English 190

Research Seminar: American Gothic


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2014 Donegan, Kathleen
MW 4-5:30 109 Wheeler

Book List

Brown, C.B.: Wieland; 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 of Nantucket; Sansay, L.: The Secret History, or 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 disjunctive 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.

Please read the paragraph on page 2 of the instructions area of this Announcement of Classes for more details about enrolling in or wait-listing for this course.

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