American Literature to Mid-19th Century

ENG 336

In person: Tues. & Thurs. 12: 00-1:15 

This class investigates the formation of American literature to the mid 19th century. The class will provide snapshots into a range of literary movements central to the rise of American literature. For example, we will be primarily concerned with pamphlet literature, sentimentalism,  romantic literature, the transcendentalist movement, gothic literature, and slave narratives. The class will begin at the start of the American revolution and end with slavery. The goal of this course is to increase close reading skills, critical thinking, writing, and to understand literary movements. A major portion of this class is to understand the texts we read in their proper historical context. As such, novels and other texts will often be supplemented with historical documents. Some authors will include, but are not limited to, James Cooper, Harriet Jacobs, Frederick Douglass, Black Hawk, Benjamin Franklin, and others.

Required Texts                  

Paine, Thomas. Common Sense
Webster Foster, Hannah. The Coquette 
Brown, Charles. Edgar Huntly, Or, Memoirs of a Sleep-Walker    Jacobs, Harriet. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

Student Learning Objectives 

Students will improve their ability to ask questions of and to read, analyze, and interpret complex literary texts, using relevant literary terminology.

Students will understand how literature is organized by historical periods, genres, and cultural formations.

Students will improve their ability to express ideas within the conventions of academic writing.