Term: Spring 2021 - Full Term (02/01/2021 - 05/11/2021)
Grade Mode: Letter Grading
|Start Date||End Date||Days||Time||Location|
|2/1/2021||5/11/2021||W||9:10am - 12:00pm||ONLINE|
Seminar. Studies in Nineteenth-Century American Literature: National Space in Early Republican and Antebellum Writings
This seminar will consider texts in the period, 1790-1865, as expressions integrally involved in the cultural work of nation-building and in the project of imagining nationally significant spaces. In this era of self-conscious effort to create a “national” literature, writers negotiate an imperative to situate—to locate—the abstractly conceived and non-geographically defined republic. We will examine representations of domestic, pastoral, urban, and “wilderness” spaces in characteristic genres of the time: predominantly fiction, but also lyric poetry, architecture and domestic manuals, a slave narrative, urban journalism, and an “excursion” into nature. And we’ll consider the figures—citizens and non-citizens—positioned in and by these spaces. The course will engage critical readings from the fields of cultural geography, gender and race studies, ecocriticism, history, architectural and visual studies, as well as literary criticism. Texts may include: Charles Brockden Brown’s Arthur Mervyn, Catharine Sedgwick’s Hope Leslie; Or, Early Times in the Massachusetts, Andrew Jackson Downing’s The Architecture of Country Houses, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Blithedale Romance, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Henry David Thoreau’s Walden and Civil Disobedience, Henry Bibb’s The Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb: An American Slave, and Fanny Fern’s Ruth Hall. Oral reports, a short mid-semester paper, and a 20-page seminar paper.