Syllabus query

Academic Year/course: 2017/18

416 - Degree in English

27834 - American Literature III

Syllabus Information

Academic Year:
27834 - American Literature III
Faculty / School:
103 - Facultad de Filosofía y Letras
416 - Degree in English
Second semester
Subject Type:

5.1. Methodological overview

The learning process that has been designed for this course is based on the following:

All class activities will be complemented by group or individual tutorials that form part of the face-to-face teaching and that can also be carried out by e-mail or via Moodle. The learning process is based on the student’s active participation and encourages the accurate planning of their autonomous work, which includes the writing of an optional individual essay. The learning process fosters the development of the student’s analytical skills and critical thinking, reasoning and argumentation, and involves the reading of the compulsory texts in the light of the recommended bibliography and the in-class teaching.

English will be the language used in all class activities, tutorials, essays, and exams, and the literary texts shall be read in their original version.

5.2. Learning tasks

1. Guided activities

-Theory sessions (1.2 credits / 30 hours)

Theory sessions (which include, for each unit, the study of historical and cultural context, the main features of the period’s literary production, the introduction to authors and texts, and the explanation of relevant critical and methodological approaches) consist of the presentation of such contents on the part of the teacher, and they will be based on PowerPoint presentations and other materials available in Moodle. Student participation will be encouraged in these sessions by means of relevant questioning and previous knowledge activating activities.

-Practical sessions and group seminars (1.2 credits / 30 hours)

Practical sessions consist of the critical analysis of the compulsory literary texts. Previous reading on the part of students is essential for the development of these sessions, which will include guided commentary with the whole class, small group discussion, or the writing of brief individual or group analyses to be presented orally. Debates, questions, brainstorming or role play for character analysis will also be used in order to activate theoretical and practical knowledge, reinforce basic concepts and develop synthesis, analysis, interpreting, relating, and expressing skills as well as attitudes such as cooperation and valuation of the work of others.

2. Supervised activities

-Individual and group tutorials (0.1 credits / 2.5 hours)

Tutorial attendance (alternatively, e-mail consultations or participation on the Moodle platform) is compulsory for the guided writing of essays, and optional for the rest of issues concerning the course.

3. Autonomous activities

- Compulsory readings, use of secondary sources and Moodle-unizar materials (2.8 credits / 70 hours; or 3.4 credits / 85 hours for the students who do not write the optional essay)

The students’ independent activities include revising the concepts tackled in class, reading and analyzing the compulsory texts, reading secondary sources, and visiting the Moodle page.

- Elaboration of the optional essay (0.6 credits / 15 hours), optional.

By the 8th week of the semester, students will decide on a topic that will be agreed upon by the teacher. They will work on the development of a working hypothesis that will be presented to the teacher by the 13th week, together with the essay outline and the selected bibliography. The completed essay will be handed in by the day of the exam.

4. Assessment

- Global exam (0.1 credits / 2.5 hours)

The exam will take place on the day assigned by the Faculty. Students will have 2.5 hours at the most. The type of exam is described in the Assessment section of this Guide.  

5.3. Syllabus

(27834) American Literature III

1. The inheritance of the 19th century in US fiction. Realism: from classical to psychological, Henry James. The novel as "a direct impression of life." Naturalism and the excesses of capitalism, Stephen Crane.

2. The Jazz Age and the American Dream: Scott Fitzgerald.

3. The coming of Modernism. Poetry and the new aesthetics: Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, William, Carlos Williams. Self-reference, experimentation and the revival of myth: Ezra Pound, Hilda Doolittle, and T. S. Eliot. The epistemological quest and the poet as "savior of the race."

4. New aesthetics and African roots: The Harlem Renaissance or the New Negro Movement in the works of Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston.

5. Modernist fiction and Southern insight: literature, naturalism, and anthropology. William Faulkner’s experimental world.


Longer texts (novels and novellas):

Henry James, "Daisy Miller" (1878, 1909)

Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (1925)

William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury (1929)

 Shorter texts (poems/fragments of longer texts/ essays):

Stephen Crane, "Maggie: A Girl of the Streets" (1893). Chapters I and II.

Robert Frost, "Mending Wall"

Wallace Stevens, "The Emperor of Ice Cream"

Williams Carlos Williams, "This is just to say"

Ezra Pound, "A Pact", "In a Station of the Metro"

Hilda Doolittle, "Oread"

T.S. Eliot Part 1 of "The Waste Land"

Langston Hughes, "The Weary Blues", "As I Grew Older", "I, Too"

Zora Neale Hurston, "How It Feels to Be Colored Me"

 Films (available at SEMETA / Biblioteca María Moliner):

John Boorman, Excalibur (1981)

Stanley Kubrick, Paths of Glory (1957)

Robert Mulligan, To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)


5.4. Course planning and calendar

Face-to-face teaching and essay writing schedule

Theory and practical sessions (critical analysis of the compulsory literary texts) will take place in two weekly sessions, following the official schedule. Three to four weeks will be necessary for the presentation and discussion of each unit.

Group and individual tutorials will follow the schedule provided by the teacher, taking into account the students’ class hours.

Students can write an optional individual essay guided by the teacher taking into account the following key dates:

- Deadline for notifying the choice of subject: week 8.

- Deadline for handling the detailed draft and the bibliography: week 13.

- Deadline for handling the essays: during the first final exam.

The first final global exam includes the handling of the optional essay and will take place in the official date assigned by the University.

5.5. Bibliography and recommended resources

 BC Baym, Nina. The Norton Antology of American Literature : Shorter Fifth Edition / Nina Baym et al.. New York : Norton, 1999
BC Benito Sánchez, Jesús y Ana Mª Manzanas Calvo, “I too, Sing America, la narrativa étnica”, En: Historia crítica de la novela norteamericana / editor- coordinador José Antonio Gurpegui Palacios Salamanca : Almar, D.L. 2001, p. 321-387
BC Bigsby, C.W.E.. A critical introduction to twentieth-century American drama. 2, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Edward Albee / C.W.E. Bigsby . - 1st pub. [2nd] repr. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1987
BC Bigsby, C.W.E.. A critical introduction to twentieth-century American drama. 3, Beyond Broadway / C.W.E. Bigsby . - 1st pub. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1985
BC Bradbury, Malcolm. The modern American novel / Malcolm Bradbury Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1992
BC Columbia literary history of the United States / Emory Elliott, general editor ; associate editors Martha Banta ... [et al.] ; advisory editors, Houston A. Baker ... New York ; Guildford : Columbia University Press, 1988
BC Fiction & ethnicity in northamerica : problems of history, genre and assimilation / edited by Aitor Ibarrola [S.l.] : Uncilla Press, 1995
BC González Groba, Constante, “Desde la Guerra Civil hasta la Primera Guerra Mundial: El realismo y el naturalismo”. En: Historia crítica de la novela norteamericana / editor- coordinador José Antonio Gurpegui Palacios Salamanca : Almar, D.L. 2001, p. 129-196
BC Harvard Guide to contemporary American Writing / Editor Daniel Hoffman ; with essays by Leo Braudy...[et al] Cambridge : Harvard University Press, 1979
BC Henry James the shorter fiction : reassessment / edited by N.H. Reeve New York : St. Martin's Press, cop. 1997
BC Hindchliffe, Arnold P.. The absurd / Arnold P. Hindchliffe . - [1st ed.], repr. London : Methuen, 1977
BC Hutcheon, Linda. A poetics of postmodernism : history, theory, fiction / Linda Hutcheon . - Digital print. New York ; London : Routledge, 2005
BC John Steinbeck : the contemporary reviews / edited by Joseph R. McElrath, Jr., Jesse S. Crisler, Susan Shillinglaw . - 1st ed. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1996
BC Jolly, Roslyn. Henry James : history, narrative, fiction / Roslyn Jolly Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1993
BC Limon, John. Writing after war : American war fiction from realism to postmodernism / John Limon . New York : Oxford University Press, 1994
BC Minter, David L. A cultural history of the American novel : Henry James to William Faulkner / David Minter Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, cop. 1994
BC Morris, Christopher. Southern Writers an Their Worlds / Christopher Morris, Steven G. Reinhardt. Louisiana State : University Press, 1994
BC Ruland, Richard. From Puritanism to Postmodernism : a history of American literature / Richard Ruland and Malcolm Bradbury London : Routledge, 1991
BC Smith, Valerie. Self-discovery and authority in Afro-American narrative / Valerie Smith Cambridge, Mass.; London : Harvard University Press, 1987
BC The Cambridge Companion to American realism and naturalism : Howells to London / edited by Donald Pizer . - 1st publ. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1995
BC The Cambridge Companion to Henry James / edited by Jonathan Freedman Cambridge [UK] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1998
BC The Cambridge Companion to William Faulkner / edited by Philip M. Weinstein. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1995
BC The Columbia history of the American novel / Emory Elliott, general editor Columbia : University press, 1990