ENGL313 - American Literature

This discussion-based, writing-intensive course offers an overview of American literature from the eighteenth century to the present. We will discuss a variety of American literary production produced over the course of over 200 years between 1789 and 1999, covering key literary movements that include: didactic and sentimental literature, romantic and gothic literature, the American Renaissance, realism and naturalism, modernism, and postmodernism. Upon completing the course, students will have a good sense of eighteenth, nineteenth-, and twentieth-century American literary movements, and how these movements responded to and changed the nation’s cultural history to include debates around nation-formation, slavery, and immigration. Authors will include Charles Brockden Brown, Catharine Maria Sedgwick, Herman Melville, Nella Larsen, William Faulkner, Ralph Ellison, and Karen Tei Yamashita. Throughout the readings, we will consider the broad question: what is “American” literature? Two 4-7 page papers, a number of short response papers, a midterm, and a final exam.


Two lower-level English courses, at least one in literature; or permission of department.