E 377K • The American Novel after 1920
12:00 PM-1:00 PM
The reading list includes novels that focus on ethnic and/or cultural identity, primarily for African Americans, Anglos, Chicana/os, and Native Americans. During the semester, we will study the ways that these authors explore issues such as literary representation, literary self-representation, cultural conflict, cultural sovereignty, and community identity. The diverse regional, religious, and cultural contexts that inform the novels provide a broad variety of perspectives on what W. E. B. Du Bois 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.
Two 2-3 page critical essays 20% each
Two exams 20% each
Ten reading quizzes 20%
Attendance: You should attend every class. Every unexcused absence over three (3) will lower your final grade average three percentage points; any more than six (6) total absences constitutes automatic failure of the class. Also, please do not be late to class. I will also record an absence if you are late.
Nella Larsen, Passing (1929)
William Faulkner, Light in August (1932)
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye (1970)
Ron Arias, The Road to Tamazunchale (1976)
Louise Erdrich, Tracks (1988)
Amy Tan, The Joy Luck Club (1989)
Sherman Alexie, Reservation Blues (1995)
Helena Maria Viramontes, Under the Feet of Jesus (1996)