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.
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.
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]
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One 1.5-hour lecture and one 1-hour tutorial per week. Approx 7.5 hours reading/writing time per week.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Gertrude Stein, Three Lives
William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying
Donna Tartt, A Secret History
Richard Yates, Revolutionary Road
Mad Men (AMC, Series One)
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- 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.
Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.
|Class number||Class start date||Last day to enrol||Census date||Class end date||Mode Of Delivery||Class Summary|
|4338||20 Feb 2017||27 Feb 2017||31 Mar 2017||26 May 2017||In Person||N/A|