AMST 338
The American Renaissance Fall 2014
Division II Writing Skills
Cross-listed AMST 338 / ENGL 338
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

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.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 19
Class#: 1608
Grading: OPG
Requirements/Evaluation: 3 or 4 essays across the semester, totaling 20 pages
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis
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 Preferences: English majors, American Studies majors
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills
Notes: meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under ENGL; meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under AMST
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
AMST 338 Division II ENGL 338 Division I
Attributes: AMST Arts in Context Electives
ENGL Literary Histories B

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