The American Literature Course 4101-6ZLAO
The course is a chronological overview of the most significant literary epochs and trends, starting in the fifth semester with Colonial literature, through Romanticism and Transcendentalism, to Realism and Naturalism, while the second semester is devoted to the latest trends and issues such as Modernism, Postmodernism, current developments in American Literature, ethnic and regional literature and a brief overview of American drama.
In an effort to raise the students' cultural and literary awareness, the course explores major American themes and myths, guides the participants through a survey of genres and techniques, and offers a perspective on such key issues as gender, ethnicity, multiculturalism and regionalism. The students are also presented with selected critical commentaries and samples of literary theory. It also aims at acquainting the participants with various ways of using American literature for ELT purposes.
List of discussed authors:
1. Introduction to colonial literature
Literary culture in the colonies, Puritan literature in New England, 17th century American poetry - William Bradford, Anne Bradstreet, Edward Taylor.
2. Colonial literature in the 18th century
The Great Awakening and the American Enlightenment - Jonathan Edwards, Benjamin Franklin, St. John de Crevecoeur
3. Romanticism in America
Early American novel, American Renaissance, New England transcendentalism, Romantic fiction and poetry, The avant-garde of modern poetry - Washington Irving, Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman
4. Development of fiction
Narrative techniques, Realism and Naturalism, Regionalism and local color fiction.
Women's voices.(Henry James, Samuel Clemens, Stephen Crane, Kate Chopin, Charlotte Perkins Gilman)
5. Innovatory techniques in fiction.
Thematic and formal aspects of experimental prose, the Lost Generation, Literature of the Jazz Age and the Great Depression - William Faulkner, Francis Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein.
6. Modernism in poetry.
Experimental trends in poetry, Imagism and vorticism, modernist theory of poetry - Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, William Carlos Williams; Wallace Stevens
7. American Drama in the 20th century
Eugene O'Neill, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams
8. Post-war developments in poetry.
Confessional poetry, the Beat Generation, New York school of poetry. Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, Allen Ginsberg, Frank O'Hara, John Ashbery
9. Traditional perspectives.
Realistic fiction in the twentieth century, Regional and ethnic traditions - John Updike, John Cheever, James Thurber, Philip Roth, Woody Allen, James Baldwin, Flannery O'Connor, Alice Walker, Leslie Marmon Silko, Amy Tan
10. Postmodernist fiction.
Postmodernist theory of writing, Innovatory techniques and new aesthetics - John Barth, John Gardner, Vladimir Nabokov.
Type of course
Baym, N., et al. (eds.), The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Vols. I and II. Norton, New York, 1994.
Beaty, J. & Hunter, J.P., New Worlds of Literature, Norton & Company, W. W., New York, 1994.
Bradbury, M. & Ruland, R., From Puritanism to Postmodernism: A History of American Literature, Viking, New York, 1991.
Elliott, E., American Colonial Writers 1606-1734, Gale Research Co., Detroit, Mich., 1984.
Elliott, E., American Colonial Writers 1735-1781, Gale Research Co., Detroit, Mich., 1984.
Greenberg, M.H. (ed.), Great Stories of the American West II, Berkeley Books, New York, 1997.
Hart, J.D. (ed.), The Oxford Companion to American Literature, OUP, Oxford, 1995.
High, P.B., An Outline of American Literature, Longman, London, 1989.
Jones, S.W. (ed.), Growing up in the South: An Anthology of Modern Southern Literature, Mentor, New York, 1991.
Kenner, H., The Pound Era, University of California Press, Berkeley & Los Angeles, 1974.
Kostalanetz, R. (ed.), American Writing Today, 2 vols., Forum Series, United States International Communication Agency, Washington DC, 1982.
Lauter, P. (ed.), The Heath Anthology of American Literature, 2 vols., 3rd ed., Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston & New York, 1998.
Lewicki, Z. (ed), A Handbook of American Literature for Students of English, US Embassy Cultural Section, Warsaw, 1990.
Litz, A. W. (ed.), Major American Short Stories, OUP, New York & Oxford, 1994.
Mazur, Z. (ed.), The College Anthology of American Literature. Universitas, Kraków, 1998.
McQuade, D. (ed.), The Harper Single Volume of American Literature, 3rd ed., Longman, New York, 1999.
Merriam Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature. 1995 ed.
Perkins, D., A History of Modern Poetry, 2 vols., the Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., & London, 1976.
Rubin, L.D., The Faraway Country: Writers of the Modern South, University of Washington Press, Seattle, 1963.
Richler M, (ed.), The Best of Modern Humor, Knopf, A.A., New York, 1983.
Salska, A. (ed.), Historia literatury amerykańskiej XX wieku. Vols. 1 and 2. Universitas, Kraków, 2003.
Velie, A. (ed.), American Indian Literature: An Anthology, Norman, University of Oklahoma Press, 1979.
Wagner-Martin, L. & Davidson, C.M. (eds.), The Oxford Book of Women's Writing in the United States, OUP, Oxford & New York, 1995.
Wiget, A. (ed.), Critical Essays on Native American Literature, Hall, G.K. Boston, Mass., 1985.
Williford, L. & Martone, M. (eds.), The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction: Fifty North American Stories Since 1970, Scribner Paperback Fiction, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1999.
Wilmeth, D.B. (ed.), The Cambridge History of American Theatre, CUP, New York, 1998.
Information on level of this course, year of study and semester when the course unit is delivered, types and amount of class hours - can be found in course structure diagrams of apropriate study programmes. This course is related to the following study programmes:
- Teaching Foreign Languages, English, French (2nd subject), part-time, first-cycle studies
- Teaching foreign languages: English, 2nd subj. teaching 'history and social studies'
- Teaching Foreign Languages, English, German (2nd subject), part-time, first-cycle studies
Additional information (registration calendar, class conductors, localization and schedules of classes), might be available in the USOSweb system: