E 338 • American Literature: From 1865 to the Present
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
In addition to close readings of assigned texts by American authors published from the Civil War to the present, the course will explore the contested development over this period of a distinctively American literary culture. Our readings will include a variety of genres: prose fiction and essays, poetry, and drama. Attention will also be paid to the institutions (publishing houses, periodicals, and theaters) and people (literary agents, editors, and reviewers) that played a role in creating this culture and influencing our appreciation or interpretations of it.
Class attendance and participation 20%
Two 5-6-page writing exercises 25% each
Final 6-8-page paper 30%
As a substantial writing course, particular attention will be paid to students ability to write analytical essays. In assigning grades to the writing exercises and final paper, strength of argument and analysis will be emphasized, though clarity, spelling, and grammatical correctness will also be taken into account.
During the semester, the class will make several visits to the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center to examine original manuscripts and editions of the works of American authors that have been assigned. These trips are not optional.
Class attendance is required of all students: students missing three or more classes without proper advance excuse may have their grade lowered.
Unannounced quizzes will be given in class.
Reader from The Pearson Custom Library of American Literature (available at the Coop).