Postgraduate Course: New Beginnings to the End of Days: Writing the American Republic from Reconstruction to 9/11 (ENLI11172)
|School||School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||The course offers students the opportunity to engage with key texts - canonical and non-mainstream - that have contributed to the development, interrogation or undermining of notions of U.S. self-perception, understood both in terms of aesthetic significance and political impact. It proposes a series of cultural, political, or literary 'pressure points' that result in the emergence of modes of writing that seek to express transformed or contested expressions of U.S. identity. Areas of investigation include: the civil war, Reconstruction, Vietnam and the counter-culture, and 9/11.
Week 1: White Mythologies of Nationhood
* Thomas Dixon, The Clansman: Historical Romance of the Ku Klux Klan (1905)
* Selections from W.E.B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk (1903)
* D. W. Griffith, Birth of a Nation (1915)
Week 2: Capital Fictions II: The Crisis of Capitalism and the American Left
* John Dos Passos, The 42nd Parallel (1930)
Week 3: Narrating the Depression
* John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath (1939)
Week 4: Race and Reconstruction II: The Southern Imagination and the Politics of Memory
* William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom (1936)
* Toni Morrison, Beloved (1987)
Week 5: Civil Rights and Republican Visions
* James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time (1963)
* Norman Mailer, The White Negro (1957)
Week 6: Expansionism and American Culture III: Vietnam and the American Imagination
* Norman Mailer, Why are We in Vietnam? (1967)
* Karin Ashley, Bill Ayers (et al), You Don¿t Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows (1969)
* George Oppen, Of Being Numerous (1968)
Week 7: Republicanism and Reaction: Countering the Counterculture
* Joan Didion, Slouching to Bethlehem (1968)
* Saul Bellow, Mr Sammler¿s Planet (1970)
* Selections from Andrew MacDonald, The Turner Diaries (1996)
Week 8: Whose Republic/Whose Culture?: The American Diaspora
* Sandra Cisneros, The House on Mango Street (1988)
* Richard Rodriguez, Days of Obligation (1993)
* Julia Alvarez, In the time of the Butterflies (1994)
Week 9: Apocalyptic Visions: 9/11 and the End of Days 1
* Michael Cunningham, Specimen Days (2005).
Week 10: Apocalyptic Visions: 9/11 and the End of Days 2
* Marilynne Robinson, Gilead (2004)
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||One essay for 4000 words (100%)
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Students will be able to demonstrate the capacity to read and criticise complex literary and political texts and arguments. In addition, students should also possess a broad understanding of some of the key American historical and cultural moments, and how those are refracted through literary texts. After completion of the course students should be able to read further and more widely in U.S. literary and cultural history, having gained the requisite background knowledge and critical vocabulary.
- Students will be able to demonstrate a broad understanding of some of the key American historical and cultural moments, and how those are refracted through literary texts. After completion of the course students should be able to read further and more widely in U.S. literary and cultural history, having gained the requisite background knowledge and critical vocabulary.
- Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of attributes specific to American literary culture of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.
- Students will further improve their abilities in areas fundamental to the study of English literature at Postgraduate level: independent research, essay writing, critical thinking, class discussion, oral presentation of information, and the ability to learn autonomously in small groups
- On completion of the course, students should be able to read further and more widely in U.S. literary and cultural history, having gained the requisite background knowledge and critical vocabulary.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||No UG version.
|Course organiser||Dr Lee Spinks
Tel: (0131 6)50 3616
|Course secretary||Miss Kara McCormack
Tel: (0131 6)50 3030