ENGLISH 221-222. (3-3) AMERICAN LITERATURE. A general study of American literature from colonial times through the Civil War (221) and from the Civil War to the present (222). We focus especially on major figures: Hawthorne, Melville, Emerson, Thoreau, Douglass, and Whitman; Dickinson, Twain, Frost, Stevens, Hughes, Faulkner, Baldwin, and others. Prerequisite: none. Offered: 221 in the fall semester; 222 in the spring semester. ENGLISH 224. (3) INTRODUCTION TO AFRICAN-AMERICAN LITERATURE. The works of major AfricanAmerican authors are treated historically and critically, with the aim of understanding what “the American experience” has meant to AfricanAmericans. Poetry (from Dunbar to Rita Dove) and fiction (from Toomer to Morrison) are the main concerns, but some attention is also given to non-fiction prose (from Douglass to Malcolm X). Prerequisite: none. Offered: fall semester of oddnumbered years. ENGLISH 226. (3) LITERATURE AND GENDER. A study of gender as a significant force in shaping literature, affecting form, content, and style in works by both men and women worldwide. Themes include gender roles, past and present; family relationships; the women’s movement as a cultural phenomenon; and male and female literary “voices.” Works by various authors are considered, ranging from Jane Austen, Virginia Woolf, and Alice Walker to Charles Dickens, D. H. Lawrence, and William Styron. Prerequisite: none. Offered: fall semester of even-numbered years.
ENGLISH 228. (3) POSTCOLONIAL LITERATURE. This course explores definitions of Postcolonialism through literature from places that are not normally canonized in Western literature courses. For example, students might read texts from India, Australia, and Africa as well as from Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Readings will come primarily (but not exclusively) from the twentieth century and cover a variety of genres. Themes that the course investigates include the idea of nationality, the construction of history, categories of race and class, the complexities of cultural inheritance, and problems of narrative transmission. What does it mean to come from a certain place? Who gets to tell the history of a given country? What do governments and national identity have to do with storytelling and art? Prerequisite: none. Offered: spring semester of even-numbered years. ENGLISH 230. (3) MULTI-ETHNIC AMERICAN LITERATURE. Through fiction, poetry, drama, and essays, this course explores the literary imaginations of writers who are members of two different cultures and analyzes how these writers express their sense of identity and locate themselves in relation to the dominant culture. The course addresses some combination of writings by Jewish-American, Native American, Asian-American, and Chicano/a authors, in some years including them all and in some years focusing more narrowly on the literature of one or two of these groups. The course covers historical and cultural background materials to help students understand the literary themes and techniques of multi-ethnic writers. Though the bulk of the readings are written by multi-cultural authors, some readings by white American writers about people of other cultures may also be included to show how issues of ethnicity inform much of American literature. Prerequisite: none. Offered: spring semester of odd-numbered years.