English | American Literature 1800-1865
L351 | 6821 | George Hutchinson


L351 AMERICAN LITERATURE 1800-1865
George Hutchinson

6821 - 2:30p-3:45p TR (30 students) 3 cr.  A&H.

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 Civil War, and coincides with the high
tide of Romanticism in the United States.  We will read 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.  Authors will be Walt Whitman, Herman Melville,
Harriet Beecher Stowe, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, and
others.  The reading will at times be fairly heavy.

Requirements include one mid-term and one final examination; a 5-6
page paper due before mid-term, and a 7-8 page final research paper;
occasional informal, written reflections on the reading; and two
short quiz-tests--one half-way to mid-term, and one half-way between
mid-term and final exams--reinforcing basic concepts and analytical
methods.