L354 2096 WELLS
American Literature since 1914

10:10a-11:00a MWF (30) 3 cr.

This course will likely focus on five or six major works from the post-World War I period in American literature. While we will pay attention to developments in literary form, our primary emphasis will be on reading literature in its social and historical contexts. With each of our major works, then, we are likely to read several shorter contemporaneous texts, literary as well as non-literary, and to consider developments in popular music and other forms of mass media. Shorter literary selections will be drawn from an anthology. Popular songs, movies, and television shows will be drawn from our collective knowledge of these subjects, and students will have ample opportunity to shape the syllabus and determine the supplementary texts we study.

The major works will likely be chosen from the following list: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby; Nella Larsen, Passing; William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!; Jean Toomer, Cane; Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man; Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio; Jack Kerouac, On the Road; Allen Ginsberg, Howl and Other Poems; William Burroughs, Naked Lunch; Sylvia Plath, Ariel; Tillie Olsen, Yonnondio; Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49; Jerzy Kosinski, Being There; Joan Didion, Play It As It Lays; Don DeLillo, White Noise; Jessica Hagedorn, Dogeaters; and Colson Whitehead, The Intuitionist.

Graded work will likely include several short response papers, one or two longer papers, a and a group teaching project. Attendance and class participation will also be emphasized.