ENGL626 - Readings in American Literature before 1865

A survey of the major works and movements in American literature from the colonial period to the time of the Civil War. The course has two large emphases: 1) To make you good teachers of early American literature at the secondary and introductory college level; 2) To introduce you to key scholarly debates in the field. Accordingly, classroom discussion and the assigned writing will focus on pedagogical and scholarly issues. We will use the shorter one-volume Norton Anthology of American Literature (Beginnings to 1865) and (probably) the Norton Critical Edition of Moby-Dick. We will decide as a group on additional texts the first day of class, so please think about other longer or shorter works you’d like to read; I’ll make some suggestions, too. Please also check ELMS for the assigned readings for the first day of class. There will be two short papers, article abstracts, classroom presentations, and a take-home final. Those who wish to take the class for seminar credit can substitute a seminar paper for one of the short papers.