English 130D

American Literature, 1900-1945

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2009 Snyder, Katherine
Snyder, Katherine
TTh 2-3:30 Note new location: 101 LSA

Other Readings and Media

Readings for the course will include some, but not all, of the following (so please wait until after the first class meeting to purchase your books):  Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises; Nella Larsen, The Complete Fiction; Anita Loos, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes; Jean Toomer, Cane; Anzia Yezierska, Breadgivers; Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth; Richard Wright, Native Son; plus a photocopied reader including shorter writings by some, but not all, of the following:  Mary Antin, Willa Cather, Countee Cullen, John Dos Passos, Theodore Dreiser, W.E.B. DuBois, Finley Peter Dunne, Jessie Fauset, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Jacob Riis, Frank Norris, Jack London, Gertrude Stein, Sui Sin Far.


We will read a diverse selection of writing, predominantly prose fiction, published in the first four decades of the twentieth century, a period of rapid urbanization, industrialization, and (im)migration that gave rise to such new cultural figures as The New Negro, the New Woman, and the New Immigrant.  We will focus on issues of social, economic, and geographic mobility during the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression, as it affected a wide array of American authors and fictional characters, including those who immigrated to the U.S., those who moved from one region to another or between country and city, and those who took up residence abroad.  We will explore the plot trajectories and narrative stances that these authors deployed to map their own cultural identities, as well as those of their fictional creations, in the new American century.

Requirements include:  several 5-7 page essays; occasional pop quizzes, and possibly a midterm and a final exam.  Please note that regular attendance at lectures is required.

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