midwestern literature

a website featuring the literature of america's heartland


About This Site

Background and Purpose

This site was developed in winter 2002 to showcase the literature of America's midwest. It was also developed to provide an alternative final project for students enrolled in English 217:002 at The University of Michigan. The site currently consists of a listing of the literature read in the course and a set of individual or collaborative student projects which somehow illuminate those readings. The students have been asked to create a multi-media learning resource, one which provides an extra dimension to their understanding of the literature and the Midwest. The site promises to expand exponentially: new readings and projects in future semesters will in turn provide additional resources for future students.

Credits and Sponsorship

This site was inspired by David Porter's "Eighteenth Century England" website. Extensive technical support was provided by the Knowledge Navigation Center and in particular Nancy Sims. Additional support was provided by the Department of English Language and Literature and James Mitchell, doctoral student in the Department.

Midwest: Definition

As defined by this class, the Midwest consists of the states listed below on the map.

Midwest Literature

And the literature which this class has read is listed under the divisions pictured below.




Student Projects:

Beloved: The Printed Word vs. the Silver Screen

The Business of Revivalism

Chicago Authors and Their Neighborhoods

Chicago: Black and White

Chicago Department Stores and Retail Entrepreneurs

Chicago: Entertainment and Women on the Rise

Chicago's Famous Hotels

Chicago Literature: Critical Writers of the 20th Century

Chicago World's Fair: Invention Exposition

The City of Big Shoulders: Carl Sandburg's Chicago

City of Dreams

Construction of the White City

Election of 1888

Ernest Hemingway: WWI

Esperanza's Journal: An Exploration of Sandra Cisneros's Pilsen

Ethnic Neighborhoods in Chicago

External Factors That Impact Families in Midwestern Literature

The Feast of Love

Film, Jazz, Theater in Chicago

The Four Seasons

Frank Lloyd Wright

Here Comes the Good Guy: Mayor William E. Dever

A History of Rivalry: Chicago and New York

The Impact of Organized Crime in the City of Chicago

Late 18th Century Midwestern Farm

Masculinity in Nick Adams

A Michigan Farm: The Memmer Family Farm

The Nobel Prize and Midwestern Literature

On Stage in Chicago: Behind the Scenes of Chicago's Theatres

Profiles of Michigan Farm Women

The Psychology of Murder

A Raisin in the Sun

Rebuilding Chicago After the Great Fire of 1871

River Travel: Brunswick & Co.

Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio

Stories of Experience: Authors of the Midwest

Stuart Dybek's Chicago

Taste of Chicago

The Travels of Nick Adams

Tunnel Vision

The Wheel of Love

The Worst Side of Chicago: Labor in the Turn of the Century

Youth and Identity in Chicago Literature