SubjectsSubjects(version: 945)
Course, academic year 2023/2024
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American Literature to the End of the 19th Century - OEBAA1723Z
Title: American Literature to the End of the 19th Century
Guaranteed by: Katedra anglického jazyka a literatury (41-KAJL)
Faculty: Faculty of Education
Actual: from 2021
Semester: summer
E-Credits: 6
Examination process: summer s.:
Hours per week, examination: summer s.:1/1, Ex [HT]
Capacity: unlimited / 0 (unknown)
Min. number of students: unlimited
4EU+: no
Virtual mobility / capacity: no
State of the course: taught
Language: English
Teaching methods: full-time
Teaching methods: full-time
Additional information:
Note: course can be enrolled in outside the study plan
enabled for web enrollment
priority enrollment if the course is part of the study plan
Guarantor: doc. PhDr. Josef Grmela, CSc.
Mgr. Jakub Ženíšek, Ph.D.
Teacher(s): Mgr. Jakub Ženíšek, Ph.D.
Class: Předměty v angličtině - bc.
Annotation -
Last update: Kateřina Esserová, DiS. (24.09.2019)
Course Profile: This course aims to give the students a general outline of the most significant events in American literature, focusing largely, but not exclusively, on canonical authors. These seminars complement lectures which reside in presenting a particular literary movement, including its social and cultural background. These are then followed by a close reading session which focuses on the selected seminar texts (short stories, plays, novels/extracts etc.).
Last update: PhDr. Tereza Topolovská, Ph.D. (08.02.2021)

All the course materials are available online from:

enrolment key: frank

Online webinars are taught via Zoom at:

Literature - Czech
Last update: Kateřina Esserová, DiS. (24.09.2019)

Doporučená literatura:

  1. Ruland, R., Bradbury, M. From Puritanism to Postmodernism, New York: Viking Penguin, 1991. ISBN-13: 978-0140144352.
  2. Procházka, M., Quinn, J., Ulmanová, H., Roraback, E. Lectures on American Literature. Praha, 2002. ISBN 9788024619965.
  3. High, Peter, An Outline of American Literature, London: Longman, 2007.
  4. Van Spanckeren, K. Outline of American Literature – revised edition. US Information Agency, 1994.
  5. Lauter, P., Yarborough, R., Cheung, K., Molesworth, C.  The Heath Anthology of American literature, Early Nineteenth Century: 1800 - 1865, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2005. ISBN-13: 9780618532988.
  6. Lauter, P., Yarborough, R., Alberti, J., Brady, M. The Heath Anthology of American literature: Volume A: the Beginnings to 1900, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008. ISBN: 0-618-54250-7.

Rozšiřující literatura:

  1. Bercovitch, S. (ed.). The Cambridge History of American Literature. Cambridge, 1994.
  2. Bradbury, M.:. The Modern American Novel, Oxford: O.U.P, 1992.
  3. Elliott, E. et al, (Eds.) Columbia Literary History of the United States, Columbia University Press, 1988-2001.
  4. Hendin, J. (ed.). A Concise Companion to Postwar American Culture and Literature. Londýn, 2004.
  5. Minter, D. A Cultural History of the American Novel,Cambridge:CambridgeUniversity Press, 1996.
  6. Procházka, Martin a Stříbrný, Zdeněk. Slovník spisovatelů [literatur v angličtině]. Nakladatelství Libri: Praha, 2003.
  7. Roth, J., (Ed) American Diversity, American Identity,New York: Henry Holt, 1995.
  8. Starling, M. W. The Slave Narrative: Its Place in American History. Washington, DC: Howard University Press, 1988.
Syllabus -
Last update: Kateřina Esserová, DiS. (24.09.2019)

1. Lecture: ColonialUSliterature (online video)

Úvod do předmětu / Lecture: American Enlightenment

Reading assignment – Benjamin Franklin: 2 pamphlets


2. Lecture: Enlightenment – Revolutionary writers I

Readingassignment – Thomas Paine: Common Sense (slightly abridged)


3. Lecture: Romanticism I

Reading assignment – Washington Irving: The Legend of the Sleepy Hollow


4. Lecture: Romanticism II

Reading assignment – E.A.Poe: The Black Cat, The Tell-Tale Heart


5. Lecture: Romanticism III

Reading assignment – N. Hawthorne: Birthmark, Rapaccini’s Daughter (optional)


6.  Video-lecture: Ideological overtones of Romanticism I – slave narratives

     Lecture: Ideological overtones of Romanticism II – slave narratives

Reading assignment – The Narrative of Frederick Douglass

Reading assignment 2 (optional) –H. D. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience


7.  Lecture: 19th centuryUSpoetry (+online video)

Reading assignment – Whitman,Dickinson


8.  Lecture: A transition stage between US Romanticism and Realism

Readingassignment – Herman Melville: Moby Dick (excerpts), Bartleby the Scrivener


9.  Lecture: Realism/Naturalism I (local color)

Reading assignment –Kate Chopin: A Respectable Woman and 4 other stories


10. Lecture: Realism/Naturalism II (Civil War)

Reading assignment –A. Bierce: An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

S. Crane: The Red Badge of Courage (synopsis + an excerpt)


11. Lecture: Realism/Naturalism III (female emancipation issues)

Reading assignment –C.P. Gilman: The Yellow Wallpaper


12. Lecture: Realism/Naturalism IV (muckrakers)

Reading assignment – Theodore Dreiser: Sister Carrie (an excerpt), Typhoon

Course completion requirements -
Last update: Kateřina Esserová, DiS. (24.09.2019)

Requirements: 80% attendance (2 unexplained absences are permissible);
Either a short handwritten essay (400 words), written against the clock at the end of the term, or a longer typewritten essay (1400 words) on one of the assigned topics.

Learning resources
Last update: Kateřina Esserová, DiS. (24.09.2019)

To access the reading assignments for seminars, pls. go to:


enrolment key: frank


To access the backup course materials for lectures, pls. go to:


enrolment key: frank


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