Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2023
Units: 5
Hours: 5 lecture per week (60 total per quarter)
Prerequisite: Eligibility for college-level composition (ENGL 1A or 1AH or ESLL 26), as determined by college assessment or other appropriate method.
Advisory: Successful completion of college-level composition (ENGL 1A or 1AH or ESLL 26) or equivalent; not open to students with credit in ENGL 45B, 48B or 48C.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Area I: Humanities, Area VI: United States Cultures & Communities
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade Only
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students can select an appropriate literary-critical vocabulary and concept (from a variety of possible approaches) and apply the vocabulary/concept to the interpretation of an assigned piece of historical fiction.
  • A successful student will be able to read literary texts of various genres and literary movements and subsequently actively and critically assess those works within 19th to 21st century contexts for denotative and connotative meaning, structure and development, and connections between literal and figurative detail.


Introduces students to multicultural American literature from the end of the Civil War in 1865 to the present, focusing on the evolution of literary traditions, genres, cultural voices, and ecological landscapes within historical, philosophical, social, political, and aesthetic contexts. Special emphasis on the role of diverse writers in redefining the nature of American literature from the late 19th century through the 21st century. Specific to honors: extensive research and review of scholarly criticism, as well as the analysis and application of theoretical paradigms.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of major writers, key texts, documents, and debates of American literature from 1865 to the present by analyzing the development of a distinctive national political and aesthetic culture as reflected in the major writers and texts of this period
  2. Identify major literary genres, and trace the emergence and development of literary forms during this period
  3. Apply relevant critical and theoretical frameworks to evaluate the literature within historical, multicultural, and philosophical contexts
  4. Analyze literary texts via a range of theoretical paradigms
  5. Appropriately document sources

Course Content

  1. Major writers and texts
    1. Development of experimental verse forms (e.g., Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman)
    2. Satire, dialect, and first-person narration (e.g., Mark Twain and Stephen Crane)
    3. Fictionalized portraits of vaqueros, cowboys, and the frontier by Latino and Anglo American authors
    4. Psychological realism in fiction (e.g., Edith Wharton and Henry James)
    5. Studies of African American culture and politics (e.g., Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois)
    6. Native American autobiographies (e.g., Winnemucca Hopkins, Zitkála-Šá, and Standing Bear)
    7. Asian American fiction (e.g., Sui Sin Far and Onoto Watana)
    8. Portraits of Spanish California (e.g., Helen Hunt Jackson and María Amparo Ruiz de Burton)
    9. Modernist poetry and poetics (e.g., Pound, Eliot, Stevens, H.D., and Moore)
    10. Modernist fiction (e.g., Hemingway, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Petry, Stein, and Wright)
    11. Harlem Renaissance aesthetic and political texts (e.g., Cullen, Hurston, McKay, and Hughes)
    12. The literature of social criticism (e.g., Dreiser, Sinclair, Hopkins, Gilman)
    13. Poetry and prose by Beat Generation (e.g., Ginsberg, Kerouac, and Snyder)
    14. Native American texts (e.g., Momaday, Erdrich, Silko, and Alexie)
    15. Asian American fiction and poetry (e.g., Bulosan, Hong Kingston, and Chaeng-Rae Lee)
    16. Latino/a texts (e.g., Anzaldúa, Cisneros, and Anaya)
    17. Postmodern texts (e.g., Vonnegut, Pynchon, and Morrison)
  2. Literary genres and forms
    1. Satire
    2. "Free" and other experimental verse
    3. Drama
    4. Fiction
    5. Political manifestos
    6. Modernism
    7. Postmodernism
    8. Realism
    9. Naturalism
  3. Relevant critical and theoretical frameworks
    1. Analysis of the role of literary representations in fostering significant social movements, such as the civil rights movement, the women's rights movement, the gay rights movement, and the sexual revolution
    2. Historical perspectives, including dominant ethical, philosophical, political, religious, social, and aesthetic perspectives in the literature of this period
    3. Gender studies
    4. Queer theories; sexuality studies
    5. Psychological theories (Freudian, Jungian)
    6. Marxian and other socioeconomic frameworks
    7. Theories of race and ethnicity
    8. Postcolonial and neocolonial studies
  4. Formatting and documentation
    1. Modern Language Association (MLA)
    2. American Psychological Association (APA)

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

1. When taught on campus, no special facility or equipment needed.
2. When taught virtually, ongoing access to a computer with LMS-compatible software and internet browser.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Discussion participation
Journal entries
Literary analysis and critical thinking demonstrated in writing and/or other media
Research literary analysis compositions demonstrating the application of theory
"Unessay" projects

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Independent and collaborative reading/viewing/listening of assigned texts
Lectures and/or presentations on the history and interpretation of assigned texts
Instructor-guided and collaborative analysis and interpretation
Student-led discussions and presentations
Presentations on inquiry projects focusing on key tools and skill sets in literary interpretation

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Levine, Robert S., editor. The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Shorter 9th ed., 1865 to Present. 2017.

The 10th edition of this text is forthcoming.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

  1. Reading assigned primary and secondary sources
  2. Quizzes on reading comprehension of assigned literary texts
  3. Analytical and reader response journal assignments
  4. Composition of extended, theory-based, research-based literary analysis
  5. Writing and research assignments may include journal entries, reading responses, annotated bibliographies, essays, and "unessay" projects that require summary, interpretation, analysis, and synthesis of texts