Mapping Early American Literature

Course Description In this course on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century American literature, we will read the seduction novels, sermons, captivity accounts, political pamphlets, slave narratives, and popular literature that helped to define the Americas and American identity in the colonial imagination. Authors and titles include the captivity narrative of Puritan Mary Rowlandson, the poetry of Phillis …

Recovery Projects in the American Literary Archive

Course Description Through archival recovery efforts, feminist and ethnic studies scholars in the past few decades have radically altered the canon of American literature that has been traditionally taught and studied. By returning to the archives of American literature, they have rediscovered the lost voices and stories of dozens of forgotten minority and women writers. …

Secrets, Lives, and Legacies of American Transcendentalism

Course Description Transcendentalism was a literary and intellectual movement started in New England in the 1830s. In this capstone course, we will study the lives and writing of several well- and lesser-known American Transcendentalist writers and thinkers. The class will read key texts from the movement such as Nature, Walden, and Woman in the Nineteenth …

Rise Up! Protest and Dissent in American Literature

Course Description African American, American Indian, and American women writers have long used literature to speak out against racism, sexism, and other social inequalities in the United States. In this class we will read nineteenth-century authors including Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Handsome Lake (Seneca), and Margaret Fuller to see how literature both reflects and influences …

A More Perfect Union: 19th-Century American Literature and Social Reform

Course Description Many nineteenth-century American writers worried that the United States was not living up to its promise of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” for all Americans; they used their voices and the written word to imagine a more equal and inclusive nation. In this class, we will study how literature helped the …