English 260 - Spring, 2016

American Literature: Civil War to 1914

Class Information

Instructor: Hsu, Hsuan
CRN: 63205
Time: T 12:10-3:00
Location: 120 Voorhies
Breadth: Later American
Focus: Genre


    This seminar will focus on American literary naturalism’s representations of place and environment. The first half of the course will focus on the emergence of naturalist writing as a critical response to industrialization, evolutionary science, and monopoly capitalism. The second half of the course will consider how naturalist writing changed over the course of the twentieth century, responding to new environmental crises and health risks. In addition to tracing literary influences across the twentieth century, we will consider how naturalist form engages with topics such as race studies, spatial theory, ecocriticism, biopolitics, animal studies, public health, and class struggle.


    participation & presentations 40%
    reflection papers 20%
    essay 40%


    Sister Carrie, Dreiser
    Vandover and the Brute, Norris
    Maggie, Crane
    Call of the Wild, London
    The Road, McCarthy
    Under the Feet of Jesus, Viramontes
    Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck