Module Identifier EN11120  
Academic Year 2004/2005  
Co-ordinator Dr Martin Padget  
Semester Semester 2  
Other staff Ms Cristina Bellodi, Mrs Carol M Marshall, Mr John Wrighton, Dr Luke A Thurston, Dr Matthew R Jarvis, Dr Matthew C Francis  
Course delivery Lecture   5 fortnightly one hour lectures  
  Seminars / Tutorials   Weekly 1.5 hour seminars/workshops  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours Two essays on two seminar topics NOT already examined in the essays40%
Semester Assessment 2 x 2000 word essays. One essay will ask for literary analysis based on one set of the seminar texts. The other will require students to investigate a particular topic, theme or issue in relation to the literature on the module.60%
Supplementary Exam2 Hours resubmit any failed elements and/or make good missing elements  40%

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module student should be able to demonstrate:

1. an analytical approach to the literary texts set for study and a critical attitude towards published scholarship on the subject of those texts;

2. an ability to analyse the forces at work in forming a literary canon and in calling it into question;

3. an ability to conduct elementary research and to develop writing skills through conducting different sorts of assignments;

4. an ability to develop small group work within seminars and to make individual and group presentations;

5. an ability to employ rhetorical skills of effective communication in written essays and in oral discussion.

Brief description

This module introduces students to a range of twentieth century American literature, from the writings of late nineteenth-century immigrants to the multicultural voices of the late twentieth century. It focuses on the differences between the myths and realities of American experience and investigates the relationship between literature and society. Attention is paid to both genre and to the issues that have preoccupied many American writers. For students taking American Studies, it will develop the skills and knowledge required for the interdisciplinary study of American culture at Part II.



Lecture 1: The New Urban America (Tim Woods)

Lecture 2: The Impact and Aftermath of the Great Depression (Helena Grice)

Lecture 3: Suppression and Subversion (Matt Jarvis)

Lecture 4: Postmodernity in America (Matt Jarvis)

Lecture 5: American Multiculturalism (Helena Grice)


Seminar 1: Immigrant Voices

Set Text: Willa Cather, O Pioneers!; at the tutor's discretion, The Heath Anthology (pp. 823-886)

Seminar 2: The Jazz Age

Set Text: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Seminar 3: The New Negro Renaissance

Set Texts: from the Heath Anthology, Vol. 2 - Jean Toomer (pp. 1579-1598); Langston Hughes (pp. 1598-1608); Zora Neale Hurston (pp. 1656-1673); Claude McKay (pp. 1673-1679).

Seminar 4: The Great Depression

Set Text: Nathanael West, Miss Lonelyhearts

Seminar 5: Cold War Culture and its Discontents

Set Texts: from the Heath Anthology, Vol. 2 - Allen Ginsberg (pp. 2293-2307); Lawrence Ferlinghetti (pp. 2315-2323); Gary Snyder (pp. 2348-2353).

Seminar 6: Emergent Feminist Voices

Set Texts: from the Heath Anthology, Vol. 2 - Tillie Olsen (pp. 2213-2240); Adrienne Rich (pp. 2525-2534); Sylvia Plath, (pp. 2368-2378).

Seminar 7: Civil Rights in the 1960s

Set Texts: from the Heath Anthology, Vol. 2 - Lorraine Hansberry (pp. 2389-2449); Martin Luther King, Jr. (pp. 2455-2459); Amiri Baraka (pp. 2597-2603).

Seminar 8: Postmodern Fictions

Set Texts: from the Heath Anthology, Vol. 2 - John Barth (pp. 2824-2840); Thomas Pynchon (pp. 2846-2857).

Seminar 9: New Communities, New Identities

Set Texts: from the Heath Anthology, Vol. 2 - Joy Harjo (pp.3078-3088); Wendy Rose (pp. 3116-3126); Gary Soto (3071-3078); Simon Ortiz (pp. 3161-3167).

Seminar 10: Multicultural Voices

Set Text: Gish Jen, Typical American

Reading Lists

** Should Be Purchased
Paul Lauter et al., (eds.) (1998) The Heath Anthology of American Literature: Vol. 2, 1865 - The Present (4th edition) Houghton Mifflin (Academic) 061810920X
Willa Cather (1994) O Pioneers! Dover Thrift Edition 0486277852
F. Scott Fitzgerald (1994) The Great Gatsby Penguin Popular Classics 0140620184
Nathanael West (1975) Miss Lonelyhearts New Directions 0811202151
Gish Jen (1998) Typical American Granta 186207111X


This module is at CQFW Level 4