|Module Title||AMERICAN LITERATURE 1835-1895|
|Co-ordinator||To Be Arranged|
|Semester||Available Semesters 1 And 2|
|Course delivery||Seminar||20 Hours 10 x 2 hour workshop seminars|
|Assessment||Continuous assessment||2 essays (2,500 words each)||100%|
|Resit assessment||Resubmit any failed elements and/or make good any missing elements.|
This course examines the efforts of American writers to declare their independence as citizens of the United States of America and ends with the disruption of these efforts in the American Civil War, Reconstruction and its aftermath.
The main goals of this module are to provide an introduction to the self-consciously American literature of the ante-bellum period and to show how that literature responded to the various social, political and economic factors which culminated in the Civil War, and which initiated the post-war period sometimes referred to as the 'Gilded Age'. Attention will be drawn to the impact of the Abolitionist movement on literature, as well as to the different visions of American destiny offered by male and female traditions of writing. In addition to the anti-slavery movement and the struggle for women's rights, emphasis will be placed on the ideological conflict engendered by the rival claims of religion and science, and the vexed question of the development of an American individualism will be explored. The option will conclude by contrasting the fictional visions of the rural South and the urban North in two texts written in the late nineteenth century. Except where otherwise stated, the texts will be available in the ground-breaking Heath Anthology of American Literature, Vol. 1 (1990). This anthology allows students to engage in a range of further reading beyond what is actually stipulated in the list below, and to become aware of the variety of different voices which demanded to be heard in the United States of the nineteenth century. The option will be taught by means of a lecture and a seminar each week throughout the semester.