Charles Explorer logo

American Literature 2 - I

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 read closely selected texts (by Harte, Twain, Howells, James, Gilman, Chopin, Crane, Pound, Cummings, Stevens, Frost, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Faulkner) and to analyze them from different points of view. The broader issues discussed include local color, regionalism, naturalism, realism and the "genteel tradition", the birth of a "new woman", lost generation, modernism in prose and poetry.


The Norton Anthology of American Literature, vol. 2


Next to regular attendance and active participation in the class, a substantial oral presentation (two for single-subject students) using relevant secondary sources. One longer essay (up to 7 pp.) - there will be a choice of three essay themes specified later; date of submission: Dec. 10; pass limit -C. An in-class essay formatted and written in the same way as the essay in the written part of the B.A.exam - there will be a choice of three essay themes; pass limit -C; the last class before Christmas. A graded test (1-100 points) checking the progress of your reading - the very last class; pass limit 50 points.