Note: This course is a requirement for most majors.
Beginning with the contested terms *American* and *literature,* this survey will look at texts in historical context from the British colonial period to 1900. As a survey, the course offers breadth of coverage. It will also emphasize the complex engagement of literary art and marketplace actuality. We will discuss the ways such writers as Franklin, Irving, Cooper, Emerson, Hawthorne, Stowe, Douglass, Twain, Melville, Whitman, Dickinson, Howells, and Jewett work out the intricacies of accommodation and resistance to particular market demands. Of special concern will be the marketability of powerful fictions of American self-hood (a slippery notion) and cultural identity (an equally problematic concern).
Susan Albertine is Associate Professor of English at Susquehanna University and Chair of the English Department there; she is a specialist in 19th-century American literary history.