AJL15102 American Literature 2: 1890-1960

Faculty of Arts
Autumn 2024
Extent and Intensity
0/2/0. 6 credit(s). Type of Completion: zk (examination).
doc. PhDr. Tomáš Pospíšil, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
doc. PhDr. Tomáš Pospíšil, Ph.D.
Department of English and American Studies – Faculty of Arts
Contact Person: Tomáš Hanzálek
Supplier department: Department of English and American Studies – Faculty of Arts
Timetable of Seminar Groups
AJL15102/01: Thu 10:00–11:40 G23, except Mon 18. 11. to Sun 24. 11., T. Pospíšil
AJL15102/02: Thu 14:00–15:40 G23, except Mon 18. 11. to Sun 24. 11., T. Pospíšil
Prerequisites (in Czech)
AJL01002 Practical English II && AJL04003 Intro. to Literary Studies II
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is also offered to the students of the fields other than those the course is directly associated with.
The capacity limit for the course is 50 student(s).
Current registration and enrolment status: enrolled: 0/50, only registered: 68/50, only registered with preference (fields directly associated with the programme): 59/50
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
Course objectives
The aim of this course is to provide a survey of the literary history of the United States from 1890 to 1960. Based on a selection of representative literary pieces it is not only designed to familiarize students with the texts but also to encourage discussion, critical commentary and assessment. The necessary situating of the texts in their respective contexts will enable students to deepen their overall understanding of the development of American culture during the period in question. The successful participants will gain a more thorough understanding of the wide variety of literary movements of the first half of the 20th century and will become acquainted with a number of accomplished authors who have come to be regarded as highly respected figures in the canon of American writing.
Learning outcomes
The successful participants: - will gain a thorough understanding of the wide variety of American literary movements during the period in question; - will become acquainted with representative works by a number of accomplished authors who have come to be regarded as highly respected figures in the canon of American writing; - will gain a better understanding of the American cultural situation of the given period; - will further develop their interpretive skills; - will further increase their capacity for literary critical analysis; - will increase their appreciation of certain currently not so popular literary genres {such as poetry).
  • Week 1: Introduction to the Course
  • Week 2: JAMES: “Daisy Miller” “The Real Thing”
  • Week 3: CRANE: “The Open Boat”, selected poems SANDBURG: “Chicago”
  • Week 4: CHOPIN: The Awakening GILMAN: “The Yellow Wallpaper”
  • Week 5: POUND: "In a Station of the Metro" N 1206, AT 1042 "Portrait d'une Femme" N 1204, AT 1038 "The River-Merchant's Wife: A Letter N 1207, AT 1041 H.D.: “The Pool” “Circe”
  • Week 6: HEMINGWAY: "Hills Like White Elephants" (ELF) FITZGERALD: “Winter Dreams” N 1509
  • Week 7: HURSTON: Their Eyes Were Watching God HUGHES: "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" N 1736 AT "Trumpet Player" N 1741
  • Week 8: FAULKNER: "Barn Burning" N 1632, AT 1254
  • Week 9: ELIOT: "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" 1268 “Journey of the Magi” 1294
  • Week 10 - Reading Week Steinbeck: The Grapes of Wrath and/or: Kerouac: On the Road
  • Week 11: W. STEVENS: "Sunday Morning" N 1146, AT 1308 “The Emperor of Ice Cream" N 1145, AT 1314 “Anecdote of the Jar” N 1149, AT W.C. WILLIAMS: "The Young Housewife" N 1166, AT 1323 "Spring and all" N 1169 "The Red Wheelbarrow" N 1171, AT 1324 "Landscape with the Fall of Icarus" N 1195 "This is Just to Say" N 1174, AT
  • Week 12: O‘CONNOR: “The Life You Save May Be Your Own” 2122 CHEEVER: “The Country Husband” N 1879 MALAMUD: “The Magic Barrel” N 1898
  • Week 13: BISHOP: “The Fish” N 2431 LOWELL: “For the Union Dead” N 2499 PLATH: “Mad Girl’s Love Song” GINBERG: “Howl”
    required literature
  • The Norton anthology of American literature. Edited by Nina Baym. 6th ed. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2003, s. 1071-19. ISBN 0393979008. info
  • The Heath anthology of American literature. Edited by Paul Lauter. Lexington: D.C. Heath, 1990, xliii, 293. ISBN 0-669-12064-2. info
  • HURSTON, Zora Neale. Their eyes were watching God : a novel. Edited by Mary Helen Washington. 1st Perennial library ed. New York: Harper & Row, 1990, xiv, 207. ISBN 0060916508. info
  • FITZGERALD, Francis Scott. The great Gatsby. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1953, 121 s. ISBN 0-684-71760-3. info
    not specified
  • The American tradition in literature. Edited by George B. Perkins. 7th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Publishing Company, 1990, xxviii, 20. ISBN 0075572087. info
  • KEROUAC, Jack. On the road. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1976, 307 s. ISBN 0140042598. info
  • STEINBECK, John. The grapes of wrath. Repr. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1976, 502 s. ISBN 0140042393. info
Teaching methods
This course lasts one term, and ends with a written exam. There will be one seminar per week. Students missing more than two seminars per semester automatically fail the course. Please come to the seminars having read the works assigned, and prepared to discuss them. The standard of your preparation will be occasionally tested by means of short in-class quizzes. You may also be asked to write brief responses to the texts and submit them in ELF prior to the lesson. Please note that this schedule is subject to change dependent on the specific needs of the group.
Assessment methods
Assessment: - written exam (50%); - presentation of an author/text in class, in-class quizzes, activity in the seminar (50%).
Language of instruction
Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
The course is taught annually.
Teacher's information
Instructor: Doc. PhDr. Tomáš Pospíšil, Ph.D. tomas.pospisil@phil.muni.cz

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