Jun 13, 2024  
2013-2014 Academic Catalog 
2013-2014 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

ENG 228-01 - American Literary Traditions II (Fall)

4 credits
Renaissance, Romance and Realism.This course is designed with a view toward the ways in which various 19th century American writers participate in the construction and reconstruction of national identity before and after the Civil War and into the 20th century. Is there a “proper” relationship between content and poetic form? Should novels be cast in the mode of romance or realism? How do legislative enactments and court decisions that revise the contours of citizenship and civic entitlement impact poetry and fiction? Are wilderness preservation and other environmental protections antithetical to the myth of American self-fashioning? These are just a few of the questions that will help shape our understanding of the extent to which the issues these writers address and the way they address them impact the way we understand ourselves today. This is a survey course, but we will focus primarily on seven key texts - Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass (editions 1855; 1881-82); Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (U.S., 1885); Emily Dickinson’s poetry (first published collection of which appears in 1890); Frances Harper’s Iola Leroy (1892); Charles Chesnutt’s The Marrow of Tradition (1901); John Muir’s Our National Parks (1901); and Owen Wister’s The Virginian (1902). At various points in the semester, relationships of indebtedness and resistance will be fleshed out between the writers listed above and essays or short excerpts from the following: Rachel Carson, Rebecca Harding Davis, Annie Dillard, Frederick Douglass, W.E. B. Du Bois, Ralph Ellison, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Allan Ginsberg, Susan Howe, William Dean Howells, Henry James, Herman Melville, Toni Morrison, Henry David Thoreau, Albion Tourgee, and Zitkala-Sa.

Prerequisite: ENG 120  or ENG 121  for majors; for non-majors, ENG 120  or ENG 121  or any course in the study of literature in another language department.
Instructor: Andrews