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Ch 5: MTEL English: Contemporary American Literature

About This Chapter

In this chapter, you will find a rich amount of information within video lessons and quizzes about contemporary American literary authors like Arthur Miller, Maya Angelou, and Rudolfo Anaya. They will help you remember the information needed to answer similar questions on your MTEL English exam.

MTEL English: Contemporary American Literature - Chapter Summary

This chapter will enable you to brush up on your memory of contemporary American authors including Countee Cullen, Vladimir Nabokov, and Louise Erdrich by viewing 5-10 minute video lessons. Short multiple-choice quizzes are provided at the end of the lessons so you can test your knowledge. After completing this chapter, you will be able to answer exam questions based on the following:

  • Characteristics of the Contemporary period
  • Biography and poems of Countee Cullen and Gwendolyn Brooks
  • Saul Bellow's novels
  • Arthur Miller's plays
  • Contemporary African-American writers, including Toni Morrison
  • Biography of Vladimir Nabokov and N. Scott Momaday
  • Maya Angelou and Rita Dove's biography and poetry
  • Poems of Leslie Marmon Silko and Louise Erdrich
  • Rudolfo Anaya's books and Amy Tan's novels

One of the greatest things about our lessons and quizzes is that they are quick. You don't need to spend a whole lot of time to jog your memory of the topics you need to know. All lessons are also available as transcripts for you to read over if needed. The worksheets and answers can be printed out for review when you're away from the computer.

MTEL English: Contemporary American Literature Objectives

In all, the MTEL English exam contains 100 multiple-choice questions and 2 open-ended questions. The test is broken into 4 parts. One of those parts includes the Literature and Language section, which is comprised of questions about the authors found in this chapter. It is worth 51% of the whole test and may contain questions that test how well you know the themes of different types of contemporary literature.

14 Lessons in Chapter 5: MTEL English: Contemporary American Literature
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
The Contemporary Period in American Literature

1. The Contemporary Period in American Literature

Learn about how Contemporary literature developed and understand its fundamental characteristics. Find out how American history and cultural norms really defined and developed the Contemporary period in American literature.

Countee Cullen: Biography & Poetry

2. Countee Cullen: Biography & Poetry

In this lesson, we will review the early life of the poet Countee Cullen. We will also explore his role in the Harlem Renaissance as well as the ways in which his poems reflected the literary movement.

Gwendolyn Brooks: Biography & Poems

3. Gwendolyn Brooks: Biography & Poems

In this lesson, we discover the life and work of one of the United States' most important poets, Gwendolyn Brooks, who was the first African-American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize.

Saul Bellow: Biography, Novels & Short Stories

4. Saul Bellow: Biography, Novels & Short Stories

Saul Bellow was a Jewish-American writer who helped change the face of American literature. In this lesson, you will learn about his biography, major literary works, and the recognition he received for his writing.

Arthur Miller: Biography and Major Plays

5. Arthur Miller: Biography and Major Plays

In this lesson, we will talk about the life of one of America's greatest playwrights, Arthur Miller. We will take a close look at his role in the American political scene of the 1950s and give insight into some of his most influential works.

Contemporary African American Writers: Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, James Baldwin

6. Contemporary African American Writers: Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, James Baldwin

In this lesson, we will look at the role of contemporary African American writing. The focus will be on authors Toni Morrison, Alice Walker and James Baldwin.

Vladimir Nabokov: Biography, Books & Poems

7. Vladimir Nabokov: Biography, Books & Poems

This lesson will introduce you to Vladimir Nabokov, one of the twentieth century's best-known novelists. You'll also learn a bit about Nabokov's most famous works and the themes they explore.

N. Scott Momaday: Biography & Works

8. N. Scott Momaday: Biography & Works

In this lesson we explore the life and work of one of the American West's most recognizable voices, the part Native American poet and writer N. Scott Momaday.

Who is Maya Angelou? - Biography, Books, Poetry & Accomplishments

9. Who is Maya Angelou? - Biography, Books, Poetry & Accomplishments

In this lesson, we will look at a remarkable woman, Maya Angelou, and discuss her biography, some of her works, and her accomplishments. You will then be asked to take a short quiz to test your comprehension of the lesson.

Rita Dove: Poems & Biography

10. Rita Dove: Poems & Biography

Rita Dove took the world by storm with her historical and lyrical poetry, her national presence, and her message concerning the importance of the legacy of poetry. She is widely enjoyed and has earned highest honors and many awards for her contributions to the literary world.

Leslie Marmon Silko: Biography, Poems & Books

11. Leslie Marmon Silko: Biography, Poems & Books

Leslie Marmon Silko is considered the first acclaimed Native American female writer and has continued to make strides for both Native Americans and women in Western culture. This lesson will explore her life story, as well as her literary career.

Louise Erdrich: Books, Poems & Biography

12. Louise Erdrich: Books, Poems & Biography

Learn about the books, poems, and biography of America's best-known Native-American writer. Although her heritage and ancestry heavily influence her work, readers find that her fiction and poetry speaks to people across all races and ages.

Rudolfo Anaya: Books & Biography

13. Rudolfo Anaya: Books & Biography

Rudolfo Anaya, best known for his book ''Bless Me, Ultima,'' which is read in classrooms across the nation, is one of the leading authors of Chicano literature. Read on for a short summary of his life and of some of his most well-known books!

Amy Tan: The Joy Luck Club & Other Novels

14. Amy Tan: The Joy Luck Club & Other Novels

Amy Tan is known for writing books about Chinese immigrant mothers and their American daughters, but her books speak to larger issues that anyone can relate to. In this lesson you'll get an introduction to Tan, her most famous book, and a few of her other novels.

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.
Not Taken

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