E 338 • American Literature from 1865 to the Present
12:00 PM-1:00 PM
The second half of the nineteenth-century saw unprecedented changes in the social and political history of the United States. At the moment the U.S. realized a "national literature," a fierce internecine struggle forced a redefinition of American nationality, citizenship, and culture. This course, which surveys the literature of the years 1865 to the present, begins with war and ends with the emergence of a recognizably "postmodern America." Along the way, we'll examine themes of race, class, gender, and sexuality; consider the relationship of violence to justice; and study the effects of industrialization, globalization, and immigration. Our readings will draw on both canonical (e.g. Whitman, James) and understudied authors (e.g. Anzaldua, Vizenor, Li-Young Lee). Above all else, the course will emphasize the diverse and contingent nature of late-nineteenth and twentieth-century American literature.
Students will be evaluated on the basis of two short papers (3-4 pages), in-class participation, and two exams.
2 Papers 20% each
Participation (i.e., attendance, in-class discussion, reading quizzes) 20%
2 Exams 20% each
Readings will be drawn from the Norton Anthology of American Literature, Sixth Edition/Package 2, Volumes, C, D, and E. (Norton, 0393977943)
Although the course's primary emphasis will be on short fiction and poetry, we will also read three short novels:
Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises (Scribner; 0684800713)
Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God (Perennial; 0060931418)
Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49 (Perennial; 0060931671)