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Title: ENGL 285-01, Text and Context, Spring 2013
Authors: Richards, Jason
Keywords: English, Department of;Syllabus;Academic departments;Curriculum;Text;2014 Spring
Issue Date: 9-Jan-2013
Publisher: Memphis, Tenn. : Rhodes College
Series/Report no.: Syllabi CRN;23283
Abstract: This course emphasizes the close reading of literary texts in relation to their cultural contexts. In order to expose students to a variety of texts/contexts, our readings will cover a wide range of American literature and literary genres. We’ll begin by analyzing how Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The House of the Seven Gables explores the horrors of historical haunting, antebellum racial anxieties, and aristocratic decline. Then we’ll consider how the poems of Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson reflect the gendering of the national body. Next we’ll read Harriet Wilson’s Our Nig, which exposes the brutalities of northern indentured servitude, and Jack London’s The Call of the Wild, an icy meditation on primitive life and environmental determinism. We’ll then turn to Edith Wharton’s Summer, a gripping tale of female isolation and paternalism, and Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, a devastating critique of the American Dream. We’ll also read Ernest Hemingway’s memoir on 1920s Paris, A Moveable Feast, and some stories by John Cheever about the pathologies of postwar suburbia. After that, we’ll jump into Jay McInerney’s Bright Lights, Big City, a fast-paced portrait of decadence in 1980s New York. Our course will conclude with Joyce Carol Oates’ appalling (but fascinating) Zombie, the tale of a serial murderer who incarnates America’s darkest impulses. Note: This course assists prospective majors and minors in acquiring the necessary tools for middle- and upper-division classes in English.
Description: This syllabus was submitted to the Office of Academic Affairs by the course instructor. Uploaded by Archives RSA Josephine Hill.
Appears in Collections:Course Syllabi

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