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

The details
2019/20
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Colchester Campus
Autumn
Undergraduate: Level 4
Current
Thursday 03 October 2019
Saturday 14 December 2019
15
27 March 2019

 

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 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),
BA QRF9 Literature and Modern Languages,
BA Q2R9 Literature with Modern Languages,
BA QW30 Literature and Creative Writing,
BA QW31 Literature and Creative Writing (Including Year Abroad),
BA QW33 Literature and Creative Writing (Including Placement Year),
BA QW38 Literature and Creative Writing (Including Foundation Year),
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

1 hour lecture + 1 hour class per week

Bibliography

  • Whitman, Walt; Reynolds, David S. (c2005) Leaves of grass, New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Miller, Arthur. (2000) The crucible, London: Penguin.
  • Twain, Mark; Bradley, Sculley. (c1977) Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: an authoritative text, backgrounds and sources, criticism, New York: Norton. vol. A Norton critical edition
  • Douglass, Frederick; Baker, Houston A. (1982) Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave, Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. vol. The Penguin American library
  • Proulx, Annie. (2000) Close range: Wyoming stories, London: Fourth Estate.
  • Hawthorne, Nathaniel; Murfin, Ross C. (c2006) The scarlet letter: complete, authoritative text with biographical, historical, and cultural contexts, critical history, and essays from contemporary critical perspectives, Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's. vol. Case studies in contemporary criticism
  • Wharton, Edith. (1996) The Age of Innocence: Penguin.
  • Cather, Willa; Sharistanian, Janet. (2008) My Ántonia, Oxford: Oxford University Press. vol. Oxford world's classics

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 12/11/2019 0%
Coursework Essay (1,500 - 2,000 words) 03/01/2020 90%
Practical Participation 10%
Exam 120 minutes during Summer (Main Period) (Main)

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
50% 50%

Reassessment

Coursework Exam
50% 50%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Jordan Savage
LiFTS General Office - email liftstt@essex.ac.uk. Telephone 01206 872626

 

Availability
Yes
Yes
No

External examiner

Prof Duncan James Salkeld
Professor of Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature
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

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