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TOPICS IN LITERATURE: LITERATURE OF NEW YORK (CUL-224414)

Center for Distance Learning Home > Distance Learning Catalog > Communications Humanities and Cultural Studies >

Course Description:


New York is a study in contradictions, offering at once a sense of possibility, cultivation, civilization, self-realization and a fear of corruption, alienation, dissolution, and despair. This study will look at both historical and contemporary images of New York through an examination of its literary history. We will consider themes of regionalism, nature, industrialism, social class, race, gender, immigration, and identity in relation to the changing cultural and historical landscape of New York. Possible authors include Washington Irving, Walt Whitman, Herman Melville, Edith Wharton, Henry James, Langston Hughes, Anzia Yezierska, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Dos Passos, Tom Wolfe, and Jay McInerney. Students are encouraged to visit at least one of the following sites and to write about the significance of place in the literary works: Washington Irving’s Sunnyside estate in Tarrytown, Sugar Hill in Harlem, the garment district of the lower East side of Manhattan, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Museum of the City of New York, Wall Street, Greenwich Village, the Tenement Museum, or Ellis Island.

This course fully meets the General Education requirement in Humanities.


This online course is offered through the Center for Distance Learning. You can take this as an individual course or as part of an online degree program, with term starts in March, May, September, November and January. View current term offerings and all online courses. Click here to register for online courses.

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Liberal Study
Upper Level
Credits: 4
Meets General Education Requirement In: Humanities-Full

Term(s) Offered (Subject to Change) : Spring 1. Fall 1.

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