American Literature Mid-19th to Mid-20th Century

This class will cover a wide range of literary movements including sentimentalism, American romanticism, dark romanticism, and naturalism so as to survey American literary productions from 1850 to 1950. Special attention will be given to how each of the movements responds to the social conditions of their time and the literary movements that preceded them. For example, we will ask how does dark romanticism function as a response to American romanticism?  What is the philosophy behind naturalism? How can we trace the evolution of American thought through literature?  The goal of this course is to increase close reading skills, critical thinking, writing, and to understand literary movements.


Course Objectives:

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

–  Read a text critically and actively

–  Perform close readings of literary and secondary texts

–  Discuss texts in a purposeful, intellectual, and thoughtful manner by exploring the                                     themes, style, patterns and interpretations of a text.

–  Understand the relationship between literature and culture through situating texts                                                   within their historical and cultural context.

–  Write fluently and critically about literary texts

–  Trace a topic throughout a wide range of literary, philosophical, and historical texts

–  Connect historical topics to our own contemporary moment