Fall 2010 - Graduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
An American writer was, in the early nineteenth century, an evolving concept, and the literature produced in that period reflects both attraction and resistance to the ideas of national identity and individual voice. This course will read Emerson, Thoreau and Melville as thinking variously about what it means to be an American self who writes. We will contextualize their writing with the politics, philosophy, and technologies of the period, and we will also ask how their texts speak to more contemporary concerns of selfhood, nation, and expression.
Emerson's _Essays & Poems_ (Library of America); Thoreau's _Walden_ & _Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers_ (Princeton UP); Melville's short novels, _Pierre_, & _The Confidence-Man_ (Norton or Library of America) and possibly _Moby-Dick_. Critical texts to be determined.
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
Weekly posts on assigned reading; midterm essay exam (4 pages); final paper (15 pages).