Literary Philadelphia: A Study Tour
Literary Philadelphia: A Study Tour With special emphasis on Philadelphia writers from the American Revolution through the 19th century, this course pairs novels, poetry, and political treatises with field trips throughout the Philadelphia area. While reading works by Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Rush, Thomas Paine, Charles Brockden Brown, Leonora Sansay, Edgar Allan Poe, Frances Harper, Walt Whitman, and W.E.B. Du Bois, we will also make an effort to walk the steps these authors walked and travel through the haunts they frequented. Destinations include President’s House: Freedom and Slavery in the Making of a New Nation, erected in honor of the nine slaves of George Washington; The Mütter Museum; Eastern State Penitentiary; the Walt Whitman House in Camden; a visit to the Library Company of Philadelphia exhibit That's So Gay: Outing Early America; and a tour of the Old Seventh Ward, as depicted by Du Bois in his sociological study The Philadelphia Negro (1899). The goals of the course will be threefold: (1) to explore the way city space gets registered in the literature of Philadelphia, (2) to highlight the politics of historical preservation and national memory, and (3) to study how representations of Philadelphia change across social divides, political loyalties, and aesthetic affiliations.