ENGL440 - The Novel in America to 1914

Prerequisite: Two English courses in literature; or permission of ARHU-English department. Survey of the American novel to World War I. Cultural and philosophical contexts; technical developments in the genre. Authors such as Melville, Wells Brown, James, Sedgwick, Chopin.

“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,

Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before”  - Edgar Allan Poe

Study the rise of Gothic fiction in America! Before there was Stephen King and Shirley Jackson, there was Nathaniel Hawthorne and Pauline Hopkins. This course offers a pre-history of the contemporary Gothic with a strong dose of ghosts, hauntings, and hidden secrets from the fiction of Marylander Edgar Allan Poe, as well as Charles Brockden Brown, Louisa May Alcott, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman—in addition to Hopkins and Hawthorne. Students will write two papers, one of which could entail producing your own Gothic story. Other work includes short response papers and a midterm and final.

This course meets the following requirements for the English major:

  • Literary and Cultural Studies track: National, Transnational, Global OR Form, Genre, Poetics
  • Historical Studies: Long 19th Century
  • Elective