Department of English

Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University

2202618  The Modern American Novel


Puckpan Tipayamontri

Office: BRK 1106.1

Office Hours: W 13 and by appointment

Phone: 0 2218 4703


BRK 314

T 14



! Detailed Schedule


! Course Evaluation: Please give feedback on the course 

  • Online at by September 20, 2009. Here are directions on how to evaluate the course online.

  • Evaluation form (This is a more detailed form than the department one. It would be very helpful to me if you could give feedback using this form.) 

Course Outline

What is so modern about modern America? We will be exploring the aesthetic and social concerns that shape the novels of the United States from the early twentieth century to the present.  With jazz, the transcontinental railroad, two World Wars, Einstein's theory of relativity, and a depression, the horizons of America has expanded through incoming new ideas and immigrants and outgoing expats and journeys abroad.  How have novelists created their textual world in such a setting?


We meet Tuesdays 14 p.m.


There are 6 reading responses and a 10-page final paper, also student-led discussions and presentations.


Readings include:

  • Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937)

  • Jack Kerouac, On the Road (1951)

  • N. Scott Momaday, House Made of Dawn (1968)

  • Michael Cunningham, The Hours (1998)

  • Course packet (selections from Henry James, T. S. Eliot, Gertrude Stein, John Dos Passos, John Steinbeck, W. E. B. Du Bois, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. among others)

Syllabus (Word file)


Detailed schedule

Studying Literature
  • Klarer, Mario.  An Introduction to Literary Studies.  2nd ed.  London: Routledge, 2004. (CL  820.9 K63I)

  • Brooks, Cleanth, and Robert Penn Warren.  Understanding Fiction.  3rd ed.  Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1998. (library has 2nd ed.)

  • Undergraduate Guide for Studying Literature (How well do you understand what you have read?, keeping a reading journal, critical terms for discussing literature, guidelines for writing essays, what the grade on your essay means, what to do with your marked essay, marking symbols and abbreviations; also has downloadable pdf file)

  • Literary Resources on the Net

Books on Modernism

Bell, Bernard W.  The Afro-American Novel and Its Tradition.  Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1987. (IIC American St.  813.009896 BA)


Berman, Ronald.  Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and the Twenties.  Tuscaloosa: U of Alabama P, 2001.


Bradbury, Malcolm.  The Modern American Novel.  Oxford: Oxford UP, 1992.


Bradbury, Malcolm, and James McFarlane, eds.  Modernism: 18901930.  New York: Penguin, 1976.


Chase, Richard.  The American Novel and Its Tradition.  New York: Doubleday, 1957. (CL  813.09 C487A, Arts  PS371 C487A)


Elliott, Emory, ed.  The Columbia History of the American Novel.  New York: Columbia UP, 1991. (IIC American St.  813.009 CE )


Hoffman, Michael, and Patrick Murphy, eds.  Essentials of the Theory of Fiction.  Duke.


Kalaidjian, Walter, ed.  The Cambridge Companion to American Modernism.  Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2005.


Lee, Brian.  American Fiction, 18651940.  London : Longman, 1992.


Matthews, Steven.  Modernism.  London: Arnold, 2004.


Minter, David.  A Cultural History of the American Novel: Henry James to William Faulkner.  Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1996.


Perkins, George, ed.  The Theory of the American Novel.  New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1970. (IIC American St.  808.3 PT)


Rainey, Lawrence, ed.  Modernism: An Anthology.  Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2005.


Rhodes, Chip .  Structures of the Jazz Age: Mass culture, Progressive Education, and Racial Discourse in American Modernism.  London : Verso, 1998.


Wagner-Martin, Linda.  The Modern American Novel, 19141945: A Critical History.  New York: Twayne Publishers, 1990. (IIC American St.  813.5209 WM)

Student Essentials

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers.  7th ed.  New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2009. (library has 6th ed.)

Roget's International Thesaurus.  6th ed.  Ed. Barbara Ann Kipfer.  New York: Harper, 2001. (library has 3rd ed.)

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary.  11th ed.  Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 2003.

Oxford English Dictionary.  2nd ed.  20 vols.  Oxford: Oxford UP, 1989.



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Last updated September 25, 2009