Required TextsThe Norton Anthology 1945.Volume E. 6th Edition. New York,
London: W.W. Norton, 2012.(UHM


Maus: A
Survivor’s Tale, Parts I & II
 by Art Spiegelman (Graphic novel; Sinclair Reserve)
Toni. Beloved.
2004. (UHM Boostore)

Goals, Organization, Procedures:             Literatures of the United States from the
mid-20th century to the present include writers who have been very
influential around the world. It has also been an extremely exciting time in
terms of innovations to genre, the evolution of ideas about identity,
aesthetics, nation, culture, political, and social life. Texts for this class
include the influential graphic novel, Maus,
Beloved by Toni Morrison (Nobel
Laureate, 1993), and the most recent edition of The Norton Anthology,
which contains a broad range of fiction writers, poets, and essayists writing
on watershed events in United States culture and letters. Lyrical, sometimes
polemical, always compelling, these writers depict and critique profound
changes in the U. S. of the past 60 years. Our engagement with the literature
will be focused on the following thematic clusters: 1) Aesthetics and Politics
of the 1960’s and 1970’s: Black, Brown, Yellow, Red; 2) Landmark Legislation;
3) Nature and Spirituality; 4) America in the World/ The World in America:
Globalization and Post-9/11 American Culture.


This class has
both (W) Writing Intensive and (O) Oral Communication focus
designations. Be prepared to do a substantial amount of formal and informal
writing and class discussions. You will benefit most from the course if you
engage with the wide variety of literature by paying close attention to the
ways that authors convey emotions and ideas. We’ll use a common literary
vocabulary that is not, however, to be considered the only way to talk about
literature. Among your goals in this class should be the development of
independent, analytical, interpretative and research skills.


Student Learning Outcomes include:

  • The ability to identify the major literary
    themes, authors and texts of the period;
  • The ability to use, in class discussions and
    written assignments, literary terms and critical concepts appropriate to a
    300-level course;
  • To begin to acquire strategies for connecting
    texts to a broader cultural and historical context.


Requirements include: 

  • Two essays
    (minimum of 6 pages, double-spaced, typed, 1-inch margins);
  • An individual
    class presentation of 5 to 10 minutes, accompanied by a 2-page, double-spaced
  • Short
    performance or short play (individually or in a group of no more than 2) (10 to
    15 minutes), using original performance piece written in response to selected
    text from reading list;
  • Final take-home,
    essay exam.