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 Wheatley, Oroonoko by Aphra Behn, The Female American by Unca Eliza Winkfield, Charlotte Temple by Susanna Rowson, The Horrors of St. Domingo by Leonora Sansay, and Olaudah Equiano’s slave narrative. We will employ a trans-Atlantic lens that asks how the literature reflects or was influenced by the discovery, exploration, and settlement of the Americas (broadly defined). Related themes will include the relationship between American literature and the trans-Atlantic slave trade; the portrayal of gender roles, race, and class; and the relationship between early American literature, the frontier, and attitudes toward the natural environment. Students in this class will work collaboratively to create a digital map that traces the movement of ideas, literature, and people in early American literature.
Link to class ArcGIS map on StoryMap Journal. Created by Austin College students in fall 2016.