Ch 6: 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 6: 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

The American Contemporary period (1945 - present) questions the goodness of humanity, explores human consciousness, and upends social norms. Discover the period's divergence from Modernism, the effects of World War II on the American literary landscape, and the pressures of conformity in the post-war consciousness.

Countee Cullen: Biography & Poetry

2. Countee Cullen: Biography & Poetry

Countee Cullen was a 20th-century poet involved with the Harlem Renaissance. Explore the life of Countee Cullen, his role in the Harlem Renaissance, and his best-known poetry.

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

Arthur Miller was one of America's greatest playwrights. Learn about Miller's biography and early years, some of his most famous plays, critical success, political activism, and his life and legacy.

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

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

African-American contemporary writers have contributed much to the literary landscape and the civil rights movement in America. Learn about the contributions of Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, and James Baldwin in championing the causes of people who have been subjected to prejudice and mistreatment by society.

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

Maya Angelou was a renowned figure in poetry, literature, and performing arts. Take a glance at Maya Angelou's biography and learn about her books and other written works, her contributions to poetry, and her many literary accomplishments.

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 was the first Native American female writer to become critically praised, learning about storytelling from her grandmother and great-grandmother, who were both known as great storytellers among the Laguna Pueblo people. Read about Silko's biography and writing career, explore how she writes about Native American subjects in her poems and books, and check out a list of her popular works.

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's first novel was The Joy Luck Club, which tells the story of Chinese immigrant mothers and their American-born daughters. Learn about the life of Amy Tan, her book The Joy Luck Club and her other novels.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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More Exams
There are even more practice exams available in MTEL English: Contemporary American Literature.

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