English 130A

: American Literature: Before 1800

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2007 Donegan, Kathleen
Donegan, Kathleen
MWF 12-1 30 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Peter C. Mancall (ed.): Envisioning America; William Bradford: Of Plymouth Plantation; Mary Rowlandson: The Sovereignty and Goodness of God; Benjamin Franklin: The Autobiography and Other Writings; Olaudah Equiano: The Interesting Narrative; Thomas Jefferson: Notes on the State of Virginia; Hector St. John de Crevecoeur; Letters from an American Farmer; Charles Brockden Brown: Wieland, or The Transformation; Hannah Webster Foster: The Coquette


This course will survey the literatures of early America, from the tracts that envisioned the triumphs of British colonization to the novels that measured the after-shocks of the American Revolution. Although our focus is on Anglophone texts, we will consider colonial America as a place of encounter � a place where diversity was a given, negotiation was a necessity, and transformation was inescapable. Cultures took shape through a dramatic series of contests, crises and consolidations, reflected in a literary record of h Lectures will explore the role of writing in contact and settlement; in captivity and slavery; in religious and social formations; in business and in justice; in approaching the natural world; in gauging the stakes of revolution; and in imagining a new republic. Throughout, we will pay special attention to how writing operated to forge new models of the self that could withstand and absorb the tumult of colonial life. Authors will include Bradford, Rowlandson, Franklin, Equiano, Jefferson, and the early American novelists Charles Brockden Brown and Hannah Webster Foster.

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