Gain a rich understanding of the variety and interconnections of American writing, exploring major poetic, fictional, non-fictional and dramatic works. American literature is topical and contemporary; Author Junot Díaz’s book The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao was declared the best novel of the 21st century (so far!). This is just one of the novels that you will have the opportunity to study on this course.
At Essex, we challenge the study of the United States as a territorially bound space by embracing an expanded conception of ‘America’, which explores the richness of U.S. and Caribbean literatures in dialogue. This allows you to formulate sophisticated analyses of the role of space and place in the production of American writing and identities.
You explore how cultural geography may be integrated into literary history, concentrating on American literatures topics including:
How violence and conflict have shaped writing across the American tropics The difference between reality and the “American Dream” Caribbean modernities and post-colonialism US nationalism and regionalism in literature African American literature
Our department is ranked Top 20 in the UK (Guardian University Guide 2015) and in the Top 200 worldwide (QS World University Rankings), and three-quarters of our research is rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (REF 2014).
This course is also available on a part-time basis.