Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedCaulfield First semester 2014 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Professor Leah Garrett


Previously coded ENH2410


This unit is an introduction to some of the major writers in American literature during the twentieth century, and an exploration of the concept of a national literary identity. The course will consider the historical background of the time period when the novels were set as well as the biographies of the authors in order to discover how writers from a broad range of regions and ethnic backgrounds described the particular traits of being American.


On successfully completing this unit, students will have:

  1. Familiarity with an array of contemporary American writers.
  2. Understanding of the impact of historical events on American literature.
  3. Developed tools of comparative analysis when researching authors writing from different ethnicities and classes.
  4. Honed evaluative tools for approaching writers composing at the same time but from very different backgrounds.
  5. Understanding of the historical similarities and differences between literary production in America and in Australia.
  6. Understanding the manner in which American literature transformed during the 20th century.
  7. Developed oral and written communication skills.


Response papers (1000 words) and participation: 30%
Essay (1500 words): 30%
Class test (2000 words): 40%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

One 2 hour seminar per week or 22 hours per semester

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


A gateway unit in Literary Studies or permission