharton
...Not so much about the first and the last books, but since I've read one (Slaughterhouse) and have started another (Portrait) and another (Jesus' Son) looks pretty cool and I've wanted to read Faulkner with guided instruction, I think it'll be pretty cool.
Here's to hoping that the professor is not a wackjob.