English | American Literature 1865-1914
L352 | 0253 | Newlyn

10:20a-11:35a D (30) 3 cr.

This course will examine the vast social, cultural, economic, and legal changes in 19th- and early 20th-century America, and how these transformations informed and inflected American authors and their texts. Some of the concepts and topics we will discuss include slavery, Emancipation, Reconstruction, post-Reconstruction, racial, class, and gender identity, and modern urban life. As we consider what impact the turn of the century posed for white and African-American writers, we will pay special attention to the historicity of their texts, the politics of their production, and to pertinent legal, cultural, and social issues and debates that defined the American experience from 1865 until the end of the Progressive Era. We will develop our critical and analytical reading, writing, and thinking skills as we read from a variety of texts--novels, short stories, racial uplift narratives, "sentimental" fiction, and autobiography.

There will be two essays (5-6 pages each), one in-class exam, and several short-response papers.

Required Texts:
Horatio Alger, Ragged Dick and Struggling Upward (Penguin)
Stephen Crane, Maggie--A Girl of the Streets (Norton)
Samuel Clemens, Pudd'nhead Wilson and Those Extraordinary Twins (Norton)
Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, The Silent Partner (Feminist Press)
Frances E. Harper, Iola Leroy, or Shadows Uplifted (Oxford)
Kate Chopin, The Awakening (Penguin)
James Weldon Johnson, The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man (Vintage)