Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Free Online Course on the American Novel

Yale University has posted video recordings of a number of its courses as a free public service. One of the courses is titled "The American Novel Since 1945," taught by Professor Amy Hungerford. The course consists of 25 lectures which you can watch online or download to your PC. Each lecture covers a specific book, so you can watch the whole course, or just the session that pertains to what you are reading now. I've watched about a third of the course so far, and the lectures are very interesting and helpful even if (like me) you have absolutely no academic background in literature.

Here is the link: Click on "class sessions" to see a list and links to the individual titles.

Note that by watching these lectures you are not officially taking the class. There is no credit given (and no homework). You don't have to register; you just click the links and watch the class.

Here is a list of the books discussed in the course. Each one is the subject of at least one 1-hour lecture, some of the them of two or three. Almost all of them are on at least one person's "100 List":

Black Boy by Richard Wright
Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger
Lost in the Funhouse by John Barth
The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston
Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
The Human Stain by Philip Roth
The Known World by Edward P. Jones
Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer


moonrat said...

wow! this is amazing!!

i have several of these books on my list. thanks for the link :)

Linda said...

Thanks Steven - some of these are on my list - yay! Cliff notes, but better!

The Yale courses online are super - I've 'taken' a couple of poetry ones as well. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Peace, Linda

Jolie said...

Thank you for the link! I just hope the lectures aren't too far over my head.

classicvasilly said...

Thanks for the link! Some of these books are on my list.


M. said...


Thank you for pointing this out--now I know what I'll be doing instead of work next week.

J.C. Montgomery said...

This is great! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Jen C said...

This is wonderful! I'm studying for an English Lit degree at the moment, so this will be very helpful indeed. I'm actually taking an American Literature unit, but not until my 3rd year. So I'll be ahead of the pack!

Nancy said...

Ohhh what fun! Thanks for posting this, Steven.