Ch 2: CSET English: Overview of American Literature

About This Chapter

Get ready for the CSET English Subtest I with our video lessons and quizzes. Materials included in this chapter can help you review American literary movements and familiarize you with what's covered on the exam.

CSET English Subtest I: Overview of American Literature - Chapter Summary

Part of the CSET English Subtest I examines your knowledge of significant movements in American literary history. Prepare for these types of questions by reviewing this chapter's video lessons on the following topics:

  • Young adult literature
  • The Romantic period in American literature and art
  • The literary realism movement
  • Transcendentalism and American literature
  • The Harlem Renaissance
  • Modernism in American literature
  • The Lost Generation
  • Contemporary American literature
  • The Beat Generation and Beat poetry
  • The Dark Romantics in American literature
  • The Federalist Papers
  • Native American oral tradition

The video lessons on American literature are just some of the resources available to help you study for the exam. There are also self-assessment quizzes you can use to determine your grasp of the subject matter and identify any areas for improvement.

CSET English Subtest I: Overview of American Literature Course Objectives

The CSET English Subtest I is divided into two main content domains, or areas, that you'll need to be familiar with. The literature and textual analysis domain contains 80% of the test questions and assesses the breadth of your literary knowledge as well as your ability to critically examine works from various literary traditions and historical periods. Lessons in this chapter can help you get ready for these types of questions by familiarizing you with key figures and works of American literature. They can also prepare you to recognize the characteristics of young adult fiction.

Altogether, there are 50 multiple-choice questions on the CSET English Subtest I, which is used by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing to evaluate prospective English teachers' preparedness to teach at the secondary-school level. In addition to this subtest, there are three more you'll need to pass before you can meet subject area exam requirements.

12 Lessons in Chapter 2: CSET English: Overview of American Literature
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
The Romantic Period in American Literature and Art

1. The Romantic Period in American Literature and Art

This video introduces American Romanticism, a movement where literature focused on intuition, imagination and individualism. Authors such as Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow contributed to what became known as the American identity, as the new country did its best to distance itself from European tradition.

The Literary Realism Movement: A Response to Romanticism

2. The Literary Realism Movement: A Response to Romanticism

In this lesson, we will learn about Realism in American literature, how this new literary movement grew out of Romanticism and what circumstances in our changing nation made that literary shift possible.

Transcendentalism: Impact on American Literature

3. Transcendentalism: Impact on American Literature

This video defines Transcendentalism, a literary movement of the mid-19th century. Authors such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Walt Whitman used their literary platforms to encourage Americans to transcend society's presumptions and create a personal, progressive relationship with spirituality and nature.

The Harlem Renaissance: Novels and Poetry from the Jazz Age

4. The Harlem Renaissance: Novels and Poetry from the Jazz Age

The Harlem Renaissance was a movement in the 1920s and 1930s during which there was an explosion of African-American art and literature. This lesson looks at the themes, causes, and important figures of the Harlem Renaissance.

Modernism in American Literature

5. Modernism in American Literature

In this lesson, we will discuss the concept of literary modernism in the United States. We will explore its historical backdrop along with the very unique characteristics and authors that define American modernism which lasted from 1914-1945.

The Lost Generation: Expatriate Writers of the 20th Century

6. The Lost Generation: Expatriate Writers of the 20th Century

In this lesson, we will explore the effects of WWI on the American literary community. We will take a look at the Lost Generation of writers, the characteristics of their work and the ways in which they represented post-war attitudes both in the U.S. and abroad.

Contemporary American Literature: Authors and Major Works

7. Contemporary American Literature: Authors and Major Works

This lesson helps you decipher pieces of contemporary American literature by looking at famous examples from some of the greatest authors of the time.

The Beat Generation: Characteristics of Beat Poetry

8. The Beat Generation: Characteristics of Beat Poetry

It's a movement that began with a howl, and it had a major impact on both poetry and culture in America. In this lesson, we'll cover the Beat Generation and review the defining characteristics of their style.

The Dark Romantics in American Literature

9. The Dark Romantics in American Literature

This video introduces the characteristics of Dark Romanticism, a movement at the end of the Romantic period where literature embodied creepy symbols, horrific themes, and explored the psychological effects of guilt and sin. Authors, such as Edgar Allan Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne, wrote short stories, poems, and novels that encouraged Americans to see evil in everything.

The Federalist Papers: History, Writers & Summary

10. The Federalist Papers: History, Writers & Summary

The Federalist Papers were a collection of political essays from the 18th century written by several Founding Fathers of the United States. In this lesson, we'll learn more about the Federalist Papers and why they are still important today.

Native American Oral Tradition: Heritage and Literary Influence

11. Native American Oral Tradition: Heritage and Literary Influence

Native American nations have a rich oral tradition of storytelling. In this lesson, we'll explore the heritage and themes of American Indian stories and look at how they influenced later American literature.

Southern Gothic Literature: Definition, Characteristics & Authors

12. Southern Gothic Literature: Definition, Characteristics & Authors

In this lesson, we will begin with the definition of Southern Gothic literature. We will then discuss the history of the genre, its characteristics and some of the key authors.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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