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Course, academic year 2023/2024
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American Literature until the End of the 19th Century - OPBA4A032A
Title: Americká literatura do konce 19. století
Guaranteed by: Katedra anglického jazyka a literatury (41-KAJL)
Faculty: Faculty of Education
Actual: from 2022
Semester: winter
E-Credits: 4
Examination process: winter s.:
Hours per week, examination: winter s.:1/1, C+Ex [HT]
Extent per academic year: 0 [hours]
Capacity: 120 / 123 (unknown)
Min. number of students: unlimited
4EU+: no
Virtual mobility / capacity: no
State of the course: taught
Language: Czech
Teaching methods: full-time
Teaching methods: full-time
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: Mgr. Jakub Ženíšek, Ph.D.
Teacher(s): Mgr. Jakub Ženíšek, Ph.D.
Pre-requisite : OPBA4A022A
Is pre-requisite for: OPBA4A043A, OPBA4A053B, OPBA4A046A, OPBA4A055B, OPBA4A054B
Annotation -
Last update: Mgr. Jakub Ženíšek, Ph.D. (10.09.2022)
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.).
Descriptors -
Last update: Mgr. Jakub Ženíšek, Ph.D. (10.09.2022)

All the course materials are available online from:

enrolment key: frank

Online webinars are taught via Zoom at:

Literature -
Last update: Mgr. Jakub Ženíšek, Ph.D. (10.09.2022)

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: Mgr. Jakub Ženíšek, Ph.D. (10.09.2022)

1.       Lecture: Colonial American Literature (online video lecture)

Introductory class

2.       Lecture: Enlightenment

Reading assignment – Benjamin Franklin: 2 pamphlets

3.       Lecture: Romantism I

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

4.       Lecture: Romantism II

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

5.       Lecture: Romantism III

Reading assignment –  N. Hawthorne: Birthmark

6.       Lecture: Romantism IV – slave narratives

Reading assignment – The Narrative of Frederick Douglass

7.       Lecture: 19th century poetry (online video)

Reading assignment – Whitman, Dickinson

8.            Lecture: American Transcendentalism

Četba – H.D. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience

9.       Lecture: Transition between Romanticism and Realism

Četba – H. Melville: Bartleby the Scrivener

10.     Lecture: Realism/Naturalism I

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

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

11.     Lecture: Realism/Naturalism II – Local Color

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

Optional reading assignment – C.P.Gilman: The Yellow Wallpaper

12.     Realismus/Naturalismus III – muckraking

Theodore Dreiser: Sister Carrie (excerpt), Theodore Dreiser: Typhoon

Course completion requirements -
Last update: Mgr. Jakub Ženíšek, Ph.D. (11.10.2023)

Requirements: 80% attendance (2 unexplained absences are permissible); A short reflective essay (600 words minimum).

Exam procedure:
1) The student picks the topic and has 15 minutes to assemble his or her thoughts and jot down notes on a piece of paper which s/he can then use during the presentation.
2) The student gives a short verbal presentation on the topic of his or her choice (8-20 minutes). The teacher should not interrupt the student's presentation for the first two minutes.
3) The teacher gives feedback on the student's written performance (essay).
4) The teacher announces the grade.

Learning resources -
Last update: Mgr. Jakub Ženíšek, Ph.D. (10.09.2022)

All the course materials and interactive activites are accessible from:

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