Course Description

Journey Through Time: The Evolution of American Literature

American literature is more than just words on paper; it's a living chronicle of a nation's heartbeat, encapsulating the myriad emotions, events, and ethos of its people across eras. Through its dynamic transitions, this literature not only captures the essence of an evolving nation but also gives voice to countless souls that have shaped its narrative. From the passionate ink of poets to the thoughtful proses of novelists, the U.S. literary canvas is both vast and varied. This course invites you on a comprehensive journey through this riveting tale, from the first scribblings of a nascent nation to the digital musings of our present age.

In recent surveys, a staggering 75% of educators emphasized the crucial link between American literature and the nuanced understanding of U.S. history and culture. Why? Because literature often acts as a mirror, reflecting the zeitgeist of its times—capturing the triumphs, tragedies, and transitions with unparalleled depth.

Course Breakdown:

  1. Introduction: Set the stage by exploring the intrinsic link between the nation's evolution and its literary expressions. Delve into the reasons that make studying American literature not just an academic endeavor but a voyage into the soul of the country.

  2. Colonial Period to 1750: Discover the earliest voices of a new land. Understand the interplay of native narratives and the burgeoning influence of European settlers. Experience the raw hopes and dreams penned during these foundational years.

  3. Revolutionary Period up to 1820: Engage with the fervor of revolution as America sought its identity. From fiery speeches to poignant letters, witness literature that was often a clarion call for change.

  4. Writings from 1820 to 1865: This period heralded a rich tapestry of genres. As romanticism bloomed, so did a deeper exploration of the American psyche, society, and the ever-present dream of freedom.

  5. The Writings of a Continental Nation, 1865-1900: Post-Civil War, a wounded nation sought healing. Literature from this era not only captures the scars of battle but also the hopes of a unified future.

  6. Writings 1900-1920s: As the world shifted with technological advances and global events, American literature responded with introspection and an eager eye on the future, encompassing both the Roaring Twenties and the shadows of World War I.

  7. Writings of 1920 to 1945: Navigate the complexities of the Great Depression, the Harlem Renaissance, and the echoes of another World War. Literature in these years is a poignant mix of resilience, despair, and hope.

  8. Writings from 1945 to Present: In our modern era, literature has exploded in form and theme. Dive into post-war reflections, the Civil Rights movement, post-modernism, and the digital age's influence, capturing the diverse voices of a contemporary America.

Who Should Attend?

Whether you're a student prepping for exams, an educator seeking a refresher, or simply a curious soul eager to grasp the literary pulse of America, this course caters to all. It promises not just knowledge, but also a newfound appreciation for the written word and its power to shape, reflect, and transform societies.


American literature isn't a static subject—it's a dynamic story, ever-evolving, reflecting the dreams and despairs, the challenges and changes, of its vibrant nation. This course isn't just about understanding literature; it's about experiencing America—one word at a time. Dive in, and let the pages of history come alive with the whispers of the past and the dialogues of today. Join us in this literary adventure through time.

  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • Printable Lessons
  • Full HD Video  
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Summarize the major literary figures and works from the Colonial Period to 1750.
  • Summarize the major literary figure and works from the Revolutionary Period up to 1820
  • Describe the major writings created from 1820-1865.
  • Summarize the major writings of a Continental Nation, 1865-1900.
  • Identify and summarize the major literary works of the 20th century.
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Assessment Guide

Assessment Points
Introductory Assignment 10 points
Lesson 1 Quiz 60 points
Lesson 2 Assignment 20 points
Native American Literature. 20 points
Lesson 2 Quiz (Colonial Period Up To 1790) 10 points
Assignment for Lesson 3 20 points
Lesson 3 Quiz (The Writings Revolutionary of the Period up to 1820 9 points
Assignment for Lesson 4 20 points
James Fenimore Cooper 20 points
Lesson 4 Quiz (The Flowering of American Romanticism from 1820-1865) 10 points
Lesson 5 Assignment 20 points
American Realism 50 points
Lesson 5 Quiz ( The Writings of 1865-1900) 10 points
Lesson 6 Assignment 20 points
Eugene O'Neill 20 points
Lesson 6 Quiz (The Writings of 1900-1920) 9 points
Assignment for Lesson 7 20 points
Compulsion of Steinbeck, Fitzgerald and Hemmingway 50 points
Lesson 7 Quiz (The Writings of 1920-1945) 10 points
Assignment for Lesson 8 20 points
What Compelled American Writers 1945 to Present? 50 points
Lesson 8 Quiz (The Writings of 1945 -- To The Present) 10 points
Final Exam 28 points
Film Appreciation
Film Appreciation
What is the U.S. Economy Policy?
What is the U.S. Economy Policy?
Twenty Women Who Changed American History
Twenty Women Who Changed American History
The Market of Women's Fiction
The Market of Women's Fiction
American Wars: American Revolution and Civil War
American Wars: American Revolution and Civil War
Buddha's Eightfold Noble Path
Buddha's Eightfold Noble Path
Writing Query Letters in a Women's Fiction Market
Writing Query Letters in a Women's Fiction Market
Vocabulary Level 1
Vocabulary Level 1
Managing Writers Block and other Tools for Writers of Women's Fiction
Managing Writers Block and other Tools for Writers of Women's Fiction
Poetry Writing 101
Poetry Writing 101
World War ll
World War ll
Women's Fiction Themes
Women's Fiction Themes