While carrying out online research for my thesis topic, American literature and the EN6016, Research Skills module, I discovered a very interesting documentary series titled “We Shall Remain” on the PBS website, which provides a contemporary rendition of Native American history.
Not only is this documentary series useful for providing a historical context for the Native American literature I am reading, but the PBS website also contains other webpages on American literature and film that are relevant to taught section of my course.
One website that is a part of the PBS website and is certainly worth mentioning is The American Novel. This website discusses the evolution of the American novel by covering a temporal trajectory of about 200 years. It also provides an in-dept discussion of about 50 authors and novel, along with acknowledging the literary movements they influenced or inspired.
What is particularly remarkable about this website is its easy-to-use interface. Everything is clearly laid out so navigation is simple. The website also divides its categories into 4 sections: ‘Literary Timeline’; ‘Six Novel Ideas’; ‘My Favorite Novel’; ‘Elements of the Novel’; and ‘Top Novel Lists’.
The ‘Six Novel Ideas’ section is exceptionally useful for any scholar of American literature as it uses six themes as a lens in order to discuss the American novel. The six themes are: American Dream, Melting Pot, The Colour Line, Crisis of Faith, Violence and The Forbidden. By exploring the American novel in this manner, it makes it very easy to draw thematic links and connections between other novels that share the same themes, which is what I am expected to do as a student of American literature and film.
The ‘Elements of the Novel’ section is also useful for building an in-dept knowledge of a novel or author as one can take an entertaining, interactive quizz that tests one’s knowledge of, as the title suggests, elements of the novel.
The aforementioned website is only one example of what the PBS website has to offer. Other interesting and educational website explore topics such as the American Civil War, slave narratives, American photography, ‘The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow’, and the Vietnam War, to name but a very few because there is a comprehensive list of program title from A-Z that can be viewed here.
Here is the rest of episode 1:
Part 10 (Credits):