American Fiction: The American Novel
Novels play a crucial role in imagining a national community and in representing its central conflicts. In this course we will read classic 19th-and 20th-century novels that wrestle with the changing meaning of America through artistic innovation. A key theme will address the representation of America’s defining conflict between freedom and slavery in the broadest sense. Readings include Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Melville’s Moby Dick; Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Cather’s The Professor’s House, Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom, Ellison’s Invisible Man, and Morrison’s Beloved.