AMST 338
Literature of the American Renaissance Spring 2025
Division II
Cross-listed ENGL 338

Class Details

The term “American Renaissance” refers to a period of US writing, primarily a couple of decades before the Civil War but extending after it: the time of Poe, Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Melville, Dickinson, Whitman, Jacobs, and Douglass. At stake throughout was the soul of the nation in a time of exuberant political expansion, spiritual optimism, social experimentation, deadening social conventionality, spiritual constriction, labor exploitation, and slavery. The question repeatedly asked was what it means to be free. The question is personal, political, social, and spiritual, and always, for writers, literary: what are the limits or possibilities of writing freely? The course is foundational for any understanding of American literature of the 20th- and 21st centuries.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 25
Expected: 20
Class#: 3629
Grading: no pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Three papers: 4 pp., 5 pp., 6-8 pp. Active class participation is expected and rewarded.
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 he Higher Level IB English exam, or permission of the instructor
Enrollment Preferences: English majors; prospective English majors; American Studies majors; Comparative Literature majors
Distributions: Division II
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
ENGL 338 Division I AMST 338 Division II
Attributes: AMST Arts in Context Electives
ENGL Literary Histories B

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