The American Novel Since 1945 - Video
by Amy Hungerford
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(ENGL 291) In The American Novel Since 1945 students will study a wide range of works from 1945 to the present. The course traces the formal and thematic developments of the novel in this period, focusing on the relationship between writers and readers, the conditions of publishing, innovations in the novel's form, fiction's engagement with history, and the changing place of literature in American culture. The reading list includes works by Richard Wright, Flannery O'Connor, Vladimir Nabokov, Jack Kerouac, J. D. Salinger, Thomas Pynchon, John Barth, Maxine Hong Kingston, Toni Morrison, Marilynne Robinson, Cormac McCarthy, Philip Roth and Edward P. Jones. The course concludes with a contemporary novel chosen by the students in the class. This course was recorded in Spring 2008.
|1||Video01 - Introductions||In this first lecture Professor Hungerford introduces the course's academic requirements and some of its central concerns. She uses a magazine advertisement for James Joyce's Ulysses and an essay by Vladimir Nabokov (author of Lolita, a novel on the ...||10/8/2009||Free||View In iTunes|
|2||Video02 - Richard Wright, Black Boy||Professor Amy Hungerford continues her discussion of Richard Wright's classic American autobiography, Black Boy. Through a close analysis of key passages, she demonstrates an oscillation in the narrative between the socioeconomic deprivations and ...||10/8/2009||Free||View In iTunes|
|3||Video03 - Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood||Professor Amy Hungerford's first lecture on Flannery O'Connor's Wise Blood addresses questions of faith and interpretation. She uses excerpts from O'Connor's copious correspondence to introduce the critical framework of O'Connor's Catholicism, but ...||10/8/2009||Free||View In iTunes|
|4||Video04 - Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood (cont.)||In this second lecture on Flannery O'Connor's Wise Blood, Professor Amy Hungerford continues to offer several specific contexts in which to read and understand the novel. Having used O'Connor's letters to delve into her theological commitments in the ...||10/8/2009||Free||View In iTunes|
|5||Video05 - Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita||Professor Amy Hungerford introduces the first of three lectures on Nabokov's Lolita by surveying students' reactions to the novel, highlighting the conflicting emotions readers feel, enjoying Nabokov's virtuosic style, but being repelled by the ...||10/8/2009||Free||View In iTunes|
|6||Video06 - Guest Lecture by Teaching Fellow Andrew Goldstone||In this guest lecture, Teaching Fellow Andrew Goldstone provides us with some key concepts for understanding Modernism and Nabokov's relation in particular to his literary forebears T. S. Eliot, James Joyce, and Marcel Proust. Positing the "knight's ...||10/8/2009||Free||View In iTunes|
|7||Video07 - Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita (cont.)||In the last of three lectures on Lolita, Professor Amy Hungerford discusses the broader context of Nabokov's relation to his novel: both the debate it inspires surrounding censorship and artistic originality, and the concern it evokes in him about the ...||10/8/2009||Free||View In iTunes|
|8||Video08 - Jack Kerouac, On the Road||Professor Amy Hungerford's lecture on Kerouac's On the Road begins by contrasting the Beats' ambition for language's direct relation to lived experience with a modernist sense of difficulty and mediation. She goes on to discuss the ways that desire ...||10/8/2009||Free||View In iTunes|
|9||Video09 - Jack Kerouac, On the Road (cont.)||In this second lecture on On The Road, Professor Hungerford addresses some of the obstacles and failures to the novel's high ambitions for achieving American community through an immediacy of communication. Sal Paradise's desire to cross racial ...||10/8/2009||Free||View In iTunes|
|10||Video10 - J. D. Salinger, Franny and Zooey||In this lecture on J. D. Salinger's Franny and Zooey, Professor Hungerford presents her argument about religion in the novel as an example to students of how to construct a sound literary critical paper using evidence from the text. Moving between ...||10/8/2009||Free||View In iTunes|
|11||Video11 - John Barth, Lost in the Funhouse||In her lecture on John Barth's collection of stories Lost in the Funhouse, Professor Amy Hungerford delves beyond the superficial pleasures and frustrations of Barth's oft-cited metafictional masterwork to illuminate the profound commitment to language...||10/8/2009||Free||View In iTunes|
|12||Video12 - Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49||Professor Hungerford introduces this lecture by reviewing the ways that authors on the syllabus up to this point have dealt with the relationship between language and life, that collection of elusive or obvious things that for literary critics fall ...||10/8/2009||Free||View In iTunes|
|13||Video13 - Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye||Professor Hungerford draws a contrast between Toni Morrison and most of the writers studied up to this point in the course by pointing out how, for an African-American woman writer in particular, language is a site of violence. For all of her power to ...||10/8/2009||Free||View In iTunes|
|14||Video14 - Maxine Hong Kingston, The Woman Warrior||In this lecture at the midpoint of the course Professor Hungerford takes stock of the syllabus thus far and to come by laying out her guiding thesis of the Identity Plot, a rubric for understanding novels in the twentieth century as, she argues, the ...||10/8/2009||Free||View In iTunes|
|15||Video15 - Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping||Professor Hungerford situates Marilynne Robinson's novel Housekeeping (1980) in a tradition of American writing about the individual's relationship to nature that includes the powerful influences of the Bible, Herman Melville, and Ralph Waldo Emerson...||10/8/2009||Free||View In iTunes|
|16||Video16 - Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping (cont.)||At the very beginning of the course, Professor Hungerford offered students the opportunity to pitch a novel of their choice to fill the final spot on the syllabus. Today six students rise to that challenge, presenting their arguments for why each book ...||10/8/2009||Free||View In iTunes|
|17||Video17 - Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian||In this first of two lectures on Blood Meridian, Professor Hungerford walks us through some of the novel's major sources and influences, showing how McCarthy engages both literary tradition and American history, and indeed questions of origins and ...||10/8/2009||Free||View In iTunes|
|18||Video18 - Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian (cont.)||In this second lecture on Blood Meridian, Professor Hungerford builds a wide-ranging argument about the status of good and evil in the novel from a small detail, the Bible the protagonist carries with him in spite of his illiteracy. This detail is one...||10/8/2009||Free||View In iTunes|
|19||Video19 - Philip Roth, The Human Stain||In this lecture on The Human Stain, Professor Hungerford traces the ways that Roth's novel conforms to and pushes beyond the genre she calls the Identity Plot. Exploring the various ways that race can be construed as category, mark, biology, or ...||10/8/2009||Free||View In iTunes|
|20||Video20 - Philip Roth, The Human Stain (cont.)||In this lecture Professor Hungerford discusses how the novels we read are shaped by legal and market constraints. She traces a history of censorship from the Comstock laws, to the policing of Joyce's Ulysses and Ginsberg's Howl, and shows how changes ...||10/8/2009||Free||View In iTunes|
|21||Video22 - Edward P. Jones, The Known World||In the first of her two lectures on Edward P. Jones's The Known World, Prof. Hungerford begins from the novel's title, asking what counts as knowledge in the novel and why knowledge is central to the story. This leads to related questions: who is a ...||10/8/2009||Free||View In iTunes|
|22||Video21 - Philip Roth, The Human Stain (cont.)||In this final lecture on The Human Stain, Professor Hungerford argues that desire is the engine of narrative, for Roth, both at the structural level and in the very grammar of his sentences. Sex and writing are alike in their attempt to cross the ...||10/8/2009||Free||View In iTunes|
|23||Video23 - Edward P. Jones, The Known World (cont.)||In this second lecture on The Known World, Professor Hungerford addresses Edward P. Jones's ambitious and ambivalent relation to literacy. Jones shows us the power of narrative to bring together the fragmentation of the world, but is at the same time ...||10/8/2009||Free||View In iTunes|
|24||Video24 - Students' Choice Novel: Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything is Illuminated||In this first of two lectures on the students' choice end-of-semester novel, Jonathan Safran Foer's Everything is Illuminated (2002), Professor Hungerford models several methods for approaching and evaluating a new work of fiction. She shows how Foer ...||10/8/2009||Free||View In iTunes|
|25||Video25 - Students' Choice Novel: Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything is Illuminated (cont.)||In her final lecture of the course, Professor Hungerford evaluates Jonathan Safran Foer's Everything is Illuminated with respect to one of her areas of expertise, American writing about the Holocaust. She points out how the novel takes on some of the ...||10/8/2009||Free||View In iTunes|
American Novel since 1945. Amy Hungerford
The first lecture hooked me. Love her passion for the novel. Like being an undergrad again in the presence of a really dedicated professor who is a long way from burnout.
American Novel after 1945
I am an English major, and yet when I happened to see this course for the time , I thought to myself that the literature course is supposed to be taught this way so taht it could arouse students' interesting in reading the story, knowing the characters, and obtaining a deeper understanding of the background the works have managed to present. For whatever reason, I love this course, and I admire Prof. Hungerford's passion for novels, and for the literature in general.