E 338 • American Literature from 1865 to the Present
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
Literary historians have traditionally divided the one-hundred-fifty years covered by this course into five rubrics: Realism and Naturalism in the latter half of the 19th century; Psychologism and Modernism in the first half of the 20th century; and Post-Modernism in the present. While I have chosen readings that will sustain useful historical generalizations about these periods, I have organized the course around four interpretive preoccupations.
1. The Social Construction of the Self (Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Henry James, Edith Wharton, W.E.B. DuBois)
2. The Character of Faith (Wallace Stevens, Robert Frost, Philip Roth, Marilynne Robinson)
3. Objectifying the World (Mark Twain, Raymond Carver, Alice Walker, Sherman Alexie, Albert Goldbarth)
4. The Burden of History (Michael Harper, William Faulkner, Don DeLillo)
Your grade will be based on two take-home essay examinations, each roughly 5-7 pages in length.