English 190

Research Seminar: American Gothic


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
4 Spring 2012 Donegan, Kathleen
Donegan, Kathleen
TTh 9:30-11 203 Wheeler

Book List

Brown, C.B.: Weiland; Crevecoeur, H.: Letters from an American Farmer; Hawthorne, N.: Young Goodman Brown and Other Short Stories; Melville, H.: Bartelby and Benito Cereno; Morrison, T.: Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination; Poe, E. A.: The Goldbug and Other Stories; Poe, E.A.: The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym; Sansay, L.: The Secret History, of the Horrors of St. Domingue

Description

In this course, we will study the Gothic tradition in American literature from the aftermath of the Revolution to the cusp of the Civil War.  We will explore how and why the dark energies of the Gothic imagination haunted our national literature, and what was particularly American about the genre's form and the shadows it cast.  We will trace the historical connections between Gothic fiction and nationalism, religion, gender, race, slavery, and historical memory, as well as theoretical issues concerning the disjuctive self, the uncanny, possession and dispossession, and fragmented subjectivity.  Students will practice critical writing and research methodologies throughout the semester, and will produce a 20 page research paper at the semester's end. Authors will include Crevecoeur, Brown, Sansay, Irving, Hawthorne, Melville, Dickinson, and Poe.

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 the Announcement 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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