The Wadsworth Themes American Literature Series, 1910-1945 Theme 15: Racism and Activism, 1st Edition

  • Jay Parini Middlebury College
  • Martha J. Cutter University of Connecticut
  • ISBN-10: 142826258X  |  ISBN-13: 9781428262584
  • 112 Pages
  • © 2009 | Published
  • List Price = $ 17.95
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The first thematic series published for American literature, THE WADSWORTH THEMES IN AMERICAN LITERATURE SERIES is currently comprised of 21 themes spanning the time period normally covered in the two-semester American literature survey course—1492 to the present. Each carefully edited booklet centers on a core issue of the period with attention given to the development of key themes. Each thematic booklet offers an introductory contextual essay, a variety of literary perspectives, headnotes and footnotes, along with a variety of visual elements. Martha J. Cutter—a scholar of considerable range and achievement who now teaches at the University of Connecticut—edits the sequence of booklets dealing with the modern era, 1910-1945, a period of pivotal importance in American history and culture. The American empire came into its own in this era, recognized its muscles, and began to flex them—in ways productive and (at times) destructive. Cutter charts the struggle between the sexes in a compelling range of texts. The subject of class and its impact on how people viewed themselves is explored in a selection of works that deal with issues of class, money, and power. The so-called New Negro Renaissance occurred during this period, a revival and consolidation of writing in a variety of genres by African Americans. And, as they must, literary selections from both world wars occupy a central place in one thematic booklet.

Features and Benefits

  • THE WADSWORTH THEMES IN AMERICAN LITERATURE SERIES strikes a teachable balance in choice of texts, offering an eclectic range of new works by classic authors as well as substantial examples of works by writers who for cultural or historical reasons have been ignored in the past.
  • This thematic series emphasizes situating texts in their appropriate contexts as well as conveying the sense that these texts speak to those who went before them. THE WADSWORTH THEMES IN AMERICAN LITERATURE SERIES asks a provocative yet basic question that every citizen should consider: What is America? The poets, novelists, and essayists we have included in our thematic series were not shy about offering a response.
  • High-quality illustrations place the selections in their historical contexts, making the literature more accessible to students.
  • Each selection is succinctly introduced by the volume editor and accompanied by headnotes—containing only the most essential information about each period and author—written by a wide array of specialists in the field. The pedagogical apparatus (introductions, headnotes, and illustrations) gives students a clear view of the historical moment, so they can see how authors respond in different ways to contemporary issues of the time and to national obsessions as well as to how literature becomes, over time, a lively conversation among immensely articulate men and women.

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Jay Parini

Jay Parini is a poet, novelist, and biographer. He is Axinn Professor of English at Middlebury College in Vermont. Among his books are THE LAST STATION (Holt, 1990), BENJAMIN’S CROSSING (Holt, 1997), THE ART OF SUBTRACTION: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS (Braziller, 2005), and WHY POETRY MATTERS (Yale, 2008). He has written biographies of John Steinbeck, Robert Frost, and William Faulkner. He has edited numerous books, including THE OXFORD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AMERICAN LITERATURE (Oxford, 2004) and THE WADSWORTH ANTHOLOGY OF POETRY (Wadsworth, 2006).

Martha J. Cutter

Martha J. Cutter is Associate Professor of English at the University of Connecticut, where she teaches classes in American Literature, Ethnic Literature, African American Literature, and Women's Literature. She is the former editor of Legacy: A Journal on American Women Writers, and since 20006 she has edited MELUS: THE JOURNAL FOR THE STUDY OF MULTI-ETHNIC LITERATURE OF THE UNITED STATES. Her first book, UNRULY TONGUE: LANGUAGE AND IDENTITY IN AMERICAN WOMEN'S WRITING, 1850-1930, won the 2001 Nancy Dasher Award from the College English Association. Her second book, LOST AND FOUND IN TRANSLATION, was published in 2005 by the University of North Carolina Press. Her own publications have appeared in AMERICAN LITERATURE, AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE, MELUS, CALLALOO, WOMEN'S STUDIES, LEGACY, and CRITICISM, and she has also contributed articles to volumes such as ESSAYS ON MIXED-RACE LITERATURE (Stanford University Press, 2002) and PASSING AND THE FICTIONS OF IDENTITY (Duke University Press, 1996).