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English (ENGL) 345

American Literature II (Revision 3)

ENGL 345 course cover

Revision 3 closed, replaced by current version.

Delivery Mode:Individualized study.


Area of Study:Humanities

Prerequisite:ENGL 211 and ENGL 212 or equivalent first year English course(s).

Centre:Centre for Language and Literature

ENGL 345 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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This course follows the introduction to American literature begun in ENGL 344. ENGL 345 continues the exploration of the history and development of American literature and its rich variety of forms and techniques. The course takes as its focus works of American literature written from approximately 1900 to the present. Beginning with literary developments at the turn of the twentieth century, the course then introduces the literary movements of Naturalism, Modernism, and Regionalism. Finally, it examines postwar and contemporary works for current cultural trends. Students study written works from a variety of genres, styles, racial and ethnic backgrounds and, through this critical survey, develop a deeper understanding of the main issues and movements shaping American culture today.

Note: Since this is a senior course, we expect students to have good reading and writing skills as well as the basic critical tools and knowledge of literary forms and techniques that are acquired in an introductory university English literature course like Athabasca University's English 211 and 212. Students who do not have the recommended credits in an introductory English literature course may experience significant difficulty with the essay assignments and examinations.


Lesson 1: The Portrait of a Lady

Lesson 2: Regionalism

Lesson 3: Naturalism

Lesson 4: American Modernism

Lesson 5: High Modernism

Lesson 6: The Harlem Renaissance

Lesson 7: William Faulkner

Lesson 8: Ernest Hemingway

Lesson 9: John Steinbeck

Lesson 10: Postwar Prose

Lesson 11: Postwar Poetry

Lesson 12: Contemporary Poetry and Prose

Lesson 13: Beloved


To receive credit for ENGL 345, you must achieve a composite course grade of at least “D” (50 percent) and a grade of at least 50 percent on the final examination. The weighting of the course assignments is as follows:

Essay 1 Essay 2 Final Exam Total
20% 40% 40% 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Baym, Nina. Gen. Ed. 2007. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Shorter 7th ed. New York: W. W. Norton.

James, Henry. The Portrait of a Lady.

Hemingway, Ernest. A Farewell to Arms.

Steinbeck, John. The Grapes of Wrath.

Morrison, Toni. Beloved.

Other Materials

The course materials also include a study guide and student manual.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 3, October 6, 2004.

View previous syllabus

Last updated by SAS  09/10/2013 11:31:20