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American Literature 2 - III

Class at Faculty of Arts |


LECTURE: 2. Early Republic through World War I (Procházka, Quinn, 16 weeks)

The course focuses on some important features of American literature during the period of the search for national identity (the Revolution through the beginning of Civil War), especially on American Romanticism and Transcendentalism. The following period of the search for American democracy (the Civil War through World War I) includes the growth of Realism, Naturalism and Modernism. These developments are discussed in the context of the emergence and re-emergence of literary centers in the South, Mid- and Far West, of regionalism (local color) and of the beginnings of African American literature.



To study in some detail texts in four genres by ten writers and the movements they helped to spawn from 1870-1945 within American literary and cultural history.


The Norton Anthology of American Literature, vol. 2.

F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (1925).

Roland Barthes, "The Death of the Author" from trans. by Stephen Heath in Image, Music, Text (Hill and Wang, 1977, Twentieth printing 1998) pp. 142-48.


To receive credit for the seminar students will be required to have no more than three absences, to pass a test (60%+) based on the reading list, to write an in-class essay, and to submit a final essay of 2000 words (e.g., 6-7 pp.) that will be graded (a mark of 3 or higher will be needed to pass). Topics for the final essay will be distributed.