Lesson Plans

Reading Selection Recommendations


Curbing Plagiarism

Additional Teaching & Course Design Resources

Guide Contributors

Authors & Contributors

CDHE Nomination Form

The following is the CDHE nomination form for E238: Twentieth-Century Fiction, as taken from the CSU English Department web page. To ensure compliance with gtPathways, the guidelines on the CDHE nomination form should be met in all sections of E238. For more information on gtPathways, please visit

Official Form 7/17/2002


E238: Twentieth-Century Fiction

1. State scope of course and the primary concepts or topics it covers.

This course introduces the student to diverse modern and contemporary fictions written in Latin America, Europe, Africa, and Asia, in addition to the United States. The works treat a variety of political ideologies and religious beliefs, violent national and international conflicts, social practices, and other cultural problematics, and, thus, illustrate values and world views that change over the course of the twentieth century and/or vary from one culture to another.

2. Provide rationale and/or evidence for how the nominated course meets the specific content criteria

Arts and Expression (respond analytically and critically to cultural artifacts including literature): Like all introductory courses in literature, ECC238 requires students to read carefully to understand how meaning is created and controlled by complex language uses and how cultural values inherent in texts are revealed and critiqued.

Humanities (Compare and contrast attitudes and values of non-European cultures to those of Western cultures or high to popular cultures): Given the international and multi-cultural selection of fictions, students constantly compare and contrast the attitudes and values of one culture with those of other cultures. The course explores some of the questions that men and women universally engage: the relationship of individuals to community, to the natural world, to the divine; the characteristics of fulfilling lives; the power of love and hatred; the contingencies of sanity and madness; imaginings of the self.

3. Describe student outcomes

Students come to understand something of the universal and variable aspects of the human condition, that is, both fundamental similarities that are shared by differing peoples in the 20th century but also to grasp differences in attitudes, issues, and concerns between peoples of widely varying cultures. Students learn the complex ways meaning is constituted in literary text – by recognizing generic conventions, by understanding the relevance of historical/geographical contexts of both writer and reader and how different contexts can result in different readings. Students learn to read analytically and critically and to appreciate narrative structures. Students learn to formulate ideas about novels and short stories and to express them in their writing. Students learn to critique specific interpretations offered by their classmates, their teacher, and other critics. Students learn to articulate their own readings of a text both orally and in writing, using relevant textual support and cogent argumentation.

4. Describe how students demonstrate and develop critical thinking in this course.

The central concerns of the course as outlined above develop many aspects of students’ critical thinking skills. Understanding literature requires identifying key questions, problems, and arguments taken up by the texts (information acquisition), sifting textual evidence for stated and unstated assumptions (analysis), and forming hypotheses about cultural responses to key questions and problems (application). Conclusions reached about one text are then tested against claims and implications made in subsequent texts (analysis and synthesis). Class discussion, thus, typically engages differing ideas about, for example, love or authority or obligation, forms various arguments about them, and tests those arguments against textual and historical evidence (communication). Students not only discuss alternative points of view but evaluate peers’ use of evidence in supporting interpretive conclusions. Students demonstrate competencies in critical thinking in class discussion and formal and informal writing.

5. Describe how students demonstrate and develop reading competency

All literature courses are courses in reading covering, in this course especially, the specific purposes, expectations, conventions, and relations to meaning of the genre of fiction (information acquisition). Students must be able to recognize basic elements of the genre and explain how those elements affect meaning in the work as a whole (application). Students also necessarily learn to deal with the figurative vs. literal meanings, including irony and other modes of indirection. The international and cross-cultural scope of the course mandates that students study the literature in the cultural context of its production, including how the text does or does not reflect dominant cultural values of its time (analysis, evaluation). Moreover, as students work closely with selected texts, they explore personal interpretations of texts and their themes/ideas (synthesis).

Class discussion and written work demand that students be able to focus on specific aspects of the texts relevant to different thematic concepts (evaluation), to relate the ideas of the text to the students’ own experiences, to summarize central ideas, and to communicate them to others (communication) based on their reading of the selected novels and short stories.

6. Describe how students demonstrate and develop written communication competency

Writing is central to the course – in journals, short-paragraph responses, in-class and out-of-class essays. Students learn how to use relevant textual sources, to form hypotheses with full textual support, to develop arguments, to relate their own ideas with those of others, to articulate clearly their ideas, and to revise their written work in light of both peer and instructor feedback. The essays and out-of-class papers require students to:
• select textual evidence from the assigned texts (information acquisition),

• analyze how authors create an aesthetic experience for readers,

• synthesize and draw comparisons between texts and cultures or differing cultural/ historical treatments of a common question or theme,

• evaluate content (themes/ideologies) and form and its effectiveness in creating aesthetic effect or representing cultural/historical reactions to questions and problems (analysis, synthesis),

• argue about how content and form shape/influence each other (communication), and

• communicate their insights clearly through appropriate evidence and format in revised and edited papers (evaluation, application).