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The course aims to inculcate an appreciation of specific American authors and texts, along with the literary history of the United States. Participants will also get familiar with the relation between American literature and important related historical and socio-cultural developments. The course also aims to foster an understanding of the development of various genres, forms, and themes in select American literature.


Week Lessons/Topics
Week 1 Introduction to the course. Henry James. The Portrait of a Lady. Introduction to Henry Jamesandhisworks Plot/character/literary techniques/style
Week 2 -do-
Week 3 Theodore Dreiser. An American Tragedy.Plot/character/literary techniques/style
Week 4 Eugene O’Neill. Desire under the Elms.Introduction to Eugene O’Neill and his worksPlot/character/literarytechniques/style
Week 5 American RomanticismEdgar Allan Poe. “Annabel Lee.”Flannery O’Connor. “Good Country People.”
Week 6 Ernest Hemingway. The Sun Also RisesPlot/character/literary techniques/style
Week 7 Edith Wharton. The Age of Innocence. Plot/character/literary techniques/style
Week 8 Lillian Hellman. The Children’s HourPlot/character/literary techniques/style
Week 9 Arthur Miller. A View from the Bridge.Plot/character/literary techniques/style
Week 10 Hart Crane. “To Brooklyn Bridge.”Pulp fictionScience fiction Counter Culture
Week 11 Christopher Hitchens “Jewish Power, Jewish Peril.”Conclusion.

Familiarity with English/American literature


Primary texts:

1. Henry James. The Portrait of a Lady.
2. Theodore Dreiser. An American Tragedy.
3. Eugene O’Neill. Desire under the Elms.
4. Ernest Hemingway. The Sun Also Rises.
5. Edgar Allan Poe. “Annabel Lee”.
6. Flannery O’Connor. “Good Country People.”
7. Edith Wharton. The Age of Innocence.
8. Lillian Hellman. The Children’s Hour.
9. Arthur Miller. A View from the Bridge.
10. Hart Crane. “To Brooklyn Bridge.”
11. Christopher Hitchens. “Jewish Power, Jewish Peril.”

Secondary texts:

1. Bertens, Hans & Theo D’haen. American Literature: A History, Routledge, 2014.
2. Baym, Nina. Norton Anthology of American Literature vol 1 and 2 , WW Norton & Co. , 2012.
3. Gray, Richard. A History of American Literature (Blackwell, 2004)
4. Bradbury, Malcolm and Ruland, Richard. From Puritanism to Postmodernism: A History of American Literature , Penguin, 1991.
5. Salzman, Jack. The Cambridge Handbook of American Literature. Cambridge University Press, 1986.




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