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In “The American Novel Since 1945” students will study a wide range of works from 1945 to the present. The course traces the formal and thematic developments of the novel in this period, focusing on the relationship between writers and readers, the conditions of publishing, innovations in the novel’s form, fiction’s engagement with history, and the changing place of literature in American culture. The reading list includes works by Richard Wright, Flannery O’Connor, Vladimir Nabokov, Jack Kerouac, J. D. Salinger, Thomas Pynchon, John Barth, Maxine Hong Kingston, Toni Morrison, Marilynne Robinson, Cormac McCarthy, Philip Roth and Edward P. Jones. The course concludes with a contemporary novel chosen by the students in the class.

 

This course was recorded in Spring 2008.

These Free Lectures are licensed under a Creative Commons License by Yale University.

Course Curriculum

Session 1
Lecture 1: Introductions – The American Novel Since 1945 Details 00:48:00
Lecture 2: Richard Wright, Black Boy Details 00:50:00
Lecture 3: Flannery O’Connor, Wise Blood Details 00:47:00
Lecture 4: Flannery O’Connor, Wise Blood (cont.) Details 00:45:00
Lecture 5: Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita Details 00:52:00
Session 2
Lecture 6: Guest Lecture by Andrew Goldstone Details 00:43:00
Lecture 7: Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita (cont.) Details 00:47:00
Lecture 8: Jack Kerouac, On the Road Details 00:48:00
Lecture 9: Jack Kerouac, On the Road (cont.) Details 00:46:00
Lecture 10: J. D. Salinger, Franny and Zooey Details 00:47:00
Session 3
Lecture 11: John Barth, Lost in the Funhouse Details 00:49:00
Lecture 12: Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49 Details 00:49:00
Lecture 13: Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye Details 00:50:00
Lecture 14: Maxine Hong Kingston, The Woman Warrior Details 00:51:00
Lecture 15: Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping Details 00:47:00
Session 4
Lecture 16: Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping (cont.) Details 00:49:00
Lecture 17: Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian Details 00:50:00
Lecture 18: Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian (cont.) Details 00:40:00
Lecture 19: Philip Roth, The Human Stain Details 00:49:00
Lecture 20: Philip Roth, The Human Stain (cont.) Details 00:50:00
Session 5
Lecture 21: Philip Roth, The Human Stain (cont.) Details 00:46:00
Lecture 22: Edward P. Jones, The Known World Details 00:51:00
Lecture 23: Edward P. Jones, The Known World (cont.) Details 00:47:00
Lecture 24: Students’ Choice Novel: Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything is Illuminated Details 00:46:00
Lecture 25: Students’ Choice Novel: Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything is Illuminated (cont.) Details 00:49:00
Lecture 26: Review for Final Exam Details 00:55:00
Exam
Final Exam Details 02:00:00

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