E 377K • American Novel After 1920
9:30 AM-11:00 AM
This course will explore American fiction from an historical and critical point of view, concentrating on how the writing reflects/critiques our culture and what fictional resources (voice, imagery, etc.) it uses to do so. The novels come from a variety of perspectives that reflect questions of identity, how it is derived or constructed and how it is performed. We will explore modernist, existentialist, postmodernist, racial and gender inflections of identity and possibly of style.
The grades will be based on the following:
(1) 2 page papers on every book in the course due on the date we start discussing it.
(2) TWO 5 page papers.
(3) A TERM PAPER of 10+ pages requiring research counting 50% of the grade. The term paper will be preceded by (A) a 2-3 page description of the paper project: topic, thesis, what research you plan and (B) a first draft of the paper. I expect regular attendance and class participation. 2 straight unexplained and absences may lead to you being dismissed from the course at whatever your current grade, undone assignments counting zero.
Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
Hemingway, In Our Time and Dos Passos, Manhattan Transfer
Wright, Native Son (1940)
Brooks, Maud Martha (1953)
Viramontes, They Brought Their Dogs
DeLillo, White Noise (1985)
McCarthy, Blood Meridian (1985)
Roth, The Human Stain (2000)