ENG 344: Late Nineteenth Century American Literature

Dr. Hefner 3 credits

          This course will cover some of the major developments in American fiction from the end of the Civil War through the early 20th century, under the aesthetic and thematic modes known in literary history as realism, regionalism, and naturalism. As a part of this, we will investigate questions of place and space, of labor and class, of gender and power, of the ideology of literary form, among other issues that will certainly arise in our discussions. As is necessary in any literary historical undertaking, we will have occasion to consider the texts in their historical contexts, which include not only the social, political, and economic conditions in the U.S. and abroad during this period, but also the material conditions of publication (including issues of magazine serialization, “popular” literary and discursive tastes, and concurrent debates surrounding the propriety of realistic modes of representation). Readings may include work by Horatio Alger, Charles W. Chesnutt, Kate Chopin, Theodore Dreiser, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Harold Frederic, William Dean Howells, Henry James, Sarah Orne Jewett, Frank Norris, and Mark Twain.

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