ENGL431 - American Literature: 1810 to 1865, the American Renaissance

Prerequisite: Two English courses in literature; or permission of ARHU-English department.

Nationalism, Sentimentalism, Transcendentalism. Writers such as Douglass, Stowe, Melville.

This course will consider the major writers, works, and traditions of American literature from the early national period through the Civil War. Among the writers we’ll be reading are Washington Irving, Emerson, Poe, Whitman, Dickinson, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, and Hawthorne. Short lectures will situate works in literary, biographical, and cultural contexts; discussion will be encouraged. The main text will be The Norton Anthology of American Literature, vol. B, which we will be reading critically (I‘m responsible for editing and revising this anthology and I‘d like your help with this). We will also spend several weeks reading Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick, one of the most challenging American novels, and also considered by many to be the Great American Novel. Two papers, midterm, final, and a number of short reader-response papers.