English | American Literature 1800-1900
L653 | TBA | Elmer


L653  (TBA)  ELMER (#4)
American Literature 1800-1900

1:25p – 4:25p M

TOPIC:   TOPOS AND TERRITORY IN AMERICA, FROM THE REVOLUTION TO THE
CIVIL WAR

Recent work in America literary and cultural studies has shifted
decisively to geographic and geopolitical analytic frames, invoking
the Atlantic, the hemispheric, global, even the “planetary”
(Dimock).  This class will attempt a transverse survey across some
of this thinking, trying both to appreciate its powerful
achievements and to locate its blind spots.  We will look at topics
like the creation of “federalist” space, the place of the Caribbean
and the tropics in early national spatial imaginaries, intersections
between microcosmic and macrocosmic frames, phenomenological
approaches to space and figure, definitions of territory as they
inform concepts of individual and population, and the space
of “play.” Readings have not yet been settled but they will probably
include some of the following authors:  Publius, Bartram,
Brackenridge, Burroughs, C.B. Brown, Sansay, Neal, Cooper, Kirkland,
Child, Barnum, Poe, Hawthorne, Fuller, Owen, Hunter, Thoreau,
Melville, Bierce.  Critical and theoretical resources will be drawn
from Eric Slauter, Trish Loughran, Ed White, D. W. Meinig, Wai Chee
Dimock, Gilles Deleuze, Jennifer Greiman, Maurice Merleau-Ponty,
Paul Gilroy, Bruno Latour, Michel Foucault, Johan Huizinga, Roger
Caillois, and D.W. Winnicott.

Students will be asked to be initiate discussion once during the
semester with posted remarks before class meetings, be the “first
responder” to such a posting once a semester, engage in lively and
informed discussion, and write two shorter “conference” length
papers on topics of their choice.