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American Literature After 1900

American Literature After 1900

Penn State is the historic home of American literature in higher education; in the early twentieth century, Fred Lewis Pattee became the first English professor in the country to teach classes exclusively devoted to US literary works. The Americanist faculty at Penn State aim to be similarly ground-breaking.

Recent Grad Courses

  • Expatriate Modernisms
  • American Modernism and the “New Woman”
  • American Modernism, American Primitivism
  • The Texts of Modernist American Poetry
  • Modernist Little Magazines
  • Kay Boyle and Ernest Hemingway, Modernist Duet
  • The American Literary Memoir
  • Satire and the New Black Aesthetic in Contemporary African American Literature
  • Black Cosmopolitanism: Ellison and Johnson
  • Contemporary Fiction

Center for American Literary Studies

The Penn State Center for American Literary Studies, dedicated to supporting the study, teaching, and reading of American literatures, is quickly becoming a leading national center; it offers exceptional research and fellowship opportunities for faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students. CALS sponsored and hosted the inaugural conference of C19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists, for example. Visit the CALS website at

Graduate Faculty

New York University, Ph.D, Comparative Literature 2000

Trans-Atlantic literary modernisms; Black American literature, film and music; critical theory; experimental traditions in film.

Author of Ashes Taken for Fire: Aesthetic Modernism and the Critique of Identity (University of Minnesota Press, 2007). He is working now on an interpretive study entitled Drift Velocities: the Aesthetic Curve of Radical Black Film and Literature.

Modern American Literature to WWII

Particularly poetry and poetics, the history of American verse, contemporary literature, literature and the other arts

Post-1900 American literature and culture; Jewish American literature and culture; Arab American Literature; Ethnic literature; Intellectuals and culture; Literary history

Graduate Students