• Offered by School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject English
  • Areas of interest English
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Monique Rooney
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2015
    See Future Offerings

This course examines a selection of American novels, novellas and short stories that were published during what is now sometimes referred to as, the 'American Century'. In investigating a selection of twentieth-century US texts, we will analyse and reflect on the connections between authors' experimentations and/or narrative innovations, their use of more traditional forms and genres and their exploration of modern and postmodern American themes. Topics to be explored include the role of writing/literature in the age of multi- and digital media; racial/ multicultural/"post"racial identities; the role of the city, the suburbs and other American regions; utopian and dystopian visions of the future; literature and form/genre.    The course will conclude with our exploration of the contemporary cable television drama, Mad Men, a series that can be thought of as thematising post 9/11 preoccupations with the idea that America has entered a new age of decline.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

By the end of this course, students should be able to

1. identify key elements of twentieth-century American fiction and evaluate the similarities and differences between different narrative forms

2. think, write and argue about the importance of literary, generic,  intellectual and populist approaches to understanding everyday life in the context of the United States as a post-industrial or technologically advanced society. 

3. develop a critical stance on the role that narrative plays in imagining and responding to representations of everyday life. 

Indicative Assessment

Essay of 1,500 words (30%) [LO 1, 2]

Essay of 2,500 words (50%) [LO 1, 2, 3]

Assessed tutorial presentation (20%) [LO 1, 2, 3]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


One 1.5-hour lecture and one 1-hour tutorial per week. Approx 7.5 hours reading/writing time per week.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 12 Units of English (ENGL) Courses. Alternatively you may gain permission of the Course Convener to enrol in this course.

Preliminary Reading

Gertrude Stein, Three Lives

William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying

Donna Tartt, A Secret History 

Richard Yates, Revolutionary Road

Mad Men (AMC, Series One)




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $2604
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $3576
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
3193 16 Feb 2015 06 Mar 2015 31 Mar 2015 29 May 2015 In Person N/A

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