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American Literature as American Studies
AMST 331
Fall 2011
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: ENGL 345, FGSS 333

Together we will consider how literature can advance American studies as an interdisciplinary critical and self-critical project. Literature--like life, and like American studies--is not divided into disciplines. Indeed, literature functioned as a form of "American studies" long before American studies took shape as a field in the 1930s. Literature investigated some areas of American experience well before historians recognized and researched these areas as "history" and focused on key theoretical concerns well before theorists formulated and abstracted these concerns as "theory." We will read a variety of literary forms: novels (Twain, Adams), stories (Hawthorne, Hughes, Cheever), plays (Glaspell, Odets, Gold Kopit), essays (Emerson, London), literary cultural criticism (Eastman, Du Bois), utopian fiction (Bellamy), memoirs (Cabeza de Vaca). And, we will reflect on writing by some key critics (Trilling, Bercovitch) and theorists (Marx, Williams, Eagleton, Bourdieu, Butler). Our goal is to reassess how literature can help us develop as creative American studies thinkers.

Essential Capabilities: Ethical Reasoning, Interpretation
We will read American literature as a critical resource essential to the development of American studies social critique, cultural theory, and historicizing.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA AMST
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (AMST)(ENGL)(ENGL-Amer Lit)(FGSS)
Past Enrollment Probability: 50% - 74%

Last Updated on APR-25-2014
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