LT320-6-FY-CO:
Post-War(s) United States Fiction

The details
2019/20
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 6
Current
Thursday 03 October 2019
Friday 26 June 2020
30
03 May 2019

 

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

 

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Key module for

(none)

Module description

This course explores disparate and changing treatments of American identity and purpose from the emergence from World War Two up to recent re-evaluations of history, applying a variety of critical approaches and considering crucial social, political and cultural contexts.

The course begins and ends with novels by Cormac McCarthy that extend the study into a violent past and a post-apocalyptic future. Between these texts, broadly speaking, we follow a chronology of setting, rather than publication date, allowing a fluid, intertextual picture of the United States to emerge, kicking off with work with the Second World War as the recurrent central image, sometimes portraying combat, but with its aftermath always in mind.

The difficulties of return and re-assimilation into (or rejection from) the United States are explored from different perspectives: white middle-class, Native American, and African American. Post-war conditions of different kinds are then explored in work haunted not so much by the presence of great historical events but rather by absence and sense of loss.

Fictional treatments of effects of the Vietnam War increasingly become concerned with America's perpetually 'post-war' state, with striking studies of this conflict and the continuing resonance of the Civil War appearing in the 1970s and 80s. The course ends with late-twentieth and early-twentieth century studies of America's attitudes towards itself, its history, and its ongoing role in the world.

Module aims

No information available.

Module learning outcomes

No information available.

Module information

General Reading:

Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian
Norman Mailer, The Naked and the Dead
Norman Mailer, The Naked and the Dead
Joseph Heller, Catch-22
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony
Walter Mosley, Devil in a Blue Dress
Jack Kerouac, On the Road
Joan Didion, Play It As It Lays
Jayne Anne Phillips, Machine Dreams
Bobbie Ann Mason, In Country
Toni Morrison, Paradise
Toni Morrison, Paradise
Don DeLillo, White Noise
Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho
Philip Roth, American Pastoral
Philip Roth, American Pastoral
John Updike, Terrorist
Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learning and teaching methods

Weekly 2-hour seminar

Bibliography

  • Silko, Leslie Marmon. (1986, c1977) Ceremony, New York, N.Y.: Penguin Books.
  • Ellis, Bret Easton. (2011) American psycho, London: Picador.
  • Morrison, Toni. (1999) Paradise, New York: Plume.
  • Vonnegut, Kurt. (1991) Slaughterhouse-five, or, The children's crusade: a duty-dance with death, London: Vintage.
  • Phillips, Jayne Anne. (1985) Machine dreams, London: Faber.
  • Mukherjee, Bharati. (1999) Jasmine, Chicago: Avalon Travel Publishing.
  • Didion, Joan. (1973, reprinted 1985) Play it as it lays, Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books. vol. A Penguin book
  • Kobek, Jarett. (©2011) Atta: & the Whitman of Tikrit, Cambridge, Mass: Distributed by MIT Press. vol. 9
  • Mailer, Norman. (2006) The naked and the dead, London: Harper Perennial. vol. Harper Perennial modern classics
  • Mason, Bobbie Ann. (1987, c1985) In country, London: Flamingo.
  • McCarthy, Cormac; Meyer, Philipp. (2015) Blood Meridian, London: Pan Macmillan.
  • Gurganus, Allan. (1999) Plays Well with Others, London: Faber & Faber.
  • Mosley, Walter. (2010) Devil in a blue dress, London: Serpent's Tail. vol. Easy Rawlins
  • Roth, Philip. (1998, c1997) American pastoral, London: Vintage.
  • McCarthy, Cormac. (2009) The road, London: Picador.

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 Essay 1 (3,000-3,500 words) 18/12/2019 45%
Coursework Essay 2 (3,000-3,500 words) 20/03/2020 45%
Practical Class Participation 10%
Exam 180 minutes during Summer (Main Period) (Main)

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
50% 50%

Reassessment

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

 

Availability
Yes
No
No

External examiner

Prof Duncan James Salkeld
Professor of Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature
Resources
Available via Moodle
Of 44 hours, 44 (100%) hours available to students:
0 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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