Vybrané kapitoly z americkej literatúry EXT 21/22

Faculty of Arts Matej Bel University

Department of English and American Studies


Selected topics in American literature and culture


Introduction to the course


1. Colonial period

Samuel Sewall: The Selling of Joseph



2. Revolutionary period: Thomas Paine: Common sense: https://oll.libertyfund.org/pages/1776-paine-common-sense-pamphlet


3. Transcendentalism - Margaret Fuller: American Literature: Its position in the present time, and prospects for the future

American Literature; Its Position in the Present Time, and Prospects for the Future | transcendentalism.tamu.edu


4. Realism

Frederick Douglass: The Hypocrisy of American Slavery


Abraham Lincoln:  Last Public Address



5.  Modernism

Ernest Hemingway: In Another Country



6. American drama

Arthur Miller: Death of a Salesman (pages 1 - 10)



7. Postwar literature

Jerome David Salinger: A Perfect Day for Bananafish



8. Postmodernism

Susan Sontag: Against Interpretation



9. Ethnic literatures 1: African American literature

Tayari Jones: An American Marriage

Excerpt: https://lithub.com/an-american-marriage/


10. Ethnic literatures 2: Jewish American

Philip Roth: The Conversion of the Jews



11. Recent trends in development: reflections on American family and society

John Updike: Separating



12. Recent trends in development: reflections on American family and society

J. D. Vance: Hillbilly Elegy






-        Social, political background - describe the era, the life of the general public, the socio-cultural situation (10 points)

-        Describe the literary movement the author belonged to (e.g. realism, postmodernism...) (10 points)

-        The life of the author – childhood, family, literary influences, partaking in social life, politics, major opinions, importance of the author  (10 points)

-        The short story/novel/essay – why is it important, what is it about (focus on the themes, not the plot), style, language, character development, main ideas  (10 points)

-        Answering questions from the audience  (10 points)


Recommended literature:

American Literature: A History, Bertens and D´haen, Routledge, 2014

Baštín, Š. A Short History of American Literature. Bratislava: Univerzita Komenského, 2000. (skriptá)

Guerin, Wilfred L. A Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Hart, James D. The Oxford Companion to American Literature. New York: Oxford University.

Hunter, Gordon. American Literature, American Culture. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.

McMichael, G. (ed.). Anthology of American Literature. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2000.

Procházka, Martin, a kol. Lectures on American Literature. Praha: Karolinum, 2002.