Introduction to American Literature II
This course is a survey of American literature from 1865 to the present. In particular, we will take a post-nationalist approach to American literature. By focusing on texts that examine the complex and contradictory intersections of race, gender, class, and immigration, we will interrogate what an “American literature” means and what are its purposes. We will study literary production in relation to the costs of urbanization and industrialization, the legalization of racism, U.S. territorial expansion in terms of key historical moments such as Reconstruction, the Great Depression, and the Civil Rights movements. The objectives of this course are twofold: 1) to investigate the role that culture plays in how we know and think about the U.S., and 2) to consider our own relationship with culture and citizenship as we move into the new millennium. Students will be introduced to analytical tools necessary for examining a variety of literary genres, modes, and movements.