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Intro to American Literature

ENGL 080.001
instructor(s):
MWF 11-12

In this survey of American writing from the earliest years of British settlement through the nineteenth century we will pay special attention to literary form. Students will develop a sense, not simply of the great formal diversity of early American literature, but also of the significance to American history and culture of particular genres, such as the sermon, the captivity narrative, the autobiography, the short story, the long poem, the slave narrative, the elegy, the essay, and the novel. We will also consider the specific relations of different kinds of authors to different kinds of literature-- novels by women, for instance, or English versions of American Indian song and chant. Likely authors include John Winthrop, Anne Bradstreet, Mary Rowlandson, Jonathan Edwards, Benjamin Franklin, Samson Occom, Thomas Jefferson, Phillis Wheatley, Edgar Allen Poe, Frederick Douglass, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Walt Whitman, and Emily Dickinson.