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The Rise of the American Domestic Novel, 1750-1850

ENGL 089.401
instructor(s):
TR 1:30-3

As America emerged from its colonial period and began to construct its own national identity, the first American novels were published.  This course will examine the rise of the American domestic novel as it differentiated itself from the novel of England, its former mother country.  We will briefly examine the rise of the novel in 18th-century England before going on to analyze how the American novel developed in imitation of and in opposition to its British predecessors. Throughout the course, we will consider how distinct national political, literary and cultural identities emerged and were worked out through stories of the self, home and family.  We will read the following novels (available at House of Our Own Bookstore, 3920 Spruce Street): Richardson: selections from Clarissa; Foster: The Coquette; Lennox: The Female Quixote; Tenney: Female Quixotism; Brown: Wieland; Child: Hobomok; Cooper: Last of the Mohicans; Hawthorne: The Scarlet Letter; Stowe: Uncle Tom's Cabin.  Assignments to include several short papers and an in-class report.

Note: This version of English 89 can serve as a substitute for the usual English 200 requirement for English majors.