American Literary History 3.

Status of the subject: mandatory

Structure of the subject: 5th Semester, 4 hours per week (2 courses and 2 seminars)

Credits: 4

Teacher: Dr. Bökös Borbála


The course aims at studying and highlighting the main literary movements and works that left their mark on the evolution of the literature of the United States in the historical period after the Second World War:  the beat generation, the post-WW2 novel, postmodernism and minimalism, as well as minority voices. The students will therefore become capable of understanding and properly assessing the contributions, both artistic and theoretical, of the most representative American writers of the time, as well as correlating them with other literary movements and works from all over the world.

The primary objectives of the seminars are:

  1. to complete the study of the literary culture of the United States of the past two centuries
  2. to acquaint students with the literature of the decades following World War II
  3. to offer insights into the themes, subjects, representative authors, landmarks and developments in the ’postmodern’ period, thus facilitating a better understanding of the texts assigned for the seminars, and enhance motivations for future study and research.

      The texts have been chosen from the list of required reading for their examination and they will focus,  on all the major genres: poetry, the novel, drama and short prose.

We'll explore the aesthetic attractions and intellectual challenges of the literature after World War II, especially experimental works which stretch or break traditional notions of narrative and poetic form and purpose. We will also investigate the theory and practice of literary postmodernism, reconstruct the intellectual climate of the respective decades, new developments (beat generation, the New Journalism, postmodernism, feminism, the ethnic voices, minimalism etc.), and highlight the evolution of all major genres in the period discussed.