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Title: ENGL 265-03, American Fiction of the Gilded Age, Fall 2013
Authors: Brady, Jennifer
Keywords: English, Department of;Syllabus;Academic departments;Text;2012 Spring
Issue Date: 22-Aug-2013
Publisher: Memphis, Tenn. : Rhodes College
Series/Report no.: Syllabi CRN;14528
Abstract: This course focuses on the rich body of literature produced in and about the Gilded Age, a period of intensive industrialization and urbanization that became celebrated for vast disparities in income and in living conditions. The famous phrases, „keeping up with the Joneses‟ and „how the other half lives‟ and „conspicuous consumption‟ are all markers of this era. The class will read representative fiction by Edith Wharton, Frank Norris, and Theodore Dreiser. We begin with Thorstein Veblen‟s trenchant critique of the excesses of predatory American capitalism in his Theory of the Leisure Class. In this course, we consider such topics as the rise of the luxury hotel in large American cities, the modern city itself as protagonist, the often stark representation of the lives of the urban poor, the rise of the entrepreneurial American financier, and the volatility of the American stock market in the period. We will also focus on gender relations and the separate gendered spheres of work and home, as well as the ambiguous representation of the lives of leisure class women in these novels. Finally, we will discuss the documentary investments of the realist and naturalist fiction of America‟s Gilded Age, focusing on the textured representation of material objects in these novels.
Description: This syllabus was submitted to the Office of Academic by the course instructor. Uploaded by Lorie Yearwood.
Appears in Collections:Course Syllabi

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