E f338 • American Literature: From 1865 to the Present
10:00 AM-11:30 AM
Rather than using brief selections from an anthology in an attempt to "survey" the vast amount of American literature written from 1865 to the present, we will instead focus concentrated attention on works by several diverse writers ranging from the post-Civil War period to our own day. Changes are possible, but at this point the writers I have in mind are Charles Chesnutt, Stephen Crane, Edith Wharton, Ernest Hemingway, Zora Neale Hurston, Amy Tan, and Sandra Cisneros. There will also be a packet of poetry from the early twentieth century. Our approach will have two intertwined emphases. One, we will strive to relate the literary works to their historical periods, especially to social tensions involving, for instance, gender roles and race relations. Two, we will devote detailed attention to the works' language, formal structures, rhetorical strategies, patterns of imagery and other literary qualities.
Requirements include regular attendance and punctuality, informal "focused response" papers, and a midterm and final exam. Surprise quizzes will be given as deemed necessary by the instructor.