English 130B

American Literature: 1800-1865

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2020 Otter, Samuel
Lectures MW 12-1 + one hour of discussion section per week (sec. 101: F 11-12; sec. 102: F 12-1)

Book List

Fern, Fanny: Ruth Hall; Jacobs, Harriet: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl; Levine, Robert: Norton Anthology of American Literature, Vol. B (9th ed.); Melville, Herman: Moby-Dick; Whitman, Walt: Leaves of Grass (1855 ed.)

Other Readings and Media

Photocopied reader (available at Copy Central, 2411 Telegraph Ave).


We will read the extraordinary fiction, poetry, essays, and speeches of this period, including works by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Edgar Allan Poe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Fanny Fern, Herman Melville, Abraham Lincoln, Walt Whitman, and Emily Dickinson. We will pay particular attention to literary form and technique, to social and political context, and to the ideological formations and transformations of these decades, especially the urgent debates about democracy, slavery, race, gender, sexuality, individuality, theology, economic system, social reform, the role of writers, and the power and limits of words. Two midterms and one final examination will be required.

This course satisfies L & S's Historical Studies breadth requirement. 

Discussion Sections

101 Robinson, Jared
F 11-12 245 Hearst Gym
102 Robinson, Jared
F 12-1 174 Barrows

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