America in the Nineteenth Century
This course introduces students to nineteenth-century American history through a survey of its fiction. Short-stories and selections of novels will be read alongside a few poems, speeches, works of philosophy and occasionally memoir. The class focuses upon the writings of Edgar Allen Poe, Herman Melville, Mark Twain, Henry James, Edith Wharton, among others. Moving in rough chronology through the century, we will touch upon some of the main themes of the morphing era – industrialism, transcendentalism, the Civil War, westward migration, pragmatism, naturalism, colonialism, among others. Students interested in History as well as English are encouraged to take this course. This is a “W” credit, with 10-15 pages of writing (three papers), and revisions.