HUMS 650
Faulkner and the Thirties

Sean McCann

Course Requirements

A 10-15 page research paper on a work or works by Faulkner and/or other American writer(s) of the thirties, due at the end of the semester (50% of final grade)

Six 2-3 page response papers (50% of final grade)


Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep, Vintage, 0394758285
F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender is the Night, 068480154X
William Faulkner, Absalom Absalom, Vintage, 0679732187
---, As I lay Dying, Vintage, 067973225X
---, Go Down, Moses, Vintage, 0679732179
---, The Hamlet, Vintage, 0679736530
---, Light in August, Vintage, 0679732268
---, Sanctuary, Vintage, 0679748148
---, The Sound and the Fury, Norton, 0393964817
Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God, HarperPerennial, 0060931418
John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath, Penguin USA, 0140186409
Nathaneal West, The Day of the Locust, Norton, 0811202151
Optional supplementary readings to be distributed in class (p)

Course Schedule
January 24

Course Introduction

Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

January 31

Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury and Appendix “Compson, 1699-1945”                       

Richard Pells, Radical Visions and American Dreams, 21-42 (p)
Miles Orvell, The Real Thing (p)

February 7

Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath 

Lawrence W. Levine, “American Culture and the Great Depression” (p)
William Leuchtenberg, “The Achievement of the New Deal” (p)

February 14

Faulkner, As I Lay Dying 

Alan Brinkley, “The New Deal and Southern Politics” (p)
C. Vann Woodward, “The Burden for William Faulkner” (p)

February 21

Chandler, The Big Sleep 

David Ruth, Inventing the Public Enemy (p)

February 28

Faulkner, Sanctuary 

Bram Djikstra, “Rigging the Great Race” (p)     

March 7

Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God 

Hazel Carby, “The Politics of Fiction, Anthropology, and the Folk: Zora Neale Hurston” (p)
Adam Gussow, Seems Like Murder Here: Southern Violence and the Blues Tradition, 233-71 (p)

March 28

Faulkner, Light in August           

Marcus Klein, Foreigners, 93-112 (p)                       
Orlando Patterson, “Feast of Blood,” Rituals of Blood (p)

April 4

Fitzgerald, Tender is the Night 

Irving Howe, “The Thirties in Retrospect” (p)

April 11

Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!                       

Andrew Nelson Lytle, “The Hind Tit,” I’ll Take My Stand (p)

April 18 Faulkner, The Hamlet
April 25 Faulkner, Go Down, Moses
May 7 Final Paper Due