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Hellen Lee
English Department


ENGL 250H Major American Realists

The period between the end of Reconstruction and the outbreak of World War I was a time of unprecedented and transformative changes in US-American life and literature. In response to these new social and economic conditions came "the rise of realism," which radically changed US-American ideas about the nature of fiction, the reality it represented, and its effects on readers. In this course, we will examine how a few authors became regularly studied or understudied in U.S. literature courses by reviewing multiple theories of realism and their historical development. This course is designed to be a workshop on research and scholarship.  Emphasis will be on current status of literary theories of realism as influenced by cultural studies, critical race, new historicist, cultural materialist, and feminist literary theories. Students will read varying approaches to studying U.S. realism and will individually research primary and secondary texts for their final papers.