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Topics in Early American Literature: Fiction of the Frontier

ENGL 282.301
instructor(s):
TR 9-10:30

Beginning with a reading of the journal of Christopher Columbus, this course will take up a selection of literary, legal, and historical narratives that deal with the conflict between Europeans and Indians that impacted in one way or another the formation of the United States in the antebellum period. The readings will be taken from a list that includes narratives of exploration and settlement from Coronado's expedition north of the Rio Grande and the settlement of Jamestown (including Shakespeare's Tempest); the Indian captivity narrative of Mary Rowlandson and Mary Jemison, novels of Euramerican/Native American conflict by Lydia Maria Child, Catherine Maria Sedgwick, and James Fenimore Cooper; the political and autobiographical writing of the Pequot Indian William Apess, the Chippewa George Copway, and the Mesquakie Black Hawk; the formative Supreme Court decisions in the cases of Johnson v. MacIntosh (1823) and Cherokee Nation v.Georgia (1831); the newspaper essays of the Cherokee Elias Bouinot; and a contemporary historical novel about the Trail of Tears Mountain Windsong by the Cherokee writer Robert J. Conley.