This course surveys American writing from the Puritan era through the Civil War. Reading works by Bradford, Bradstreet, Winthrop, Taylor, Edwards, Franklin, Jefferson, Rowlandson, Wheatley, Tyler, Cooper, Poe, Hawthorne, Douglass, Melville, Fuller, Emerson, Thoreau, Stowe, Lincoln and Davis, we will watch how the concerns of the earliest American writers continue to enrich, govern and sometimes vex literature throughout the period. Of special interest will be such topics as: God and His Creation; Wilderness and the Native American; the overthrow of European paternity; the establishment of a National literature, the how-to of National character, the promise of the Promised Land; the struggle between individual conscience and communal organization, between men and women, between writer and audience, between North and South, between slave and master. Some attention will be paid as well to the emergence of problematic national types,: the Self-Made man, the Dark Temptress, the Uncle Tom. Two midterm exams. 1 final exam. 1 10-15 page paper.
Majors may take this course instead of English 200 to fulfill the American Literature requirement.