Fall 2013 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Cohen, Milton
Discipline and Number
LIT 3327 Section 001
MW Time 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM
Course Title
Mid-Twentieth Century American Literature

Description of Course:

American literature in the decades following World War II experienced a wealth of new styles and new writers, poets, and playwrights. Among the styles and movements we'll consider are confessional poetry, the Beats, existential humor, the new journalism, metafiction, and minimalism. We'll read novels or collections by Updike, Bellow, Barth, and Morrison. The short story anthology will provide samples of many other authors. Poets to be included are too numerous to name, but all are prominent in these years. Finally, we'll read plays by Miller, Albee, Shepard, and Mamet, as well as "new journalism" by Mailer.

Required Texts:

Norton Anthology of American Literature Since 1945, 8th ed., vol. E
Bellow, Mr. Sammler's Planet
Updike, The Maples Stories [or Too Far to Go (Fawcett)]
Albee, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf
Mailer, The Armies of the Night (Plume)
Barth, Lost in the Funhouse (Anchor)
Morrison, Song of Solomon
The Granta Book of the American Short Story, Vol. 1

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

Students will write either one research paper (c. 10 pp.) or two shorter analytical papers (5 pp. each, research optional--60% of grade. Class participation, both oral and written (in reaction papers for major readings), will determine about 40% of the final grade.

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