English 190

Research Seminar: American Romanticism


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
3 Spring 2020 Tamarkin, Elisa
MW 3-4:30 305 Wheeler

Description

The course offers a close engagement with major U.S. authors before the Civil War.  We will work across literary genres—poetry, essays, novels, and autobiographies—while asking questions about the conditions in which these genres appeared, their readership, their manner of circulation, and their strange efforts to bring British and European Romanticism to an American context.  These are books that ask readers to think carefully about the meaning and value of literature in democratic practice; we’ll try to understand what seemed new about their forms of expression and to take Thoreau up on his challenge to read them “as deliberately and reservedly as they were written.”   Our authors include Thoreau, Emerson, Hawthorne, Poe, Melville, Alcott, Douglass, and Whitman.

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