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

Spring 2009

E 377K • American Novel after 1920

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
34535 MWF
10:00 AM-11:00 AM
par 101

Course Description

The many enduring contacts and conflicts between culturally and ethnically diverse communities have always been of interest to American novelists. In this class, we will consider the contributions to this literary history made by authors who place these contacts and conflicts at the center of their work. In our consideration of the novels on the reading list, we will discuss issues such as literary representation and self-representation, cultural sovereignty, cultural authenticity, and community identity. The diverse regional, religious, and cultural contexts that inform these novels provide a broad variety of perspectives on what W. E. B. DuBois called in 1903 the problem of the twentieth century: the color line or, more specifically for this class, the color lines that these authors erase, negotiate, and, often, reconstruct in old and new ways.

Grading Policy

40% total for five reading responses of two pages each
40% total for two formal essays of three pages each
20% total for class participation and reading response presentation

Attendance: Excessive absences (more than 5) will adversely influence your final grade.


Anzia Yezierska, Bread Givers (1925)
William Faulkner, Light in August (1932)
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye (1970)
Sherman Alexie, Reservation Blues (1995)
Jhumpa Lahiri, The Namesake (2003)
Nina Maria Martinez Caramba!(2004)


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