US Literature and the End of the American Century

Spring 2024

Professor Lindsay Thomas

Course Info

MW 10:10-11:25 am
Sibley Hall 208

Office Hours

M 1-3 pm, and by appointment
282 Goldwin Smith

Course Description

What is (or was) American empire? This course examines U.S. literature from WWII to the early 21st century. This period has been termed the “American century” because of the U.S.’s dominant role in shaping global politics and culture, a dominance backed by military interventions abroad and the rise of the police state at home. How do the era’s writers negotiate and challenge the police, military, and imperial powers of the U.S. state? We will place fiction, poetry, and essays in conversation with historical documents and policies, asking how literature has imagined an end to the American century.

You can download a PDF of our course syllabus via our class Canvas site.