American Literature From 1860

Course Description

In this class we will be exploring the history of American literature from 1860 to the present. Additionally, we will be looking at ways to quantify American literature using emerging computational tools to study these texts.

Course Schedule

Week 1 – Overview & Realism

01.14 Tue

Syllabus Overview; Wallace Stevens "Anecdote of the Jar"

Week 2 – Realism & Local Color

01.21 Tue

Sarah Orne Jewett, The Country of the Pointed Firs

01.23 Thu

Brett Harte, "The Outcasts of Poker Flat" Sign Up For Blogging Days (In Class)

Week 3 – Naturalism

01.28 Tue

Jack London, White Fang

01.30 Thu

Jack London, White Fang

Week 4 – Poetic Experiments

Week 5 – Psychological Realism

02.11 Tue

Henry James, The Turn of the Screw

02.13 Thu

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, "The Yellow Wallpaper"; Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman "A New England Nun"

Week 6 – The City, The War, The Crash

02.18 Tue

Carl Sandburg "Chicago", "I am the People, the Mob", "Skyscraper" Assignment #1 Due by 3AM Tomorrow

02.20 Thu

Ernest Hemingway, "In Another Country"; F. Scott Fitzgerald, "Babylon Revisted"

Week 7 – The Modern Stage

02.25 Tue

Eugene O'Neill, The Iceman Cometh

02.27 Thu

Eugene O'Neill, The Iceman Cometh

Week 8 – Harlem Renaissance

03.06 Thu

Zora Neale Hurston, "Spunk"; Jean Toomer, "Becky"

Week 9

03.11 Tue

Spring Break, No Class

03.13 Thu

Spring Break, No Class

Week 10 – High Modernism

03.20 Thu

Marianne Moore "The Pangolin"; Mina Loy "Parturition"

Week 11 – Other Modernisms

03.25 Tue

Raymond Chandler, "Goldfish"; Dashiell Hammett, "Arson Plus"

03.27 Thu

H.P. Lovecraft, "The Call of Cthulu"

Week 12 – Atomic Modernisms

04.01 Tue

Allen Ginsberg, "Howl"

04.03 Thu

Flannery O'Connor, "A Good Man Is Hard To Find" Assignment #2 Due by 3AM Tomorrow

Week 13 – The Beat Generation & The Cold War

04.10 Thu

Philip K. Dick, "The War With the Fnools"; Judith Merril, "That Only a Mother"

Week 14 – Dreams Deferred

04.15 Tue

Chester Himes, Cotton Comes to Harlem

04.17 Thu

Chester Himes, Cotton Comes to Harlem

Week 15 – American Postmodernism

04.22 Tue

Donald Barthelme, "The Balloon"; Louise Erdrich "Dear John Wayne"

04.24 Thu

Week 16 – "The" "Contemporary"

05.01 Thu

Jonathan Safran Foer "About the Typefaces Not Used In This Edition"; Jennifer Egan "Great Rock and Roll Pauses" (Yes, it's a Powerpoint presentation; watch and listen) Assignment #3 Due by 3AM Tomorrow