Selected texts from end of Civil War to the present. Explores periodization, genre, key terms and concepts through close reading and critical analysis. Fulfills major requirements; open to non-majors.
Dates: May 20 - June 14, 2019
What makes literature "American"? Is it American simply because of where it was produced and by whom? Or, does American literature raise questions about how we define American culture and values? In this course, we will consider different ways literary historians tell the story of the evolution of American literature and culture. Whose voices are heard? Which books matter and why? Our survey starts with Mark Twain’s novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884) and delves into the lasting debates about its place in literary history. We will consider too, how Mark Twain’s artistic choices influenced the next generation of American writers: Why does Ernest Hemingway claim that "all modern American literature" comes from Twain's novel? We will read short stories by Charles Chesnutt, Edith Wharton, Anzia Yezierska, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, and Zora Neale Hurston, to see how each expressed themes and debates that were central to the period of American modernism but also ask why these stories and writers still matter today. We will end with American poets' attempts to follow Ezra Pound's command to "make it new" in the period between World War I and World War II.
In this 4-week online course, expect daily reading and writing assignments, weekly quizzes, and a final wiki-based presentation.
Participation (30%), Essay (20%), Poetry Project (20%), Exam (20%), Quizzes (10%)
Online Course (View Campus Map)