Exploring the Golden State: A Readers’ Journey Through California History
Outsiders are often astonished to discover that California has such a rich literary history, yet those of us who live here appreciate that we inhabit a region abundant with gifted writers. What is so distinctive about California authors and how did they differ from their contemporaries elsewhere? This course, designed exclusively for the Fromm Institute, will explore the dramatic adventures of Gold Rush-era storytellers including Dame Shirley, Bret Harte and Mark Twain; progressive-era bards such Frank Norris, Ambrose Bierce and Jack London; depression-era novelists such as Dashiell Hammett and John Steinbeck; a sampling of the Beats; as well as California’s distinguished non-fiction authors.
Chris O’Sullivan (BA, UC Berkeley; Ph.D. University of London) has taught California History at USF for two decades. He is the recipient of USF’s Distinguished Teaching Award, as well as USF’s Innovations in Teaching Prize, and has published five books on history.