English 130B

American Literature: American Literature: 1800-1865

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2008 Beam, Dorri
Beam, Dorri
TTh 11-12:30 123 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Lauter, The Heath Anthology of American Literature; Turner, The Confessions of Nat Turner; Stowe, Uncle Tom?s Cabin; Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance; Spofford, The Amber Gods and Other Stories.


This class moves from the early national period to the Civil War and surveys the oral and written histories, autobiographies, novels, stories, private letters, public appeals, speeches, and poems of this age of reform, romance, and rebellion. We will examine the literature of this period as a product of contact, exchange, and conflict across the nation?s changing external borders and across its increasingly pressured internal divides. We?ll examine the formal strategies involved in declarations of freedom and appeals to reform, in the visions and prophecies that inundate the period, in presentations of the weird and of the familiar, in print and oral expression, in irony and sentiment, and in exhortations to self-reliance and narratives of slavery. Authors studied include Fuller, Emerson, Thoreau, Poe, Spofford, Hawthorne, Melville, Stowe, Douglass, Jacobs, Turner, Walker, Stewart, Apess, Fern, Osgood, Sigourney, Longfellow, Whittier, Whitman, and Dickinson.

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