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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Summer 2008

E f372M • American Realism

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
84335 MTWThF
11:30 AM-1:00 PM
PAR 206
Young, K

Course Description

The aim of this course is to consider American literature between 1865 and 1914 in relation to the aesthetic movements of Realism and Naturalism. Students will explore the socio-political, economic, and cultural transformations that led to the emergence and development of these movements and become familiar with their defining characteristics. Under consideration will be the questions: How "real" is Realism? What worlds are these authors trying to represent and how might race, class, gender, and culture influence these worlds? How might these works seek to perpetuate a restrictive social order and/or offer liberatory alternatives? What are the formal and stylistic elements that tie these short stories and novels together? The course will focus on major American writers like Mark Twain, Henry James, Stephen Crane, Kate Chopin, Jack London, Edith Wharton, and Sarah Orne Jewett, as well as include some lesser-known authors from the same time period.

Grading Policy

15% class attendance and participation
15% reading quizzes
20% presentation
50% two exams (25% each)


The Portable American Realism Reader, edited by James Nagel and Tom Quirk
Stephen Crane, Maggie, a Girl of the Streets and Selected Stories
Sarah Orne Jewett, The Country of the Pointed Firs
Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth
Required Course Packet


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