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Revisiting the American Dream in Fiction: Developing a Thematic Course.

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This paper describes how two "American Dream" courses were created--one was a senior seminar in Fall 2001 that developed after the tragic events of that September and the other, its offspring, was a Fall 2002 class in the American Novel, which was planned deliberately. The paper first looks at how 9/11 changed the senior seminar by reversing the instructor/author's original plans to stress history over theme, and second, how he was able to use what he learned from the unexpected changes in the seminar to give new direction to an existing American Novel course. It describes mainly the course ideas he retained from the modified seminar and how they produced last semester's class. Along the way, the paper offers some ideas about how to introduce the American Dream theme into existing classes, thus avoiding the administrative problems of creating a new course to investigate this theme which has gained added relevance from the events of recent months. A detailed syllabus is attached. (NKA)

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Author:Siegel, Gerald
Publication:ERIC: Reports
Date:Jul 12, 2003
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