This course will survey the field of American culture between the World Wars, linking it to major contemporary political, social, and economic developments: industrialization and urbanization, the rising power of labor unions, the shift from a producerist to a consumerist society, and the emergence of social movements grounded in race. We will pull from a range of different materials: poetry, fiction, documentary writing, and film, along with some historical and theoretical readings. Authors may include Sherwood Anderson, Faulkner, Hurston, Wright, Mike Gold, Hart Crane, and W. C. Williams.
Course requirements: An in-class presentation based on original research, two 6-8 pp. papers, several shorter writing assignments, and class participation.