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Introduction to American Literature

ENGL 200.920
MTWR 1-2:35

This spring English 200 will build its inquiry upon the architectural metaphor of construction. We will observe issues of design: how has the American literary canon been constructed and ereconstructed? what ideologies have framed interpretations of American literature at various points in time and space? how does theory buttress our experience of
texts? And we will observe issues of production: how have the reputations of writers been built and rebuilt? how do marketplace forces shape texts and audiences? how have texts been constructed from the working parts of invention and convention? After a brief discussion of 17th and l8th century writers and notions about the place of literature in an emerging culture, we will read an array of autogiography, essay, novels, short fiction, and poetry: a collection of colonial travel narratives, Franklin's "Autobiography", a selection of Hawthorne's tales, Melville's "Moby-Dick", Jacob's "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl", Thoreau's "Walden", portions of Whitman's "Leaves of Grass", stories by women
regionalists, Dreiser's "Sister Carrie", and DuBois's "The Souls of Black Folk".

Requirements will include several short papers, an oral presentation, a few screenings, and a final paper/project. Note: The course is required of most majors. However, the usual 200  requirement may be met by students taking either English 82 or 83.