Fall 2013 - Graduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
The seminar will explore the rise of the U.S. novel from approximately 1800 to 1900 (the whole of the 19th century) and will include essential exemplars of the Sentimental, Gothic, Historical Romance, Romance and Realistic novels. We will explore the texts not only within themselves as literary achievements but also as published artifacts within transnational, cultural, historical, philosophical and ideological contexts. The selected readings invite questions about gender, race, sex, religion, nature, authenticity, identity, slavery, capitalism, transcendence and reality. Authors will include Charles Brockden Brown, Catherine Maria Sedgwick, William Gilmore Simms, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville and shorter works by prominent American women writers such as Edith Wharton. Students, at seminar's end, should have a strong understanding of particular authors and specific genres prominent in the tumultuous 19th century as America struggled to define itself through its literary culture.
Assigned texts at a later date
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
Students will be required to write either two mid-length (10 pages) formal papers or one long (20 pages)formal paper. Additionally, students will write two short (3 pages)papers on assigned topic. All papers, regardless of length, are to be methodically researched, exactingly organized and gracefully written. The two shorter papers will be valued at 20 percent; the two moderate length papers valued at 40 percent each; the lengthy (20 pages) paper valued at 80 percent of one's final grade.