Spring 2011 - Graduate Course Descriptions

Goldberg, Shari
Discipline and Number
HUSL 6309 Section 001
T Time 1:00 PM - 3:45 PM
Course Title
American Realism

Description of Course:

What does it mean to make an "-ism"—a school of writing—out of a concept that appears fundamental: the real? Presumably, fictional writing always maintains some relation to reality, but in late nineteenth-century America, this concept came to ground a mode of representation. Our task in this course will be two-fold: we will want to understand how the real became a literary imperative in this time period, and we will want to study what reality means in a variety of prose texts. Finally, we will broaden our perspective to assess how competing ideas of realism continue to inform literary and political debates (especially those about human rights) today.

Authors studied will include Mark Twain, Stephen Crane, Sarah Orne Jewett, and Henry James; critical texts will attend to technological innovations of the time period, especially photography, as well as more general concerns.

Required Texts:

Order will be placed at the Campus Bookstore and at Off-Campus Books.

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

Rigorous reading of assigned texts, completion of regular brief writing assignments, and final paper (15 pages).

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