English 190

Research Seminar: Herman Melville


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
4 Spring 2011 Tamarkin, Elisa
Tamarkin, Elisa
MW 11:30-1 301 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

H. Melville, Typee; H. Melville, Moby-Dick; H. Melville, Selected Poems; H. Melville, Billy Budd, Sailor, and Selected Tales; H. Melville, Pierre

Description

This course takes a close and critical look at the literary career of Herman Melville, from his first sea narratives through Moby-Dick, his Civil War poetry, and Billy Budd.  We will read each work within its historical and intellectual contexts, with special attention to the role of the author in the literary marketplace, to the practices and habits of nineteenth-century readers, and to the particular way Melville addresses the problems of writing in his own writing.  At the same time, we will ask how Melville responds to crises of representation in a period of capitalism, slavery, and war—crises that bear on both the specific problems of authorship and the broader fate of individual expression in a democracy.  In all our readings, we will take up Melville's own challenge to go deeply, and to appreciate those moments of recognition and possibility that may only come when we surrender to feeling "at sea." 

English 190 replaced English 100 and 150 as of Fall '09. English majors may fulfill the seminar requirement for the major by taking one section of English 190 (or by having taken either English 100 or English 150 before Fall '09). Please read the paragraph on page 2 of this Accouncement of Classes for more details about enrolling in, or wait-listing for, this course.

Please click here for more information about enrollment in English 190.

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