LIT212 American Literature (8)

This subject will firstly introduce students to American literature through a survey of selected early writing and an overview of selected prose fiction and poetry from the Nineteenth and Twentieth century, concentrating finally on the latter period. Various challenges to the literary canon will be explored so that students become aware of the cultural diversity which constitutes American writing.

No offerings have been identified for this subject in 2019.

Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Assumed Knowledge

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • understand the relationship between literature and national identity, including some of the theoretical problems attached to such a relation;
  • be familiar with some of the major works in American literature;
  • understand and theorise the relation between significant political, social and cultural movements and resulting challenges to the AngloSaxon canon from Native American, African American and Chicano writers;
  • be able to recognise literary influences such as romance symbolism and the gothic;
  • be able to recognise, place and analyse the modes of modernism, postmodernism and magic realism in an American context; and
  • be able to critically assess the influence of theories of feminism and race on twentieth century American writing.


This subject will cover the following topics:

The foundations of a national literature; Major thematic and stylistic developments in American fiction and poetry in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; The influence major political, social and cultural changes have on literature; Theoretical positions and twentieth century literature.


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The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2019. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.