Module Identifier EN37520  
Academic Year 2006/2007  
Co-ordinator Dr Martin Padget  
Semester Intended for use in future years  
Next year offered N/A  
Next semester offered N/A  
Course delivery Seminars / Tutorials   10 x 2hr seminars  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment 2 x 2,500 word essays100%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit any failed elements and/or make good any missing elements. Where this involves re-submission of work, a new topic must be selected. 

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module, students should typically be able to:

1. demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the core literary texts and of appropriate critical approaches to the study of those texts;

2. demonstrate an understanding of the historical and cultural contexts in which the set material was produced;

3. write about the set material in a well-structured and well-argued way;

4. illustrate their knowledge and views by drawing upon appropriate literary, historical and critical sources beyond the core literary texts;

5. demonstrate developing skills in critical analysis;

6. demonstrate developing skills in oral presentation, both individually and in small group presentations.

Brief description

This module provides students with the opportunity to study six major works of American fiction from the nineteenth century. It seeks to establish a thorough understanding of the core literary texts and of the historical context in which they were written. Building on the study of literature and literary analysis in Part One, the module encourages students to develop and hone the skills needed to critique the nineteenth-century American novel in particular and literature in general.


Seminar Timetable

1-2. Representing the Frontier and Mythologizing American History
Required reading: James Fenimore Cooper, The Last of the Mohicans

3. "Somewhere between the real world and fairy-land": Dramatising the Past and the Present in the Romance
Required reading: Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

4-6. "You must have plenty of sea-room to tell the truth in": Moby-Dick and the Expansive Imagination
Required reading: Herman Melville, Moby-Dick

7-8. Sentimental Fiction, Abolitionism, and the Politics of Emotion
Required reading: Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin

9. The Meanings of Freedom: The South Before and After the Civil War
Required reading: Mark Twain, Pudd'nhead Wilson

10. "The Courageous Soul that Dares and Defies": The Awakening and the Subversive Imaginations of Women
Required reading: Kate Chopin, The Awakening

Module Skills

Communication This module will be taught in a seminar format which requires student input through group discussion and joint presentations.  
Improving own Learning and Performance In order to complete this module, students must read independently alongside the primary reading for seminar classes, select and research essay topics and produce their written work to department deadlines and guidlines.  
Information Technology Students will be required to access bibliographical information concerning primary and secondary material. They will be strongly encouraged to word process essays.  

Reading Lists

** Should Be Purchased
Harriet Beecher Stowe Uncle Tom's Cabin any unabridged edition
Herman Melville Moby-Dick Penguin, Oxford World's Classics, or Wordsworth editions
James Fenimore Cooper (1994) The Last of the Mohicans Penguin Popular Classics
Kate Chopin The Awakening Penguin, Oxford World's Classics, or W. W. Norton editions
Mark Twain Pudd'nhead Wilson Oxford World's Classics, W. W. Norton or Dover editions
Nathaniel Hawthorne The Scarlet Letter Penguin, Oxford World's Classics, or Bedford Books editions
** Recommended Consultation
F. O. Matthiessen American Renaissance
Harry Levin Power of Blackness: Hawthorne, Poe, Melville
Jane Tompkins Sensational Designs: The Cultural Work of American Fiction
Leslie Fiedler Love and Death in the American Novel
Lucy Maddox Removals
Michael Colacurcio (ed.) New Essays on the Scarlet Letter
Michael Gilmore American Romanticism and the Marketplace
Richard Chase The American Novel and Its Tradition
Sacvan Bercovitch (ed.) The Cambridge History of American Literature
Susan Harris Nineteenth-Century Women's Novels


This module is at CQFW Level 6