TAS105 European and American Literature [only for second year students]

Teacher responsible:

Brief course description:

The students will read a number of works, primarily following particular national literatures: British, French, and Polish. They will be seen and interpreted together in contrast and comparison to American literature. The teacher will make use of a comparative approach which allows the students to obtain a wider understanding of world literature. The lectures will cover a wide range of topics, starting with the earliest possible comparisons (17th and 18th centuries), through the 19th century expansion of prose and poetry writing across Europe and America, finishing on some aspects of contemporary literature. We will trace the careers of some of the influential "transatlantic" authors. The course points towards an ongoing process of transatlantic cultural exchange and controversy. During the workshops students will read and discuss selected literary works. Theoretical background will also be given in order to familiarize the students with specific literary terms which they will be expected to use during the course. Teaching will include lectures and seminars, as well as student presentations. During the lectures background knowledge will be given, whereas the seminars will be devoted to discussing the works of literature from the reading list.


The aim of the course is a comparative study of selected aspects of European and American literatures. Students will gain knowledge and understanding of transatlantic cultural exchange and of theoretical issues relevant to comparative literary study. During the lectures background knowledge will be given.


1.Literary transatlanticism
2. America on display
3.  Americans in Europe
4. What is the American Dream?
5. Ambivalent feminism(s)
6.Romantic dialogues
7. The unacknowledged legislators of the world
8. Transatlantic Realism
9. Expatriates at the Fin de Siècle:
10. Dulce et decorum est…
11. Chicago, New York, London, Paris:
12.Nature writing
13. River writing
14. Transatlantic transformation
15. Literary Borrowing

Reading list:

Laura M. Stevens, Transatlanticism Now, American Literary History 16(1) 2004.
Ella Dzelzainis and Ruth Livesey, Transatlanticism: Identities and Exchanges, Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century, 9 (2009).
H. James, Daisy Miller: A Study.
Ezra Pound, The Pisan Cantos.
Gertrude Stein, Tender Buttons.
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby.
Joss S. Marsh, Fitzgerald, Gatsby, and The Last Tycoon: The `American dream' and the Hollywood Dream Factory, Literature Film Quarterly, January 1992.
Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage.
Wilfred Owen, Dulce et decorum est.
Wilfred Owen, Insensibility.
Rupert Brooke, Peace.
Rupert Brooke, The Soldier.
Alan Seeger I have a rendezvous with death.
L. Tolstoy, Anna Karenina.