English 158B - Spring, 2021

The American Novel 1900 to the present

Class Information

Instructor: Barr, Clara
CRN: 62140
Time: MWF 3:10-4:00
GE Areas: Domestic Diversity Writing Experience


This course is a survey of the American novel in the 20th century. We will read 5 novels that span the century (from 1913-1993); attempt to understand how these novels both represent canonical literary movements and also complicate them; and develop a literary historical timeline of the century.

The course will require a lot of reading (5 novels in 10 weeks!). Class time will consist of both synchronous discussions (on Zoom) and asynchronous recorded lectures. The course is designed so that both synchronous and asynchronous students can succeed.

GE Literacy Areas: Domestic Diversity & Writing Experience


Grading will be based on a series of short papers; regular quizzes; discussion posts; and a final project. Students should be prepared to read a lot and to write frequently throughout the quarter.


O Pioneers!, Willa Cather
The Big Money, John Dos Passos
Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison
Almanac of the Dead, Leslie Marmon Silko
Parable of the Sower, Octavia Butler