ENGL748L - Seminar in American Literature: Development of the 19th Century American Novel

The focus is on the 1790s to the 1870s, and the goal is to engage the history of the nineteenth-century American novel and current critical debate on that history. We will be considering such large themes in the American novel as domesticity, racial nationalism, the frontier and expansionism, romance and realism, sentimentalism, and social class. Reading will include Rowson’s Charlotte Temple (we’ll use the new comprehensive Norton Critical Edition), Brockden Brown’s Edgar Huntley, Sedgwick’s Hope Leslie, Cooper’s The Prairie, Hawthorne’s The Blithedale Romance, Melville’s Moby-Dick or Pierre (we’ll decide first class), Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Wells Brown’s Clotel, Ruiz de Burton’s Who Would Have Thought It?, and other works to be decided by the class. The requirements are several class presentations, a short paper, and a seminar paper.