Dr. Randi Tanglen, PhD

English Professor at Austin College

Director of the Robert and Joyce Johnson Center for Faculty Development and Excellence in Teaching

Uncle Tom’s Cabin: An American Classic on Trial

Course Description

Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852) by Harriet Beecher Stowe is one of the most beloved and most reviled American novels. Only the Bible outsold it in the nineteenth century, yet today it is one of the most controversial and banned books in the United States due to its portrayal of African American characters. We will read this popular American classic and discuss the scandal it created in its own day and ours. We will study the novel’s role in the abolitionist movement and Civil War and its influence on present day American literature and film. At the end of this class you will able to evaluate for yourself if Uncle Tom’s Cabin is a powerful social justice tool or an offensive example of nineteenth-century racism.

Sample Reading List

Stowe, Harriet Beecher. Uncle Tom’s Cabin, (1852).

Morrison, Toni. Beloved, (1987).