LIT 34 — 20th-Century American Literature: An Intellectual Bus Tour
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Apr 4—Jun 6
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm
Drop Deadline: Apr 17
Instructor(s): Michael Krasny
Apr 4—Jun 6
This course is an intellectual bus tour of American literature from 1914 through the 20th century, a survey of major figures. It will serve as a guided introduction to the pantheon of great writers of fiction, poetry, and drama; and to the central motifs and innovations of the period. We will make our way—traveling chronologically—through a variety of rich regional, cultural, and ethnic terrains, beginning with fiction writers Willa Cather, Sherwood Anderson, Zora Neale Hurston, and Richard Wright, as well as poets Edwin Arlington Robinson, Robert Frost, and Wallace Stevens, and the playwright Arthur Miller. The next group of selected authors features poetic work by T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, and Jean Toomer followed by fiction masters Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and William Faulkner, and the dramatist Eugene O’Neill. We will then proceed to poetry by Allen Ginsberg, Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, and Elizabeth Bishop, fiction by Flannery O’Connor, John Cheever, and Raymond Carver, and drama by Tennessee Williams. The course will conclude with fiction by Saul Bellow, Philip Roth, and Toni Morrison; poetry by Adrienne Rich; and a play by August Wilson. Class sessions will feature a combination of lecture and discussion.
Michael Krasny, Professor of English, SF State; Host of Forum, KQED RadioMichael Krasny is a widely published literary critic and scholar and has hosted Forum on KQED radio since 1993. He is the author of a number of books including Off Mike, Spiritual Envy, and Let There Be Laughter, and the co-author of Sound Ideas, as well as the two-volume collection of Masterpieces of Short Fiction.
Textbooks for this course:
(Required) Robert S. Levine, General Editor, The Norton Anthology of American Literature (1865 to the Present), Shorter 9th Edition (ISBN 978-0393264517)