The American Novel Since 1945: A Free Yale Course on Novels by Nabokov, Kerouac, Morrison, Pynchon & More

Taught by pro­fes­sor Amy Hunger­ford, The Amer­i­can Nov­el Since 1945 offers an intro­duc­tion to the fer­tile lit­er­ary peri­od that fol­lowed World War II. The course descrip­tion reads:

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.

You can watch the 26 lec­tures from the course above, or find them on YouTube and iTunes (videoaudio). To get more infor­ma­tion about the course, includ­ing the syl­labus, vis­it this Yale web­site.

The main texts used in this course include:

The Amer­i­can Nov­el Since 1945 will be added to our col­lec­tion, 1,700 Free Online Cours­es from Top Uni­ver­si­ties. There you can find a spe­cial­ized list of Free Online Lit­er­a­ture Cours­es.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Vladimir Nabokov Names the Great­est (and Most Over­rat­ed) Nov­els of the 20th Cen­tu­ry

Flan­nery O’Connor Reads ‘A Good Man is Hard to Find’ in Rare 1959 Audio

Cor­mac McCarthy’s Three Punc­tu­a­tion Rules, and How They All Go Back to James Joyce

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  • Christine Meyer says:

    I’m not sure I would agree with Pro­fes­sor Hunger­ford in that fic­tion­al art con­fronts the world in a much more ‘gen­er­al’ sense to cap­ture the ‘every­man’ view… specifics can tie a sto­ry togeth­er and lend the per­son­al to be of uni­ver­sal hope, anguish or famil­iar­i­ty. Thank for a very nice intro to the course!

  • Marie McMarrow says:

    Excel­lent intro­duc­tion to the course! Tech­nol­o­gy allowed me to listen/watch from my phone, while I cov­ered house chores. I want in for that series! Thank you pro­fes­sor Hunger­ford.

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