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Course Detail

Course Name American Literature
Course Code 18ELL202
Program BA (English Language and Literature), 5 Year Integrated B.A. – M.A. (English Language & Literature)
Semester III
Credits 4
Year Taught 2019
Degree Undergraduate (UG), Integrated Degree
School School of Arts and Sciences
Campus Coimbatore, Kochi


Course Outline

Unit I: 

Origin and development of American Literature – The colonial period – TranscendentalismDrama, Fiction, Poetry.

Unit II:

Ralph Waldo Emerson – “Self Reliance”[Detailed]. 
Thoreau – “Civil Disobedience”[Detailed].

Unit III:

Poetry Walt Whitman: “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed” [Detailed].
“I Hear America Singing”[Non-Detailed].
Edgar Allen Poe: “Raven” [Detailed]. 
Emily Dickinson: “Because I Could not Stop for Death”[Detailed].
“I Held a Jewel in my Finger”[Non-Detailed].
Robert Frost: “Birches”[Detailed]. 
“Fire and Ice”[Non-Detailed].
Wallace Stevens: “The Emperor of Ice-Cream”[Detailed].

Unit IV:

Drama Tennessee Williams: “Glass Menagerie”[Detailed].

Unit V:

Fiction [All Non-Detailed].
Herman Melville: Moby Dick. 
Toni Morrison: The Bluest Eye.


The students should be able to understand American culture and social milieu; to grasp the insights provided by the selections about the social scenario of America, spread over 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries; to identify what is distinctly American in American literature; to trace the origin and development of American literature.

Core Reading

  1. Oliver, Egbert S. Ed. An Anthology of American Literature. Vols. I and II. Eurasia Publishing House: New Delhi.
  2. Fisher, William J. Ed. An Anthology of American Literature. Vols. I and II. American Literature: An Anthology. Macmillan.
  3. Spiller, Robert E. The Cycle of American Literature, Macmillan.


  1. Brower, Reuben. The Poetry of Robert Frost: Constellations of Intensions.
  2. Chase, Richard. The American Novel and Its Tradition.Kalyani Publishers, Ludhiana. C.
  3. C.W.E. Bigsby. A Critical Introduction to 20th Century American Drama. Cambridge University Press. Vol I & II.
  4. Gray, Richard. A Brief History of American Literature. UK: Wiley Blackwell, 2011.
  5. Students are also advised to refer to websources

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