Americans Abroad: Transatlantic Nineteenth-Century Novels cancelled
The American nineteenth century is known as a period of rapid and violent national expansion, but these formative years were also a time of deepening global entanglements. In this course, we will study how famous American novelists explored the increasing influence of America throughout the Atlantic in their fiction that sent their protagonists abroad. We will consider what readers learned about themselves and their nation from books that fictionalized American encounters in London, Paris, Venice, the Caribbean, Mexico, and beyond. In reading these influential works, we will also grapple with issues of settler colonialism and the dispossession of Indigenous lands, the transatlantic slave trade, industrial capitalism and the Gilded Age, the relationship between domesticity and American empire, and questions of literary form including romanticism, sentimentalism, and realism. Authors will likely include Martin Delaney, Frederick Douglass, William Dean Howells, Henry James, Herman Melville, John Rollin Ridge, Leonora Sansay, Catharine Maria Sedgwick, and Edith Wharton. Assignments will include two short essays and one final paper.
Image credit: "Les ballons transatlantic" by Albert Guillaume (1895-1920) under license CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.