English 190

Research Seminar: Melville in the 50s


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2018 Goldsmith, Steven
MW 9-10:30 305 Wheeler American Literature
Novel
Research Seminars

Book List

James, C. L. R.: Mariners, Renegades & Castaways: The Story of Herman Melville and the World We Live In; Levine, R.: The New Cambridge Companion to Herman Melville; Melville, H.: Moby-Dick; Melville, H.: The Piazza Tales and Other Prose Pieces, 1839-1860; Melville, H.: White Jacket; Melville, H. : Pierre, or the Ambiguities; Otter, S.: Melville's Anatomies

Description

In this seminar we will read as much of Herman Melville’s fiction from the 1850s as we can, delving patiently into Moby-Dick (1851) early in the semester and then tracking the experiments in prose that eventually led Melville to the corrosive skepticism of The Confidence Man (1857) and to abandon fiction altogether thereafter.  If time permits, we will also consider Melville in the 1950s.  That is, we will examine how Cold War political debates influenced mid-century Melville criticism, paying special attention to C. L. R. James, a Caribbean intellectual who wrote his study of Moby-Dick while under detention on Ellis Island for “passport violations” in 1952.  Students will write a short initial essay on Moby-Dick and a research paper on a topic of their choice.

Please read the paragraph about English 190 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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