• Offered by School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject English
  • Areas of interest Literature
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Monique Rooney
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Second Semester 2021
    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:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills 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.
  4. Understand and successfully deploy a range of terms and concepts integral to literary studies.

Indicative Assessment

Tutorial presentation 15 mins duration (10%) [LO 1, 2, 3, 4]
1000 word critical analysis (10%) (LO4)
Essay of 1,500 words (30%) [LO 1, 2, 4]
Essay of 2,500 words (50%) [LO 1, 2, 3, 4]

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.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorials.
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be studying a Masters level program. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed ENGL2006.

Prescribed Texts

Gertrude Stein, Three Lives

William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying

Donna Tartt, A Secret History

Richard Yates, Revolutionary Road

Mad Men (AMC, Series One)

Preliminary Reading

Stein, Three Lives

As per prescribed texts


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

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found 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
2021 $3630
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $5580
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.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
6762 26 Jul 2021 02 Aug 2021 14 Sep 2021 29 Oct 2021 In Person View

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