English 203

Graduate Readings: American Enlightenment and Revolution

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2014 Tamarkin, Elisa
M 2-5 305 Wheeler

Book List

Brown, Charles Brockden: Wieland; Brown, William Hill: The Power of Sympathy; Carretta, Vincent, ed.: Unchained Voices; Crevecoeur, J. Hector St. John de: Letters from an American Farmer; Franklin, Benjamin: Autobiography; Oliver, Peter: Origin and Progress of the American Rebellion; Paine, Thomas: The Thomas Paine Reader; Rowson, Susanna: Charlotte Temple;

Recommended: Edwards, Jonathan: A Jonathan Edwards Reader; Hamilton, Alexander: The History of the Ancient and Honorable Tuesday Club; Madison, James, et al.: The Federalist


This course broadly examines the history of the Enlightenment in eighteenth-century America.  In readings of literary, political, and religious texts alongside visual arts of the period, we will look at the American Revolution's impact on the Atlantic world and at relations and exchanges between the American Enlightenment and its European counterparts.  Topics to be discussed include the wages of a revolutionary war, ideas of secularism and faith, the language of rights and constitutionalism, definitions of liberty and loyalty, the emergence of cosmopolitanism, and the place of feeling in the age of reason.  We also will engage with critical contexts for understanding neoclassicism and romanticism in America and new cultural expressions of the public, private, and individual. 

Authors include: Edwards, Franklin, Jefferson, Paine, Hamilton, Equiano, Crevecoeur, Wheatley, Rowson, Brockden Brown, Irving, as well as selections from Locke, Shaftesbury, Kant, Burke, Smith, Gibbon, Tocqueville.

This course satisfies the Group 3 (17th-18th century) requirement.

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