A Cultural History of American Literature II

Enlightenment and Nationalism:
American Literature and Culture from the Revolution to the Jacksonian Era

(Prof. Dr. F. Kelleter)

Please note that this is only the default version of the syllabus. During Prof. Kelleter's sabbatical in the summer term 2011, this lecture is taught by Prof. Dr. Nicole Waller. To download the actual syllabus for the summer term 2011, including dates and modified reading assignments, click here.
Please bring this syllabus to the first session!

You may also download a set of study questions (PDF file) for this lecture course.

For HANDOUTS click on the individual sessions.

Session 1

Introduction (1): Nationalism and Literature in the Eighteenth Century

Reading: Hartwig Isernhagen, "Die Kolonien des 18. Jahrhunderts" and Helmbrecht Breinig, Susanne Opfermann, "Die Literatur der frühen Republik," Amerikanische Literaturgeschichte, 2nd revised edition, ed. Hubert Zapf (Stuttgart: Metzler, 2004), 20-84.

Suggested: Malcolm Bradbury, Richard Ruland, "Revolution and Independence," From Puritanism to Postmodernism: A History of American Literature (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1991), 61-103 (i.e. chapter 3).

Session 2

Introduction (2): Discourses and Ideologies of the American Revolution

Required: Philip F. Gura, Francis Murphy, "American Literature, 1700-1820" (Introduction in Norton); from John Dickinson, Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania: "Letter I"; from The Letters of John and Abigail Adams (selections); Thomas Paine, from The Age of Reason (selections); Thomas Jefferson, from "The Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson" (selections).
Suggested: Thomas Paine, from Common Sense (selections); Thomas Jefferson, from Notes on the State of Virginia: "Query XIX: Manufactures"; from Kelleter, Amerikanische Aufklärung, chapter 7 (381-429).

Session 3

The Cultural Work of The Federalist (1787/88)

Reading: Alexander Hamilton, "The Federalist No. 1"; James Madison, "The Federalist No. 10"; from Kelleter, Amerikanische Aufklärung, chapter 8.3 (500-533).
Suggested: The Constitution of the United States, from Kelleter, Amerikanische Aufklärung chapter 8.2 (474-500) and 8.4 (533-46).

Session 4

Early American Drama: Royall Tyler's Tenuous Balancing of Federalism and Republicanism in The Contrast (1787)

Reading: Tyler, The Contrast.

Session 5

Competing Forms of Republican Poetry (1): Joel Barlow's The Hasty Pudding: A Poem, in Three Cantos (1793/96)

Reading: Barlow, The Hasty Pudding.

Session 6

Competing Forms of Republican Poetry (2): Timothy Dwight, Phillis Wheatley, Philip Freneau

Reading: Dwight, from Greenfield Hill: "The Flourishing Village", "The Destruction of the Pequods" (selections); Wheatley, "On Being Brought from Africa to America," "To the University of Cambridge, in New England"; Freneau, "The Wild Honey Suckle," "The Indian Burying Ground."
Suggested: Oliver Goldsmith, "The Deserted Village"; George Crabbe, "The Village" (selections); Wheatley, "On the Death of the Rev. Mr. George Whitefield, 1770."

Session 7

Nationalist Agrarianism, Vanishing Indians: Philip Freneau, William Cullen Bryant, and the Jeffersonian Legacy

Reading: Freneau, "The Indian Student, or Force of Nature"; William Cullen Bryant, "The Prairies."
Suggested: François Marbois, "Journey to the Oneidas".

Session 8

The Beginning of Ethnic Identity Politics: Olaudah Equiano's
Interesting Narrative (1789) and William Apess's "An Indian's Looking-Glass for the White Man" (1833)

Reading: Equiano, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African, Written by Himself (selections); Apess, "An Indian's Looking Glass for the White Man."

Session 9

The Sentimental Novel in America: Susanna Rowson's Charlotte Temple (1791) and Hannah Webster Foster's The Coquette (1797)

Reading: from Rowson, Charlotte Temple: "Preface," chapters 1, 6-7, 14-15, 17-18, 20, 22, 25-28, 32-35; from Foster, The Coquette: Letters 1-6, 8, 11-13, 15, 18, 21-22, 25, 36, 42-43, 48, 57, 61-62, 70-74.
Suggested: from Kelleter, Amerikanische Aufklärung, chapter 12 (708-66); Foster, The Coquette in its entirety.

Session 10

American Gothic: Charles Brockden Brown's Wieland, or The Transformation:
An American Tale

Reading: from Brown, Wieland: chapters 1-3, 6, 9, 11, 13, 16-17, 19, 22, 27.
Suggested: Brown, from Edgar Huntly: "To the Public"; Wieland in its entirety.

Session 11

Early American Humor: From Hugh Henry Brackenridge to Washington Irving

Reading: from Brackenridge, Modern Chivalry: Book I, "Introduction," chapters 1-5, Book IV, chapters 2, 4, 5, Book V, chapter 1, from Irving, The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon: "The Author's Account of Himself", "Rip van Winkle."
Suggested: from Irving, The Sketch Book: "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow."

Session 12

A Storied Land: The Western Fictions of James Fenimore Cooper

Reading: from Cooper, The Pioneers: chapters 2-3; from The Last of the Mohicans: selections from chapters 17 and 33.
Suggested: Cooper, The Pioneers or The Last of the Mohicans in its entirety; Frederick Jackson Turner, "The Significance of the Frontier in American History".

Session 13

The South and Slavery: John Pendleton Kennedy's Swallow Barn (1832/51)
and The Confessions of Nat Turner (1831)

Reading: Thomas Jefferson, from Notes on the State of Virginia: selections from "Query XIV: Laws"; Kennedy, from Swallow Barn: "A word in advance from the Author to the Reader" (Preface to the 1851-edition), "Introductory Epistle", chapters 1, 2, 7, 18, 31, 46-48; selections from The Confessions of Nat Turner.

Session 14

After 1830: The Fireside Poets (Longfellow, Whittier) and the Poetry of Sentimental Reform (Sigourney, Smith, Osgood)

Reading: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, "The Slave's Dream," from The Song of Hiawatha: "Introduction"; John Greenleaf Whittier, Snow-Bound: A Winter Idyl; Lydia Huntley Sigourney, "The Cherokee Mother", "Fallen Forests", "Drinking Song", "Indian Names".
Suggested: Elizabeth Oakes Smith, selections from The Sinless Child; Frances Sargent Osgood, "The Hand that Swept the Sounding Lyre (A Dirge)", "Reminiscences of Poe", "Passion", "Alone".

Most texts are included in the Norton Anthology of American Literature (Seventh Edition, Volumes A and B).
Texts not included in Norton7 can be bought as a course reader at the copy-store "Klartext."
If you cannot attend this lecture course because of a scheduling conflict with other mandatory courses, please see us in advance and we will organize screenings of the lecture course for you, and provide you with material for independent study. Please understand that we can provide this service only if you contact us before the first week of classes!
For all organizational matters, please contact Birte Otten.