ENGL 338 Fall 2014 The American Renaissance (W)

Cross Listed as AMST338
The mid-nineteenth century was evidently a good time to be an American writer. Thoreau's Walden and Melville's Moby-Dick, Emerson's essays, Hawthorne's and Poe's fiction, abolitionist writings by Harriet Jacobs and Harriet Wilson, and the groundbreaking poetry of Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson were all produced around this time. We will read through this essential period of American literature by asking how key authors imagine the relationship between the self and its community. Does the individual exist in splendid isolation? Or are we terrifyingly open to the people around us? These texts will help us explore the politics of belonging as they played out in a nation headed toward Civil War and conscious of its fractures. We'll see how much we can make this past work speak to our present moment. And we will jump in to arguments among scholars about who belongs in the canon of great American literature, whether it's a good idea to categorize texts by time and place, and what we should be reading literature for.
Class Format: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: 3 or 4 essays across the semester, totaling 20 pages
Additional Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis
Additional Info2:
Prerequisites: a 100-level ENGL course, or a score of 5 on the AP English Literature exam, or a score of 6 or 7 on the Higher Level IB English exam
Enrollment Preference: English majors, American Studies majors
Department Notes:
Material and Lab Fees:
Distribution Notes: meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under ENGL; meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under AMST
Divisional Attributes: Division I, Writing Intensive
Other Attributes: AMST Arts in Context Electives, ENGL Literary Histories B
Enrollment Limit: 19
Expected Enrollment: 19
Class Number: 1607
ENGL 338 - 01 (F) SEM The American Renaissance (W) Division 1: Languages and the ArtsWriting Intensive Ashley C. Barnes
MR 1:10 PM-2:25 PM Physics 113 1607
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