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Race, Law and Literature

ENGL 283.401
instructor(s):
TR 1:30-3

This course will analyze the ways in which the political issues of slavery and the forced removal of Indians from their lands were represented in both legal and literary writing before the Civil War. We will be centrally interested in articulating the interconnections between these legal and literary representations. To this end we will read two generative Supreme Court cases-Cherokee Nation v. Georgia (1831) and Dred Scott v. Sandford (1856)-in conjunction with a political tract by William Apess, and novels by James Fenimore Cooper, Catherine Maria Sedgwick, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Martin Delany.

There will be three formal papers, as well as weekly informal writing assignments.