A survey of American literatures spanning the Age of Discovery, Atlantic Revolutions, and onset of the U.S. Civil War.
ENGL 360: American Literature Before the Civil War
Instructor: Amanda Johnson
English Department Areas of Specialization:
Literature & Literary History
Culture & Social Change
This course looks at how “America,” as both a hemisphere and a republic, shaped itself through literature. Starting with the earliest exploration narratives, and looking at perspectives of both the colonizers and the colonized, we will compare writers such as Edgar Allan Poe with voices such as Phillis Wheatley. We will explore the emergence of an American national identity, and how popular ideas about rights and liberty can coincide with the material realities of colonialism and slavery. Finally, we will reflect on how the ideas present in this “old” literature are still urgent subjects of discussion in America today.
This course satisfies a pre1800 requirement for English Majors