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EL30RD: AMERICAN VOICES: SELF AND SOCIETY, 1850-1930 (2021-2022)

Last modified: 16 Aug 2021 13:55

Course Overview

This course examines an important and diverse period in the development of American literature, lasting from the mid-nineteenth century until the 1930s. During the course we will be analysing works by a variety of American writers from this period in their historical, social and political contexts as well as considering the ways in which they pioneered innovative literary forms and techniques.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Daniel Wall

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Undergraduate Programme
  • English (EL)
  • Either Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?


One or more of these courses have a limited number of places. Priority access will be given to students for whom this course is compulsory. Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions for more details on this process.

Course Description

During the period covered by this course, the United States of America experienced a both a bitter and bloody Civil War as well as involvement as a major power in World War I. It also accelerated its transformation from a developing rural economy into a major world economy. Additionally, this period witnessed a great deal of turmoil within the United States itself, as American society was divided and altered over the issues of slavery, race, immigration, the status of Native American peoples and the changing role of women in society. These political, social and cultural forces are reflected and commented upon in the varied and often ground-breaking writing of this period, as events spurred a diverse range of writers to find their own distinctive voices amid the tumult of the country taking shape around them. This course explores how each of the featured writers responded to the questions and challenges of their time by developing their artistry and by giving voice to some of the many different perspectives that have helped to shape American literary identity.

In light of Covid-19 this information is indicative and may be subject to change.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Seminar during University weeks 10 - 19
  • 1 Tutorial during University week9

More Information about Week Numbers

In light of Covid-19 and the move to blended learning delivery the assessment information advertised for second half-session courses may be subject to change. All updates for second-half session courses will be actioned in advance of the second half-session teaching starting. Please check back regularly for updates.

Summative Assessments

1x  1500 word written analysis of a theme or idea explored in the work of an author from the first four weeks of the course (30%)

1x 2,500 word comparative essay on any two authors not already written about in the first exercise (50%)

SAM (10%)

1x electronic course journal submitted to Turnitin (10%)

Alternative Resit Arrangements for students taking course in Academic Year 2020/21

1 x Resit Essay (3,000 words)

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
FactualRememberILO’s for this course are available in the course guide.

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