English 297: Survey of American Literature from 1865

Course Description
During the course of the semester, we will develop our understanding of the ways in which authors have addressed issues of personal identity in the modern era.  After the Civil War, nearly every writer has engaged with the question of American identity somehow, so we will also learn about the historical and cultural contexts in which identity issues have existed.  Our readings will be separated into three chronological divisions (1865-1914, 1914-1945, 1945-present), because these time periods are bordered by three wars that greatly contributed to American cultural transformation.  We will consider shifts in literary taste and explore the choices that writers have made by exploring larger literary movements such as Realism, Naturalism, Regionalism, Modernism, and Postmodernism.

Required Texts
Norton Anthology of American Literature(6th ed.)
James Weldon Johnson, The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man
Sandra Cisneros, House on
Mango Street
Additional online readings


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