SAmerican Poetry of the 19th and 20th Centuries

Credit points: 0
Contact hours: 60
Type: Seminar Classes

Course Description

Content (Syllabus outline):

The seminar work is divided into eight thematic sections: the formative period of modern American poetry in the 19th century (Whitman, E. A. Poe, Dickinson); American modernism (Pond, T. S. Eliot, Stevens); traditionalism in modern American poetry (Frost, Robinson); the issue of African-American poetry (Hughes, Cullen, Brooks, Clifton); American experimental modernism (E. E. Cummings); the beat generation (Ginsberg, Ferlinghetti, Corso, Snyder); confessional poetry (Plath, Lowell); contemporary American poetry (Ashbery, Simic, Strand). A comprehensive study of these issues makes it possible for the students to critically assess the evolvement of American poetical thought in a wider national and international context.

Objectives and competences:

  • Acquaintance with the major literary trends and movements in American poetry of the 19th and 20th centuries
  • Discussion of the principal American poets and examination of alternative readings against the background of historical as well as contemporary social, political, and cultural constellations both in America and Slovenia
  • Study of specific dimensions of cross-cultural reading and interpreting poetic texts along with a number of other pragmatic circumstances which may profoundly affect our literary response.
  • Insight into relevant mechanisms and principles of the Slovene reception of American literature.


Avanzo, M. ed. 1986. Antologija ameriške poezije 20. stoletja. Ljubljana: CZ.

Ellman, R., and R. O’Clair, eds. 1988. The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry. New York & London: W. W. Norton & Company.

Gray, R. American Poetry of the Twentieth Century. Longman Literature in English Series. London & New York: Longman.

Grosman, M., ed. 1995. American Literature for Non-American Readers. Frankfurt am Mein/Bern: Peter Lang.

Stanovnik, M. 1980. Angloameriške smeri v 20. stoletju. Literarni leksikon, no. 8. Ljubljana: DZS.


The final grade is comprised of average of positive marks of the presentation and essay.

Grading scale of 6-10 (pass) and 1-5 (fail), in accordance with the Statutes of the University of Ljubljana and with the examination system of the Faculty of Arts.