North American Literature from the Civil War to World War II

Academic year
Subject Area
Literature-Anglo-American Studies
Language of Instruction
Other Languages of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
1st Cycle Studies

Recommended Prerequisites


Teaching Methods

Expository and interactive methods, including the analysis and discussion of primary and secondary texts; oral presentations and written assignments.

Learning Outcomes

Students will:

– be made familiar with important aspects of American writing by reading a range of American literary works from the period selected and organized in terms of one or more such concerns as school or movement, mode or genre, author or theme or topic;

– acquire an understanding of the historical and cultural context of American writing and of how that context has impacted on specific literary works;

– develop their skills as close readers and, at a more general theoretical or methodological level, acquire useful theoretical and analytical tools that will prepare them to undertake further study in this area.

Work Placement(s)



In the years between the Civil War and World War II American literature spread out from its traditional base in the WASP culture of the eastern seaboard thereby creating a truly national literature that became, in short order, a major world literature. This evolution corresponds to equally momentous political, economic, social and cultural changes in the United States itself and in its international role. The texts chosen for each edition of the course will reflect this, and particular attention will be paid to the emergence of new voices in the domain of American literature, to the central role of American writers and writing in the Modernist literary enterprise and to the relationship between text and context.

Head Lecturer(s)

Gonçalo Piolti Cholant

Assessment Methods

Final Assessment
Exam: 100.0%

Periodic Assessment
Other: 20.0%
Mini Tests: 40.0%
Synthesis work: 40.0%


Baym, N. et al (Eds.). (1989). The Norton Anthology of American Literature. 3rd ed. New York & London: Norton & Co.

Elliott, E. (Ed.). (1988). Columbia Literary History of the United Sates. New York: Columbia UP.

Hart, J. D., & Leininger, Rev. P. W. (Eds.). (1995). The Oxford Companion to American Literature. 6th ed. OUP.

Mathews, S. (2008). Modernism: A Sourcebook. Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Reising, R. (1986). The Usable Past: Theory and the Study of American Literature. London: Methuen.