Andrew M Rose
Introduces American culture through a careful reading of a variety of representative texts in their historical contexts.
This course offers an introduction to the study of U.S. literature. Rather than beginning with the assumption that we already know the canonical works and authors of American literature, this course will ask the question; what constitutes "American" literature? We will explore what it means to define "American" literature and what logics and assumptions are at work in deciding what gets included in an "American" literature survey course. It also poses the question: What is the relationship between a nationalist literature and the political, economic and social elements of U.S. culture? As we read, we will work together to explore the ways literature produces, reflects and at times problematizes the project of the nation itself.
Evaluation will be comprised of in-class participation, several short written papers, one in-class presentation and two exams.
Possible authors may include: Ralph W. Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Henry Thoreau, Herman Melville, Charles W. Chesnutt, Nella Larson, Willa Cather, F. Scott Fitzgerald, E. Hemingway, Emily Dickenson, W. Faulkner, Ralph Ellison, Cormac McCarthy and Karen T. Yamashita.
(Many of the primary and all secondary critical texts will be available in a course reader.)
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading