Teaching GuideTerm
Faculty of Philology
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Grao en Inglés: Estudos Lingüísticos e Literarios
  North American Literature 2

Subjects that it is recommended to have taken before
North American Literature 1/613G03024
English Literature and Literary Criticism/613G03032
Literature and Visual Arts/613G03044

Subjects that are recommended to be taken simultaneously
Writing and Argumentation Skills/613G03027
English Literature and Literary Criticism/613G03032

Subjects that continue the syllabus
Postcolonial Literature/613G03026
English Literature and Gender/613G03043
North American Literature through its Texts/613G03047

Other comments

This 6 credit course is conceived as a continuation of Literatura Norteamericana I. It continues, therefore, the review of the literature of the United States from its colonial beginnings to the present century. In this case, the historical review focuses on the post-Civil war period and the modernist writers, with a sprinkling of post-WWII texts. This is the period that sees the establishment of a canonical tradition of American literature. Time limitations restrict the number and the length of the works to be treated (hence, in part, the concentration on short texts and poetry) and economic as well as literary considerations (number, quality, and representativeness of the selections) determine the choice of the Norton anthology as the source of most of the texts analyzed in class. If you rely on photocopies, a course pack will be provided before the beginning of the course and ideally before your summer vacation The texts will be read, roughly, in their chronological order, with attention being paid to their historical contexts and their reflection of and on the literary and cultural interests of their period. We will spend most of the course dealing with the production of a modern and "modernist" American literature, focusing especially on the connection between the notion of modernity and American literature. The creation of a self-consciously "American" and modern literature begins in the post-Civil War period and so we begin with the diverse modes of "realist" writing of the turn of the century and their attempts to represent the often chaotic plurality of modern American reality. Class-work will concentrate almost exclusively on close analysis of the texts themselves. This course is not only a review of some of the most important works and writers of the period from the late nineteenth century down to the post-1945 period; it is also predominantly an exploration of how these texts work, what writing strategies they initiate, what interpretative responses they elicit and what cultural work they carry out in their portrayal of an American reality. As we shall see, this is especially pertinent to American literature given its constant concern with how "America" itself should be read and written. Given this approach, students must read the texts their analysis in class so that adequate comprehension may be more or less taken for granted and fruitful discussion may be possible. This is merely stating the obvious but it is especially necessary for a course in which your rhythm of reading will have to be regular and sustained for you to get the most out of it. Your are also expected to read the Norton anthology's short period and author introductions as helpful background to your reading of the primary texts.

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