L351 23590 AMERICAN LITERATURE 1800-1865
Paul Gutjahr

9:30a-10:45a TR (30 students) 3 cr. A&H.

American publishing experienced unprecedented, exponential growth during the first half of the nineteenth century. An emerging market economy, widespread religious revival, reforms in education, and innovations in print technology worked together to create a culture increasingly formed and framed by the power of print. While debates raged about whether the United States even had its own literature, other debates concerning American printed material appeared as well. This course will examine American literature and its place in the cultural landscape through the lens of the popular literature of the time. What were Americans reading before the Civil War, and what effect did it have on their lives. There will be frequent reading quizzes and both shorter and longer papers. Texts may include: Charlotte Temple by Susannah Rowson; The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper; Hope Leslie by Catharine Maria Sedgwick; Ten Nights in a Bar-Room by T.S. Arthur; portions of Quaker City by George Lippard and Uncle Tomís Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe.