Literature 1A and Literature 2, or equivalent. This is the second of three survey courses in American literature (Lit 3a, 4a, and 5a), which can also be taken individually. This course is an elective course for students taking the minor in American Studies.
The end of the nineteenth century inaugurated a period of vast economic and territorial expansion in the United States. The U.S. became a global industrial superpower fueled by immigration, migration, and invention. Our discussion will focus on three themes: immigration and the rise of the city, regionalization and an American national identity, and the experiences of the emancipation generation. The literature of this period reflects these social movements in what has been called the “Gilded Age.” The emergence of a consumer culture, a national media, and new technologies of transmission had a profound impact on the literary world by 1900, creating a mass market for fiction, a globally recognized canon, and an opportunity for diverse American voices to be heard.
On completing this course, the student will have learned how to:
Evaluate works of U.S. American literature at the turn of the century from the standpoint of genre, historical context, and literary conventions.
Identify and understand persistent American inequalities rooted in this period, and gain insight into the ways that literature critcally reflects on these cultural and sociohistorical developments.
Analyze a wide-range of challenging historical texts using established critical approaches by style, genre, and rhetorical aim.
Develop MLA-based and archival research skills in the composition of a term essay, and to improve written communication in English through in-class writing assignments.
To communicate ideas in discussion, oral and written presentations, and collaborative team-work.
The timetables are available through My Timetable.
Mode of instruction
Research (Independent study by the student)
Midterm Exam: Written Examination with both closed and open essay questions
Paper: Essay and analysis of 1500 words
Attendance is compulsory. Missing more than two tutorials means that students will be excluded from the tutorials. Unauthorized absence also applies to being unprepared, not participating and/or not bringing the relevant course materials to class.
Midterm Exam: 30 %
Paper: Essay and analysis of 1500 words: 30%
Oral Presentation: 30%
Only if the final grade is 5.0 or lower can the students do a resit.
Regular attendance, preparation for the class and participation in it are required elements of this course.
Inspection and feedback
How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.
The Norton Anthology of American Literature, 9th edition or later (Volume C: 1865-1914)
Henry James, Washington Square
Stephen Crane, *The Red Badge of Courage and Other Stories *
Willa Cather, O Pioneers!
Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence
Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
Other texts TBD
Enrolment through My Studymap (Login | Universiteit Leiden) is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website
Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs
Registration Studeren à la carte
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For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Student administration Arsenaal