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Module details

LT161-4-AU: Introduction to United States Literature

Year: 2015/16
Department: Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Essex credit: 15
ECTS credit: 7.5
Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students: Yes
Full Year Module Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students for a Single Term: No

Supervisor: Dr Owen Robinson  
Teaching Staff: Dr Owen Robinson  
Contact details: Dr Owen Robinson, email: orobin (Non essex users should add @essex.ac.uk to create the full email address) 

Module is taught during the following terms

Module Description

What is U.S. literature? What makes writing in the U.S. different from other writing in the English language - and, in particular, different from writing in the U.K? The aim of this course is to offer possible answers to these questions by looking at some of the classic texts regarded as establishing U.S. literature as a separate literature from English. Students are advised to obtain as many of the prescribed texts as they can and to read some of them before the start of the academic year. The authors, topics and texts are listed in the order in which they will be discussed. Any editions of the prescribed texts are acceptable, as long as they are complete and unabridged, apart from Whitman's Leaves of Grass, which needs to be the 1855 edition, edited by Malcolm Cowley (Penguin).

Learning and Teaching Methods

1 hour lecture + 1 hour class per week


50 per cent Coursework Mark, 50 per cent Exam Mark

5% participation mark + 45% Essay

Other details:
The Essay will have 1500-2000 words

Exam Duration and Period

2:00 hour exam during Summer Examination period.

Other information

Compulsory for 1st Yr BA English and United States Literature and 1st Yr BA American (U.S.) Studies


  • Frederick Douglass Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass ;
  • Nathanial Hawthorne The Scarlet Letter (;
  • Mark Twain The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn;
  • Walt Whitman Leaves of Grass (1855 ed)/i>;
  • Arthur Miller The Crucible ;
  • Willa Cather My Antonia ;
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby ;
  • Henry James Portrait of a Lady

Further information

External Examiner Information


Should you have any queries about the Module Directory pages, please contact the Course Record Team, Systems Administration Office, Academic Section; email: crt (non Essex users should add @essex.ac.uk)