||TTh 2-3:30||123 Wheeler||
Authors to include Frederick Douglass, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ralph Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Herman Melville, Elizabeth Stoddard, Harriet Prescott Spofford, David Walker, William Apess, Edgar Allen Poe, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, and others.
This class focuses on the decades prior to the Civil War and surveys the literature of this age of reform, romance, and unrest. We will approach the literature of the period as a product of contact, exchange, and conflict across the nationâ€™s changing external borders and its increasingly pressured internal divides. Reading will encompass histories of settlement and of unsettlement, declarations of liberty and narratives of captivity, exhortations to self-reliance and narratives of slavery. We will encounter various cultural perspectives and consider the strategies used to speak in the interstices of conflicting worldviews. We will examine the formal strategies involved in â€œdeclarationsâ€ and â€œappeals,â€ in presentations of the weird and of the familiar, in print and oral narrative, in irony and sentiment, and in fictions of self and of the collective.