L384 2108 KILGORE
Studies in American Culture

2:30p-3:45p TR (30) 3 cr.

TOPIC: CITIES AND SUBURBS: MAKING AN AMERICAN MODERNITY

During the first half of the twentieth century the United States made the transition from an agrarian to an urban and suburban nation. New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and other great cities became ethnic and racial melting pots while, suburbs became bastions of homogeneity. From these divisions came the eruptions of violence and art that have shaped much of twentieth-century American literature. This course will engage the ability of literature to represent and shape the new identities that were crafted in the cities and suburbs of the nations. During the semester we will examine novels and films which dramatize this crucial transitional moment in American modernity and identity. Authors such as Theodore Dreiser, Sinclair Lewis, Richard Wright, and Lorraine Hansberry will be read in company with films such as Man in the Grey Flannel Suit (1956). Course assignments will include two short papers (3-5 typewritten pages, double-spaced), two exams, one team project, active and informed classroom participation and attendance.