English | American Literature, 1800-1865
L351 | 2078 | Hutchinson

American Literature 1800-1865

11:15a-12:30p TR (30) 3 CR.

This course focuses on one of the most exciting and creative periods
in American literary history.  It begins in the period of national
formation and ends with the onset of the national crisis that would
be the Civil War.  The course will survey a range of texts from the
period, with particular attention to the relation of literary
imagination to the processes of national self-definition, imperial
expansion, and political conflagration.  This topic necessarily
entails the treatment of racial identity and class formation as well
as conceptions of domesticity and authorship.  Complementary to the
investigation of such substantive issues, the course will look at the
various ways in which American authors attempted to distinguish their
work formally from earlier models of the literary.  I will also try
to incorporate some discussion of other arts of the period, including
painting and popular theatre.  Authors will be drawn from among the
following:  Washington Irving, William Cullen Bryant, Edgar Allan
Poe, Lydia Maria Child, James Fenimore Cooper, Ralph Waldo Emerson,
Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Frederick
Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Harriet Wilson, and
Walt Whitman.

In addition to the reading, requirements will include brief informal
writing assignments/quizzes, two formal papers, and two exams.