English 189 - Fall, 2016

Seminar in Literary Studies

    Topic: Literature of the Great Depression

Class Information

Instructor: Stratton, Matthew
CRN: 53676
Time: TR 1:40-3:00
Location: 308 Voorhies


    The Great Depression of the 1930s looms uncomfortably large in the U.S. national imaginary: economic collapse, disillusioned revolutionaries, hopeful reformers, and vituperative conservatives seem both distantly past and disconcertingly familiar. This course will focus on "depressing fictions" of the period: realist, naturalist, and modernist prose fiction that examines the psychological, physical, economic, and political relationships of individuals and groups to one other, to the nation, and to the world in a period of profound crisis. We will also encounter a variety of different forms of writing and representation -- poetry, reportage, photography, film, and music -- in order to situate and understand the particularity of fiction as it was read in the 1930s and as we experience it today.


    Response Papers
    Two Essays
    Final Exam


    Unpossessed, Tess Slesinger
    Whose Names Are Unknown, Sanora Babb
    Uncle Tom's Children, Richard Wright
    Now in November, Josephine Johnson
    The Big Money, John Dos Passos
    Tobacco Road, Erskine Caldwell