ENGLISH 362 - The American Novel
Winter 2018, Section 001 - The Novel after World War II
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is (see other Sections below)
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
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Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


After the Second World War, many observers of American culture claimed with almost obsessive regularity that a “malaise” had descended upon the country. Sociologists like David Riesman and journalists like William H. Whyte wrote bestselling books about this malaise. Philosophers waxed extensively, calling it an “existential crisis.” Even Hollywood found angst to be a marketable thematic in films like Rebel without a Cause (1955), Rear Window (1954), and other productions in the mystery, suspense, and sci-fi and genres.

What were the sources of this anxiety? What assumptions were implicit in the diagnostic term “malaise”? What was occluded or overlooked in this diagnosis? And how might the postwar decades help us better understand the intellectual vocabulary and political culture of our present moment? This course approaches these questions in American cultural history by looking to novels by Ralph Ellison, Vladimir Nabokov, Gwendolyn Brooks, Shirley Jackson, John Okada, Patricia Highsmith, and J.D. Salinger, among others. The course lectures will also discuss thinkers who were influential in the postwar period, including Riesman, Freud, Sartre, Hannah Arendt, James Baldwin, and others.

Course Requirements:

Course format will be a mixture of discussion and lecture. Assignments include two 4-page papers (10% and 20%), one creative/professional project (15%), participation (20%), and one final 8-10-page paper (35%).


ENGLISH 362 - The American Novel
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
1/3/18 - 4/17/18

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