ENGL 450 Spring 2013 Melville, Mark Twain, and Ellison (D)

Cross Listed as AFR450
As an epigraph to his novel, Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison selects a quotation from Herman Melville's story, "Benito Cereno." In the prologue to Invisible Man, Ellison invokes a sermon that appears briefly in the opening chapter of Moby-Dick. In his essays on comedy and American culture, Ellison comments trenchantly on Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Melville and Mark Twain were, in many obvious ways, as different as two writers can be. Nonetheless, they also have many surprising similarities, and it is not difficult to understand why both are so important to Ellison. This course will examine the novels, stories, and essays of these three writers, with particular attention to the themes that they have in common and to the traits that make each of them distinctive. Race, slavery, epistemology, and the nature of American democracy are among those themes.
Class Format: lecture
Requirements/Evaluation: a journal and a 15-page paper
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Prerequisites: a 100-level English course, or a score of 5 on the Advanced Placement examination in English Literature or a 6 or 7 on the International Baccalaureate
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Distribution Notes: meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under ENGL; meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under AFR
Divisional Attributes: Division I,Exploring Diversity
Other Attributes: ENGL Literary Histories B,MAST Interdepartmental Electives
Enrollment Limit: 25
Expected Enrollment: 12
Class Number: 3630
ENGL450-01(S) LEC Melville, Twain, and Ellison (D) Division 1: Languages and the ArtsExploring Diversity Initiative David L. Smith
MR 2:35 PM-3:50 PM Hopkins Roger Room 3630
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