GENG 247H: Survey of American Literature I

Dr. Rebhorn 3 credits

          This course aims to explore the foundations of American Literature from its origins to, arguably, the most significant event in this country’s history—the American Civil War. Helping to guide our exploration of the diverse literary texts constituting “American Literature” during this time period, we will be looking at the numerous formal, stylistic, and thematic ways in which all of these texts “contest” or challenge what it meant to be American. Exploring the rich texts of this course, therefore, from Puritan sermons to Enlightenment autobiographies, from Transcendental essays to sensational melodramas, we will not discover the “real” American experience beneath this era, but rather, we will begin to see the ways in which these contests over the meaning of race, gender, history, class, and religion supplied the foundational energy that drove this country onto the national stage.

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