American Literature: 1914-present

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    American Literature: 1914-present

  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study

    American Studies, English, Literature

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Upon successfully completing this course, students will:
    • Explain how and why social, cultural, and political changes in American society gave rise to new forms of literature;
    • Examine a text of their own choosing and execute a deep, critical analysis with the help of the critical theory we have discussed in class;
    • Demonstrate their ability to read and write critically, clearly, and coherently.

    Over the course of the twentieth century, American society changed tremendously. These changes are reflected in both the themes and styles of the literatures of this time. The course is organized chronologically and clustered around three main themes, reflecting three major changes in American literature: modernism, the culture wars, and postmodernism. By looking at the works of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction produced during this time, we will try to find an answer to what American literature is, what the shifts in styles and themes can tell us about American society, and what it might tell us about the direction in which American literature is headed now, at the beginning of the 21st century. Writing will be an important component of this course.

    Seminar meetings, 6 hours per week.

    Participation (30%); Portfolio, including final essay (70%). The portfolio must receive a final grade of at least 5.5 to pass. The grading procedure will be explained during the first class period.

    Students must have taken part in one of three modules: (1) “Literature, Culture, and Society”; (2) “Introduction to American Studies”; or (3) Social History of the United States.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Some courses may require additional fees.


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