English 130D

American Literature 1900-1945: Literature in the Age of Extremes

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2017 Lee, Steven S.
MW 1-2 + discussion sections F 1-2 20 Barrows

Book List

Hemingway, E.: The Sun Also Rises; Hurston, Z. N.: Their Eyes Were Watching God; Lewis, S.: It Can't Happen Here; Roth , H.: Call it Sleep; West, N.: The Day of the Locust; Wright, R.: Native Son


The aim of this course will be to capture the aesthetic and political extremes of the first half of the twentieth century.  We will examine conflicting efforts to bridge the boundary between art and life against the backdrop of two world wars and economic depression, as well as ongoing struggles for race, gender, and class-based equality.  The course is structured around three interrelated oppositions—modernism versus realism, protest literature versus folk literature, and fascism versus communism.  These oppositions subsequently gave way to more sanguine notions of cultural freedom amid an “American Century” that was only first articulated in 1941.  As we will see, however, these oppositions provide a useful precedent for considering what seems to be a new age of extremes in the contemporary United States.

Note: Since the reading list may change, please don't purchase books until after the first class.

Discussion Sections

101 Bondy, Katherine Isabel
F 1-2 200 Wheeler
102 Callender, Brandon
F 1-2 220 Wheeler

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