Instructor: Reutter MWF 12:20pm – 1:15pm
In this course we will read, discuss, and write about novels, poems, and plays written by American writers between 1915 and the present, emphasizing major literary figures, trends, issues, and genres of this historical period. We will pay attention to the following themes: literary movements of the period, including Modernism, intersections of Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance, and the post-modern; literary, historical and cultural contexts of American literature. We will also address questions of American identity and subjectivity in American literature the concomitant expansion of the American canon with regard to questions of history, identity, subjectivity; “gatekeeping” in relation to the canon and American literature (Oprah’s book club; the publishing industry; the MFA program); and ultimately, the expansion (fragmentation?) of the American canon as a reflection of the expansion of American democracy. Assignments will include short reading responses and quizzes, an in-class short answer/essay exam, and a final take-home short answer/essay exam.