E 338 • American Lit from 1865-present-W
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
This course will explore how diverse versions of American identity are constructed, experienced, and contested within representative texts drawn from the past 150 years of U.S. literary history. We will consider literary performances of gender and sexual identities (frequently a site of great cultural and personal anxiety); of class and regional identities (what is a class or regional identity?); and of racial and ethnic identities (including whiteness, which is often implicitly privileged as simply "normal"). Our methodology will combine social and historical contextualization with close and careful reading. Finally, this course has a substantial writing component, which means both that you will do a lot of writing and that we will spend a fair amount of class time talking about writing.
Three short papers (2-5 pages each): 60% Reading responses/reading quizzes/engagement with class discussions: 25% Rough drafts and work as a peer editor 15% More than two unexcused absences will lower your final grade. Two times being late will count as one unexcused absence.
Required texts will probably include Henry James's The Europeans, Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Nella Larsen's Passing, Ernest Hemingway's The First Forty-Nine, F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Last Tycoon, Sandra Cisneros's Woman Hollering Creek, and a packet containing short stories, poems, and critical essays by a range of additional authors.