Course Spotlight: American Literature 1865-1920


This class covers American fiction written during the latter half of the nineteenth century and the first years of the twentieth century, roughly the period spanning from after the Civil War up through World War I. Scholars of this period have long noted a rapidly expanding yet increasingly diverse nation that arose from advances in industrialization, urbanization and immigration. This course examines the artistic strategies (realism, naturalism, the stirrings of modernism) by which writers of fiction represented a growing multiplicity of points of view among different communities as well as the tensions that arose from competing needs and desires. Writers studied include Edith Wharton, Henry James, Mark Twain, W.E.B. Du Bois, Kate Chopin, Zitkala-Sa, and Theodore Dreiser. MW 11:20-12:50

Course Spotlight: ENG 373: Multi-ethnic Literature of the U.S.

saul bellow's seize the day, sandra cisneros' the house on mango street, paul bacho's cebu and winter in the blood by james welch,

When & Where: MW 1:00-2:30, LPC 

Who: Professor Gary Smith 

What: This course will offer a brief survey of contemporary fiction by American writers of African, Asian, Jewish, Native and European descent. Indeed, the course, ideally, will build upon the precepts the Liberal Studies Program’ s Sophomore Multicultural Seminar, in that it will examine representative works of fiction by writers who represent  five major American ethnic groups and who also engage certain questions of value, authenticity and meaning, as Americans, for their respective ethnic  identities. For example, what makes a particular writer’s work “Native American” or “African American”? How do the differing and often competing concepts of American ethnicity correspond with and critique prevalent socio-historical and socio-cultural assumptions about who and what are Americans? Moreover, how do the respective writers inscribe ethnicity within the aesthetics of their fictional works as middle class, western, literary art forms? The following are course texts: Peter Bacho, Cebu; Saul Bellow, Seize the Day ; Sandra Cisneros,  The House on Mango Street; Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye; and  James Welch, Winter in the Blood.