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Title: ENGL 359-01, Early American Literature, Fall 2010
Authors: Richards, Jason
Keywords: English, Department of;Syllabus;Curriculum;Academic departments;Text;2010 Fall
Issue Date: 25-Aug-2010
Publisher: Memphis, Tenn. : Rhodes College
Series/Report no.: Syllabi CRN;11631
Abstract: This course examines a variety of texts written in and about America from initial contact to 1800, a more than three-hundred-year period that witnessed a series of colonial and postcolonial struggles in the new world. We'll begin with narratives of discovery, exploration, and settlement, using the way colonization opened up contact zones--that is, shifting spaces wherein Europeans, Native Americans, and Africans encountered each other--as a framework for reading early America as a multilayered text, woven out of various cultural histories and centers. We'll also interrogate the inherent contradictions of Anglo-American settler culture, which, growing increasingly hostile to British dominance while developing its own imperial ambitions, became colonized and colonizing at once. More intimately, we'll examine classic writings of the Great Awakening, the Revolution, and the establishment of the early republic, with an eye to how the Puritan legacy and Enlightenment thinking shaped the nation's character and destiny. Then we'll turn to early American fiction, which began budding in the wake of the Revolution. As we explore the rise of the American novel alongside the birth of the nation, we'll notice how early republican authors competed against British cultural hegemony; how American literary nationalism went hand in hand with nation building; and how the novel's generic overlaps (sentimental, epistolary, historical, Gothic, autobiographical, picaresque) reflected the political instability and cultural hybridity of America in the postcolonial moment.
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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