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ENGL 4445 19th C American Literature and the National Imagination (Fall: 3 )

Course Description

Despite Jefferson’s 1776 appeal to “self-evident” truths about human beings and the nations they form, the history of the United States has been marked by fervent disagreement about the nation’s guiding ideals. How can a country cherish liberty while permitting chattel slavery? What happens to a nation’s vision of itself in the throes and aftermath of civil war, or amidst a rising capitalist culture? These questions preoccupied U.S. politicians, poets, novelists, and essayists, throughout the nineteenth century, and their answers to them will be our main focus. Writings may include works by Jefferson, Madison, Emerson, Melville, Douglass, Stowe, and Twain.

Schedule: Periodically

Instructor(s): Scott Reznick

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: Fulfills the pre-1900 requirement

Last Updated: 24-Jun-17