Module Identifier ENM3020  
Academic Year 2001/2002  
Co-ordinator To Be Arranged  
Semester Available semesters 1 and 2  
Course delivery Seminar   2 hours per week  
Assessment Essay   1 x 5,000 word essay    


This sequence of classes aims to examine the cultural, social, and political condition of the United States in the aftermath of the Second World War. In particular, it explores the deep misgivings of writers who confronted a triumphalist peace-time with vivid memories of the crisis-torn Depression era, and it also considers the emergence of the so-called Youth Culture in the long shadow of the Cold War. The African-American prose and drama texts allow an appraisal of some of the challenges to the monolithic version of Americanness in the dominant discourses of the time. These texts also embody, either prospectively or retrospectively, the complex conditions which gave rise to the Civil Rights movement.

1. Post-War American Drama 1

   Tennessee Williams, "The Glass Menagerie" (1945)
   Arthur Miller, "Death of a Salesman" (1949)
   Further Reading: Arthur Miller, "All My Sons" (1947)

2. Post-War American Drama 2

   Tennessee Williams, "A Streetcar Named Desire" (1947)
   Edward Albee, "Who's Afraid of Virgina Woolf?" (1962)

3. Growing up in America

   J D Salinger, "The Catcher in the Rye" (1951)
   Sylvia Plath, "The Bell Jar" (1963)
   James Baldwin, "Go Tell It On The Mountain" (1953)

4. Black Fiction and Political Strategies

   Ralph Ellison, "Invisible Man" (1952)
   James Baldwin, "The Fire Next Time" (1963)
   "Eyes On The Prize", selected episodes TV Documentary
   See Also: "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" (1965)

5. Black Drama
   LeRoi Jones, "Dutchman" (1964)
   August Wilson, "Fences" (1986)