Course: The American Novel Since 1945 with Amy Hungerford Dnatube

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Lec 1 - Introductions

"Lec 1 - Introductions" The American Novel Since 1945 (ENGL 291) 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 syllabus) to establish opposing points of view about what is required to be a...
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Lec 2 - Richard Wright, Black Boy

"Lec 2 - Richard Wright, Black Boy" The American Novel Since 1945 (ENGL 291) 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 racial jeopardy confronting its characters, and the compensations to...
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Lec 3 - Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood

"Lec 3 - Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood" The American Novel Since 1945 (ENGL 291) 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 invites us to look beyond the question of redemption. What do...
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Lec 4 - Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood (c ...

"Lec 4 - Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood (cont.)" The American Novel Since 1945 (ENGL 291) 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 previous lecture, Professor Hungerford now explores...
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Lec 5 - Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

"Lec 5 - Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita" The American Novel Since 1945 (ENGL 291) 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 violence of his subject matter. Nabokov's childhood in tsarist Russia...
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Lec 6 - Guest Lecture by Andrew Goldstone

"Lec 6 - Guest Lecture by Andrew Goldstone" The American Novel Since 1945 (ENGL 291) 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 move" as a description of Nabokov's characteristically...
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Lec 7 - Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita (cont.)

"Lec 7 - Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita (cont.)" The American Novel Since 1945 (ENGL 291) 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 work of art's distillation of the living world or word....
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Lec 8 - Jack Kerouac, On the Road

"Lec 8 - Jack Kerouac, On the Road" The American Novel Since 1945 (ENGL 291) 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 structures the novel, though not in the ways that we might...
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Lec 9 - Jack Kerouac, On the Road (cont.)

"Lec 9 - Jack Kerouac, On the Road (cont.)" The American Novel Since 1945 (ENGL 291) 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 boundaries, for example, seems ultimately more exploitative...
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Lec 10 - J. D. Salinger, Franny and Zooey

"Lec 10 - J. D. Salinger, Franny and Zooey" The American Novel Since 1945 (ENGL 291) 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 large claims and close readings, Hungerford shows how...
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Lec 11 - John Barth, Lost in the Funhouse

"Lec 11 - John Barth, Lost in the Funhouse" The American Novel Since 1945 (ENGL 291) 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 that his narrative risks entail. Foremost among Barth's...
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Lec 12 - Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of L ...

"Lec 12 - Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49" The American Novel Since 1945 (ENGL 291) 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 under the category of "the Real." The Real can shout out...
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Lec 13 - Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye

"Lec 13 - Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye" The American Novel Since 1945 (ENGL 291) 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 recuperate the voices of the oppressed, the novelist must be...
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Lec 14 - Maxine Hong Kingston, The Woman ...

"Lec 14 - Maxine Hong Kingston, The Woman Warrior" The American Novel Since 1945 (ENGL 291) 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 Marriage Plot is a rubric for understanding novels...
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Lec 15 - Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping

"Lec 15 - Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping" The American Novel Since 1945 (ENGL 291) 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. The loss of identity that Emerson describes as becoming a...
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Lec 16 - Marilynne Robinson, Housekeepin ...

"Lec 16 - Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping (cont.)" The American Novel Since 1945 (ENGL 291) 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 would complete the intellectual trajectory...
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Lec 17 - Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian

"Lec 17 - Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian" The American Novel Since 1945 (ENGL 291) 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 originality itself. The Bible, Moby-Dick, Paradise Lost, the...
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Lec 18 - Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian ...

The American Novel Since 1945 (ENGL 291) 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 of many in the text that continually lure us to see the kid in the light of a traditional hero,...
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Lec 19 - Philip Roth, The Human Stain

The American Novel Since 1945 (ENGL 291) 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 performance, the novel ultimately construes the defining characteristic of its protagonist's race to be its...
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Lec 20 - Philip Roth, The Human Stain (c ...

The American Novel Since 1945 (ENGL 291) 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 in publishing practices have tended to penalize more unusual, less profitable books. Hungerford also...
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Lec 21 - Philip Roth, The Human Stain (c ...

The American Novel Since 1945 (ENGL 291) 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 boundaries between persons. Passing does not only occur racially, but is also likened to the process...
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Lec 22 - Edward P. Jones, The Known World

The American Novel Since 1945 (ENGL 291) In the first of her two lectures on Edward P. Jones's The Known World, Professor 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 knower, and what can be known? Highlighting several different versions of how knowledge of the past...
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Lec 23 - Edward P. Jones, The Known Worl ...

"Lec 23 - Edward P. Jones, The Known World (cont.)" The American Novel Since 1945 (ENGL 291) 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 deeply aware of the fragility of text, all of the...
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Lec 24 - Students' Choice Novel: Jonatha ...

"Lec 24 - Students' Choice Novel: Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything is Illuminated" The American Novel Since 1945 (ENGL 291) 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 borrows and adapts...
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Lec 25 - Students' Choice Novel: Jonatha ...

"Lec 25 - Students' Choice Novel: Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything is Illuminated (cont.)" The American Novel Since 1945 (ENGL 291) 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 questions...
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Lec 26 - Review for Final Exam

"Lec 26 - Review for Final Exam" The American Novel Since 1945 (ENGL 291) In this review session for the final exam, Professor Hungerford fields practice questions in an open forum so that students know what will be expected of their performance. She offers study advice from her own experience, and gratifies students' curiosity about some of her own preferences and reservations regarding...

The American Novel Since 1945 with Amy Hungerford


Source of these courses is Yale 
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.
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COURSE NAME: The American Novel Since 1945 with Amy Hungerford

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