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Topics in American Literature

ENGL 286.601
instructor(s):
M 5:30-8:30

"Gotham," the name of a village proverbial for the folly of its inhabitants, was used by Washington Irving as a nickname for New York. In this course the variety, complexity, and mythology of New York will be examined through novels and short stories set in New York, beginning with Irving's own fictionalized "A History of New York." Other authors will include Herman Melville, Henry James, Edith Wharton, Theodore Dreiser, Anzia Yerierska, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Ann Petry, Ralph Ellison, Mickey Spillane, and Paul Auster. We will also view a recent five-part documentary, *New York*, produced for The American Experience in association with WGBH Boston, Thirteen/WNET in New York, and the New York Historical Society. Course requirements: class attendance and participation, two papers.