4:00p-5:15p TR (70) 3 cr.
This course will focus on "the American Renaissance," the unusually
rich period of literary creativity in the years before the Civil War.
Many of the books now popularly regarded as classics of American
literature--Moby-Dick, Uncle Tom's Cabin,
Walden--were published in quick succession in the 1850s.
Writers to be studied include Emerson, Thoreau, Douglass, Stowe,
Hawthorne, Poe, and especially Whitman and Melville. Certain leading
ideas of the Romantic movement in American literature (about organic
art, nature, self-culture, the representative individual, etc.) will
be given special emphasis. The course will trace the development of
Transcendental idealism in the work of Emerson, Thoreau, and Whitman,
and its critique in the fiction of Hawthorne and Melville. The
reading list is substantial, and will include most or all of the
following texts: Emerson, Nature and selected essays; Thoreau,
Walden; Whitman, Leaves of Grass (especially "Song of
Myself"); Hawthorne, selected tales; Melville, Moby-Dick and
"The Encantadas"; Poe, selected tales; Stowe, Uncle Tom's
Cabin; and Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick
Douglass. In addition to the final exam, there will be at least
one hour exam, two papers, and various in-class exercises.