Background Readings for Teachers of American Literature

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2014-05-30
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's

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With chapters that address literary and social movements, questions of identity, the geopolitical aspects of American literature, and classroom approaches, Background Readings for Teachers of American Literature, Second Edition, provides an overview of changes in the field of American literary studies and a survey of its popular themes. The twenty-seven readings include important scholarship, critical essays, and practical ideas from working teachers. This professional resource offers support to instructors using The Bedford Anthology of American Literature.

Author Biography

Dr. Venetria K. Patton is Director of African American Studies and Research Center and Associate Professor of English at Purdue University.  Dr. Patton is the author of Women in Chains: The Legacy of Slavery in Black Women’s Fiction (2000), the coeditor of Double-Take: A Revisionist Harlem Renaissance Anthology (2001), and editor of Teaching American Literature: Background Readings (2006).  She is currently working on The Grasp That Reaches Beyond the Grave: The Ancestral Call in Black Women’s Texts.

Table of Contents

*New to this edition


American Literary Studies to the Civil War
Cecelia Tichi   

American Literary and Cultural Studies Since the Civil War
Philip Fisher 

The End of “American” Literature: Toward a Multicultural Practice
Gregory S. Jay  


*1670 The American Jeremiad
Emory Elliott  

Towards a Definition of American Modernism
Daniel Joseph Singal  

Revisioning the Harlem Renaissance
Venetria K. Patton and Maureen Honey

*Introduction: Postmodernism, Then
Jason Gladstone and Daniel Worden 


Assumed Identities
David Palumbo-Liu 

Interrogating “Whiteness,” (De)Constructing “Race”
AnnLouise Keating  

From Introduction to American Indian Literatures
A. LaVonne Brown Ruoff  

*Introduction: Who Are We?
Marta Caminero-Santangelo  

African-American Literature: A Survey
Trudier Harris   

Asian American Literature
Elaine H. Kim  

*Feminist Literary Criticism and Theory
Shari Benstock, Suzanne Ferriss, and Susanne Woods 

Manhood, Class, and the American Renaissance
David Leverenz  

*Gender Studies
Michael Ryan  


Kirsten Silva Gruesz  

*What’s Colonial about Colonial America
Michael Warner 

Manifest Domesticity
Amy Kaplan 

American Literary Emergence as a Postcolonial Phenomenon
Lawrence Buell  

*The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Ecocriticism
Ursula K. Heise  


Bringing New Historicism into the American Literature Survey
Margaret Faye Jones  

Early Anglo-American Poetry: Genre, Voice, Art, and Representation
William J. Scheick  

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Slave: Douglass’s Frontispiece Engravings
Ed Folsom  

*Enabling Undergraduates to Understand Advanced Humanities Research: Teaching with the Dickinson Electronic Archives
Martha Nell Smith  

*From Gilded Garden to Golden Anniversary: Teaching Hurston’s “The Gilded Six-Bits”
Margaret D. Bauer  

*Asking Ecocritical Questions
SueEllen Campbell  

Additional Readings 
About the Volume Editor 
About the Contributors 

Rewards Program

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