LT161-4-AU-CO:
Introduction to United States Literature

The details
2022/23
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Colchester Campus
Autumn
Undergraduate: Level 4
Current
Thursday 06 October 2022
Friday 16 December 2022
15
28 March 2022

 

Requisites for this module
(none)
(none)
(none)
(none)

 

(none)

Key module for

BA T700 American Studies (United States),
BA T702 American Studies (United States) (UK Study),
BA T708 American Studies (United States) (Including Year Abroad),
BA T710 American Studies (United States) (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA T712 American Studies (United States) (UK Study) (Including Placement Year),
BA T770 American Studies (United States) (including Placement Year),
BA T7P3 American Studies (United States) with Film,
BA T7P4 American Studies (United States) with Film (Including Placement Year),
BA T7P5 American Studies (United States) with Film (UK Study),
BA T7W6 American Studies (United States) with Film (Including Year Abroad),
BA T7W8 American Studies (United States) with Film (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA QT37 English and United States Literature (Including Year Abroad),
BA T720 English and United States Literature,
BA T723 English and United States Literature (Including Placement Year),
BA T728 English and United States Literature (Including Foundation Year),
BA Q300 English Literature,
BA Q303 English Literature (Including Placement Year),
BA Q320 English Literature (Including Foundation Year),
BA Q321 English Literature (Including Year Abroad),
MLITQ391 Literature,
BA Q210 English and Comparative Literature,
BA Q211 English and Comparative Literature (Including Year Abroad),
BA Q212 English and Comparative Literature (Including Placement Year),
BA Q218 English and Comparative Literature (Including Foundation Year),
BA P530 Journalism and Literature,
BA P531 Journalism and Literature (Including Placement Year),
BA P532 Journalism and Literature (Including Year Abroad)

Module description

Discover the writers that laid the foundations for the American Dream – revealing its tantalising beauty and ephemeral nature. As these literary pioneers articulated a collective desire for a new type of society, they reproduced and dissected the conventions and contradictions of the Dream.

Studying a series of canonical texts across multiple genres of writing, we will discover how the literature of the United States was established as a distinct tradition in itself and gain a critical understanding of the major thematic concerns of early US authors; slavery and freedom, sexuality and gender, class and social mobility, morality and materialism. Our reading list takes in the poetry of Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman, The Crucible by playwright Arthur Miller, the autobiography of former slave Frederick Douglass and a number of novels including The Great Gatsby and The Scarlet Letter.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

1. to provide students with an overview and knowledge of some key themes and concepts in United States literature

2. to provide students with a critical understanding of the legacies of slavery, colonialism, freedom, independence, class, gender, and social mobility in United States literature

3. to enable students to develop the critical tools to evaluate how United States authors attempted to write about their nation and collectively produced a national and regional literature

Module learning outcomes

After successful completion of the module, students should be able to:

1. demonstrate a critical understanding of a range of key themes and concepts in United States literature

2. critically evaluate and situate the legacies of slavery, colonialism, freedom, independence, class, gender, and social mobility in United States literature

3. apply a critical insight into how United States authors attempted to write about their nation to their own literary analysis of a selection of United States literature.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

Weekly 1-hour lecture and 1-hour seminar

Bibliography*

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Formative Assignment: Essay Plan (submitted via Moodle)    0% 
Coursework   Online Portfolio    15% 
Coursework   Moodle Test    15% 
Coursework   Essay (2,250 words)    65% 
Practical   Participation Mark    5% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%

Reassessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Kiron Ward, email: kiron.ward@essex.ac.uk.
Dr Kiron Ward
LiFTS General Office - email liftstt@essex.ac.uk. Telephone 01206 872626

 

Availability
Yes
Yes
Yes

External examiner

Dr Doug Haynes
University of Sussex
Reader in American Literature and Visual Culture
Resources
Available via Moodle
Of 44 hours, 43 (97.7%) hours available to students:
1 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).

 

Further information

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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