American Literature in the Long Twentieth Century (T7062)

15 credits, Level 5

Autumn teaching

This module introduces significant texts by American writers produced between 1890 and 2001.

We will analyse the workings of class, gender, race, sexual identity, technology, capital and economy in these texts. Through this, we’ll explore issues associated with American modernity and its cultural logic as expressed in modernist, realist, post-modern, poetic and other literary texts.

You’ll observe the different ways that writers tackle or avoid important economic and social questions of the period.

We will examine how important socio-economic developments shape the stylistic and thematic fabric of these works, such as:

  • the rise of industrialisation and urbanisation
  • war
  • consumer culture
  • the internet
  • the Cold War
  • neoliberalism
  • feminism
  • ideas of national and personal identity.


100%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Portfolio)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 128 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: