English 178 - Spring, 2015

Topics in Nations, Regions, & Other Cultural Geographies

    Topic: Literatures of the American West

Class Information

Instructor: Hsu, Hsuan
Time: MWF 10:00-10:50
Location: 207 Olson


    This course examines the diverse literatures of the American West, from classic pulp westerns to contemporary immigrant fiction, from early conflicts between settlers and Native Americans to recent films and photographs that revise conventional understandings of the frontier. Among the topics we’ll cover are the persistence of images from classic Westerns, gender inequities, environmental transformations, literary regionalism, and how different racial groups experience the west. By comparing writings that represent a range of groups, periods, and locations within the west, we will come to a fuller understanding of how the region has changed over time, as well as authors’ motives for representing it in different ways. Authors will include John Rollin Ridge, Zane Grey, Simon Ortiz, Marilynne Robinson, and Helena Maria Viramontes.


    short essay: 20%
    longer essay: 40%
    participation, quizzes, reflection papers, & in-class writing: 20%
    final exam: 20$


    Life and Times of Joaquin Murieta, John Rollin Ridge
    Riders of the Purple Sage, Zane Grey
    Housekeeping, Marilynne Robinson
    The Professor's House, Willa Cather