Course Description

Course Name

Reading the American South: Race, Gender and Memory

Session: VLNF3423

Hours & Credits

20 UK Credits

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


Assessment: coursework (5000 words)
Slavery and Southern belles, magnolia blossom and the Mississippi River. Even for other Americans, the South is often thought of as another country. Since its defeat in the Civil War of 1861-65, Southerners themselves have tried either to recreate or to dismantle the powerful myths that sustained the society of the Old South. This module explores the ways in which twentieth-century writers have responded to those myths, from the vicious racism of Thomas Dixon to Toni Morrison?s crushing indictment of slavery in Beloved. The module also explores changing ideologies of masculinity and femininity in the South, constructions of the past and the meanings of violence. Authors studied will include William Faulkner, Richard Wright, Tennessee Williams, Eudora Welty, Flannery O?Connor and Cormac McCarthy. We may also explore some of the landmark films of the South such as D W Griffiths? Birth of a Nation (1915), Norman Jewison?s In the Heat of the Night (1967), John Boorman?s Deliverance (1972) and Alan Parker?s Mississippi Burning (1988).

*Course content subject to change