Twentieth Century Literature After 1945

Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Course Code
ENGL 3149
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Method Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
Focusing on the twentieth century after 1945, this course surveys a selection of texts in any genre(s), chosen to highlight an organizing theoretical, historical, or thematic focus. Secondary readings will cover a variety of critical perspectives on literature and culture relevant to the chosen focus.
Course Content

All third-year English courses share the following features:

  1. Students are presumed to have had first-year level instruction and experience in writing critical essays on literary subjects.
  2. Students are required to read in the course subject area beyond the texts assigned by the instructor.
  3. Students are required to incorporate into their oral and written coursework secondary source materials which may include biographical information, literary criticism or theory, unassigned texts by the author under study, relevant cultural or intellectual history, or other aesthetic works such as music or visual art.

Readings and topics vary with each instructor’s presentation of a course, but all course materials are consistent with the objectives and outcomes for this course.

Additionally, in English 3149 

  1. students will read a selection of mid to late twentieth century texts, as well as theoretical/critical material relevant to the particular theme or focus;
  2. areas of concentration and course content will vary with the instructor; these may include changes in poetic/narrative techniques and style after 1945, or the development and revision of literary themes during a particular period;
  3. the texts chosen will be predominantly literary, but may include other artistic genres such as film, music, and visual art;
  4. the texts chosen may have been produced originally in English or studied in translation.
Methods Of Instruction

Some or all of the following methods will be used:

  1. lecture/discussion;
  2. group work;
  3. peer review;
  4. independent research;
  5. instructor feedback on students’ work;
  6. individual consultation; and
  7. presentation (individual or group)
Means of Assessment
  1. A minimum of two academic essays and a final exam worth at least 80% of the course grade (combined total).
  2. A maximum of 20% of the course grade may be based on informal writing (quizzes, short answer tests); oral reports/presentations; participation/preparation grades; and/or other non writing-intensive assignments.


Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of any third-year English literature course, students should be able to

  1. read and analyze literary texts with increased skill and insight;
  2. integrate their understanding of literature into an evolving awareness of relevant cultural and historical contexts and perspectives;
  3. perceive connections among literary texts across genres, historical periods, and/or cultural contexts;
  4. conduct independent research to supplement the course material and effectively integrate this information into course assignments; and
  5. write different kinds of literary analyses, such as thematic, technical, or theoretical.

Upon completion of English 3149, students should also have

  1. developed an appreciation of the historical and aesthetic development of Anglo-American/Continental literature and culture during the twentieth century after 1945;
  2. become familiar with a variety of theoretical perspectives, such as post-modernism, post-structuralism, feminism, Marxism or cultural studies, which are vital to the period; and
  3. developed an understanding of the unique cultural, political, and historical conditions out of which the literature arises, and to which it responds.
Textbook Materials

Texts will vary with authors and genres selected by the instructor, and may include shorter readings compiled in custom course packs.  Instructors may create their syllabi from a relevant anthology and two to four novels from the period.

The following lists represent two possible versions of this course:

Popular Novels Since 1945

  • Christie, Agatha. Murder on the Orient Express
  • Fleming, Ian. From Russia, with Love
  • Hornby, Nick. High Fidelity
  • King, Stephen. Carrie
  • O'Brian, Patrick. Master and Commander
  • Susann, Jacqueline. Valley of the Dolls
  • Walker, Alice. The Color Purple
  • Welsh, Irvine. Trainspotting

American Literature Since 1945

  • DeLillo, Don. Falling Man
  • Didion, Joan. Play It as It Lays
  • Ellison, Ralph. Invisible Man
  • Kerouac, Jack. On the Road
  • Kingston, Maxine Hong. The Woman Warrior
  • Kushner, Tony. Angels in America
  • Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman
  • Morrison, Toni. Beloved
  • Pynchon, Thomas. The Crying of Lot 49
  • Silko, Leslie Marmon. Storyteller



Any two university-transfer first-year English literature courses, or one university-transfer first-year English literature course and one university-transfer first-year Creative Writing or English writing course, and a minimum of 45 credit hours.


No corequisite courses.


No equivalent courses.

Requisite for

This course is not required for any other course.

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

Institution Transfer Details Effective Dates
Athabasca University (AU) AU ENGL 3XX (3) 2015/01/01 to -
Capilano University (CAPU) CAPU ENGL 311 (3) 2015/01/01 to -
College of New Caledonia (CNC) CNC ENGL 2XX (3) 2015/01/01 to -
College of the Rockies (COTR) COTR ENGL 2XX (3) 2015/05/01 to -
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU ENGL 3309 (3) 2010/01/01 to 2014/12/31
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU ENGL 3XXX (3) 2015/01/01 to -
Langara College (LANG) LANG ENGL 2235 (3) 2012/01/01 to -
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU ENGL 349 (4) 2010/05/01 to 2014/12/31
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU ENGL 349 (3) 2015/01/01 to -
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU ENGL 4370 (3) 2010/05/01 to 2014/12/31
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU ENGL 3XXX (3) 2015/01/01 to -
Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU ENGL 3XX (3) 2015/01/01 to -
University Canada West (UCW) UCW ENGL 3XX (3) 2015/01/01 to -
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) UBCO ENGL 3rd (3) 2015/01/01 to -
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) UBCO ENGL 2nd (3) 2010/05/01 to 2014/12/31
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV ENGL 2nd (3) 2010/05/01 to -
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC ENGL 385 (3) 2010/05/01 to 2014/12/31
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC ENGL 3XX (3) 2015/01/01 to -
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV ENGL 350 (4) 2010/05/01 to -
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC ENGL 3XX (1.5) 2015/01/01 to -
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC ENGL 429B (1.5) 2010/05/01 to 2014/12/31

Course Offerings

Summer 2021

There aren't any scheduled upcoming offerings for this course.