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Intro to American Literature

ENGL 080.002
instructor(s):
TR 10:30-12

In this survey of American literature from the beginning of the 18th century to the end of the Civil War, we will read and discuss works from a variety of literary genres: autobiography (including journals and slave narratives), gothic and sentimental fiction, poetry, and the political essay and travel account. We will read these works as evidence of the evolving profession of writer (with a changing set of social, political, and aesthetic responsibilities) and the evolving reading public and publishing economy in our fledgling nation. Through an emphasis on writers working in Philadelphia, such as Ben Franklin, John Woolman, Charles Brockden Brown, Rebecca Rush, Edgar Allan Poe, Walt Whitman, we be able to look at, among other ideas, at how the literature reflects place and community and how the citizens of American cities, like Philadelphia, read in the 18th and 19th centuries.