American Literature 1914-present


Course Objective

Upon successfully completing this course, students can:
- 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
- demonstrate their ability to read and write critically, clearly, and

Course Content

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. By looking at 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.

Teaching Methods

Seminar meetings, 1 x 2 hours and 1 x 4 hours per week.

Method of Assessment

Final essay (60%), presentation (30%), and participation (10%). In order
to pass the course, students must receive a 5.0 or higher on the final
essay. The weighted average of all components must be 5.5 or higher.
There is one resit possibility for the final essay.

Entry Requirements

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."


To be announced in the course syllabus, which will be posted on Canvas.

Target Audience

This module is part of the Bachelor’s program English Literature &

Additional Information

The level of English in this course is high. This is a discussion-based
course, so attendance is compulsory. If you are absent at more than 20%
of the course meetings, you cannot pass the course. Exceptions may be
made in grave personal circumstances. Make sure to inform both your
lecturer and the student advisor in such cases.

Custom Course Registration

There is a slightly different enrollment procedure for this module. The standard procedure of the Faculty of Humanities has students sign up for (i) the module, (ii) the preferred seminar group, and (iii) the exam. However, for this module the instructor will assign the students to the seminar groups. Therefore, students should sign up for (i) the module and (iii) the exam, but not for (ii) the seminar groups.

General Information

Course Code L_ELBALES211
Credits 6 EC
Period P2
Course Level 200
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Humanities
Course Coordinator F. Camps MA
Examiner prof. dr. D.M. Oostdijk
Teaching Staff F. Camps MA

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Seminar*

*You cannot select a group yourself for this teaching method, you will be placed in a group.

Target audiences

This course is also available as: