2020-21 Pomona College Catalog 
    
    Jun 19, 2021  
2020-21 Pomona College Catalog
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ENGL068 PO - Literatures of the American West: From Twain to Didion

When Offered: Last offered spring 2016.
Instructor(s): D. Berton Emerson
Credit: 1

This course surveys the literature of the American West in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries through the lens of two conflicting discourses: “the myth of the frontier” and “a legacy of conquest.” Touching down at key moments in the development of the imagined and actual West, we investigate a variety of supplementary discourses fueling nineteenth-century westward expansion and settlement (e.g. empire for liberty, manifest destiny, gold rush) and their perpetuation and evolution in the twentieth century (e.g. closing of the frontier, Hollywood, Route 66). Texts range from the travel narratives of Lewis and Clark and Mark Twain to the social protests of John Rollin Ridge and Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton to the modernist experiments of Nathanael West, Joan Didion, and Don DeLillo. Through this broad survey of western American literature, students encounter a variety of voices competing over the symbolic and the manifest representation of a highly coveted territorial space. Letter grade only.
Satisfies the following General Education Requirement(s), subject to conditions explained in the Degree Requirements section of this Catalog:
Area 1



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