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American Literature : Vietnam War Literature

Faculté de gestion: Faculté des lettres

Responsable(s): Agnieszka Soltysik Monnet
Intervenant(s): -

Période de validité: 2011 -> 2011

Pas d'horaire défini.


Semestre d'automne
2 heures par semaine
28 heures par semestre

Langue(s) d'enseignement: anglais
Public: Oui
Crédits: 0


Learning outcomes include basic knowledge of Vietnam War history and literature, improved thinking and writing skills, and the ability to apply cultural theory and gender studies concepts to literary texts.


This is an advanced seminar for 3rd year BA and MA students. The Vietnam War falls into that category of recent history that is both familiar yet not fully understood or systematically studied. Most students know the war from Hollywood movies but could not cite its key events, dates or debates. This course will begin with a short history of the war in order to better understand what has gone missing from most media representations. We will watch movies but focus mainly on the literature of the war, including Ron Kovic's Born on the Fourth of July, Gustav Hasford's The Short-Timers (the basis for Full Metal Jacket) and almost unknown sequel, The Phantom Blooper, Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried, and Le Ly Hayslip's autobiographical When Heaven and Earth Changed Places (the basis for Oliver Stone's Between Heaven and Earth). We will finish with an excerpt from Vietnamese writer Duong Thu Huong's Novel Without a Name (1995). Assessment will be based on a short midterm essay, a longer final essay and the preparation of questions for a group discussion. MA students will be required to write a longer and more critically researched essay.


Validation of the seminar will depend on a short midterm assignment (2-3 pages) and a longer final essay of 8-10 pages for BA students. MA students will need to write an essay of 12-15 pages. Depending on class size, there will also be an oral presentation or the preparation of questions for a small group discussion. In addition, 5 short written responses to the films we watch (of about a paragraph each) will be required throughout the semester.


Three books for the seminar are already on sale at Basta! and you can pick them up now. These are: Kovic, Born on the Fourth of July; Hayslip, When Heaven and Earth Changed Places; and O'Brien, The Things They Carried.
We will also be reading two novels by Gustaf Hasford, Short-Timers (the basis for the movie Full Metal Jacket) and The Phantom Blooper. I will be giving you these books as photocopies. If you want to have your own book version, you can order them yourself from Amazon or from a bookstore (but The Phantom Blooper is out of print and bookstores may not be able to obtain one for you -- I recommend getting a used copy from Amazon).

Informations supplémentaires


Canton de Vaud
Swiss University
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