Search results - The Modern American Novel: an introduction (Online)
|Type||Online and Distance Learning|
|Dates||Wed 18 Sep to Fri 29 Nov 2013|
|Application status||Applications being accepted|
|Course contact||If you have any questions about this course, please email email@example.com.|
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OverviewSome of the most wonderful fiction in English is by American writers. In this course we shall study five key novels of the twentieth century – by Fitzgerald, Faulkner, Silko, Morrison and Roth – that constitute contrasting interpretations of American experience in the modern age.
Students completing this course will be invited to join our online book group.
DescriptionSome of the most wonderful fiction in English has been written by Americans. In this course we shall study key novels that constitute contrasting interpretations of twentieth-century U.S.A. We shall examine the representation of history, region and family conflict in William Faulkner’s depiction of the poverty-stricken Deep South in As I Lay Dying (1930): in Leslie Marmon Silko’s exploration of modern Pueblo Indian experience in Ceremony (1987); and in Toni Morrison’s examination of slavery in Beloved (1987). We shall also analyse fictional accounts of personal aspiration and downfall that explore questions of individual and national identity in the modern age: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (1925); and Philip Roth’s American Pastoral (1998). Our studies will focus on the relationship between the literary techniques of these works and on their social and political concerns.
- Reading and writing America: Some introductions.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
- William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying
- Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony - I
- Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony - II
- Toni Morrison, Beloved - I
- Toni Morrison, Beloved - II
- Philip Roth, American Pastoral - I
- Philip Roth, American Pastoral - II
- The great American novel?
Course aimsThis course will enable participants to:
- acquire both an overview and detailed knowledge of six novels that exemplify the diversity of American experience and narrative form in the twentieth century
- consider each novel’s engagement with its specific historical and cultural contexts
- develop their skills in analysing a range of narrative techniques such as multiple and unreliable narrative voices, disrupted chronologies and recurring symbolism. There is ample scope for applying skills and concepts learned from other online literature courses offered by the Department.
- discuss the texts comparatively, in relation to other American fiction they have read, and in the context of on-going debates about 'great American novels'
- contribute to a group reading list and to keep a personal reading blog
CertificationThis course is accredited and you are expected to take the course for credit. To be awarded credit you must complete written contributions satisfactorily. Successful students will receive credit, awarded by the Board of Studies of Oxford University Department for Continuing Education. The award will take the form of 10 units of transferable credit at FHEQ level 4 of the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS). A transcript detailing the credit will be issued to successful students.
Assessment methodsIn this course assessment is through two short written pieces totalling about 1000 words.
Level and demandsFHEQ level 4, 10 weeks, approx 10 hours per week, therefore a total of about 100 study hours.
Recommended readingTo participate in the course you will need to have regular access to the Internet and you will need to buy the following books (in any reputable editon):
- Faulkner, William., As I Lay Dying (1930) [page references will be to the Penguin 1991 edition with Introduction by Tony Tanner]
- Fitzgerald, F. Scott., The Great Gatsby (1925) [page references will be to the 2004 Vintage Classics edition]
- Morrison, Toni., Beloved (1987] [page references will be to the Penguin 1986 edition]
- Silko, Leslie Marmon., Ceremony (1977] [page references will be to the 2005 Vintage International edition]
- Roth, Philip., American Pastoral (1998). [page references will be to the 2005 Vintage International edition]
The following texts are recommended but not required:
- Ruland, R. and Bradbury, M., From Puritanism to Postmodernism: A History of American Literature .(New York and London: Penguin, 1992.]
- Abrams, M.H. and Harpham, G., Glossary of Literary Terms [Florence, KY: Wadsworth, 2011.]/li>
Teaching methods- Guided reading of texts
- Guided use of existing websites
- Discussions of particular issues and responses to reading in the unit forums
- Close critical analyses of selected extracts from the texts studied
Teaching outcomesBy the end of this course... You will understand:
- the diversity of American experience and its representation in literary form
- the history and context with which the novels studied engage
- the effects of a range of narrative techniques
- the reasons why specific texts might be defined as 'modernist' or 'postmodernist'
- past and current scholarly and media-led debates about American fiction
- And you will have developed the following skills:
- to identify the principal themes and narrative techniques in a range of novels
- to make a case for the relationship between subject-matter and form in each novel
- to analyze reviews and scholarly essays and to engage with these in personal critical analyses
- to reflect on a range of novels comparatively
- to gain an overview of developments in American fiction over time
- Programme Fee
- Home/EU Fee: £220.00
- Non-EU Fee: £295.00
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You can apply for this course in the following ways:
- Apply online
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- Apply by post, email or fax
- Download a PDF application form .