Classics of British and American Literature
MET EN 550
"Classics of British and American Literature" is designed to teach some of the classic books of English-language literature, including several of those most widely read in American high schools, as well as some authoritative literary criticism on each of these works, their authors and genres. The course will include selected poems, short stories, and essays, as well as novels and provide historical background for each work and biographical information about the author. We will look at some film versions of the works studied. The course explicitly introduces students to issues and controversies concerning the nature and purpose of literature curricula in schools. These include the idea of a "classic," a literary canon, and a "high" culture, as opposed to or different from popular, commercial, contemporary, and utilitarian uses and forms of literature. Texts: Shakespeare, Julius Caesar; Douglass, Narrative; Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter; Twain, Huckleberry Finn; Wharton, Ethan Frome; Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby. Essays: Lincoln, Emerson,Thoreau. Short Stories: Hemingway, Anderson, Roth, Updike, Oates, Gordimer. Poetry: Whitman, Dickinson, Eliot, Frost, Owen, Larkin. Note: Course does not count for the English major.