Spring 2022

Antebellum US Literature

Listed in: English, as ENGL-354


Geoffrey D. Sanborn (Section 01)


In this course, we will be studying the relationship between the national acceleration toward war and the imaginative activities of US writers between 1830 and 1865. Through our readings of Emerson, Douglass, Melville, Stowe, Whitman, Jacobs, and others, we will learn about what happened over the course of those 35 years and, at the same time, learn from the examples of those extraordinary writers. As the nation was doubling in size and getting closer to splitting in half, those writers kept trying to find, in pressurized, transfiguring language, a way of getting from where they were to somewhere better. In the increasingly warlike atmosphere of our times, there may be an even greater value to what they achieved.

Spring semester. Professor Sanborn.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Learning how to read closely and with emotional intelligence; learning how to augment the experience of reading through informal reflective writing and class participation; learning that all ideas are associatively connected to other ideas and that there are powerful alternatives to state-illustrate-restate arguments. There will be pre-class writing assignments, two papers, and an emphasis on the quality of the contributions to class discussion. There will be no quizzes or exams. Students with documented disabilities who will require accommodations in this course should be in consultation with Accessibility Services and reach out to the faculty member as soon as possible to ensure that accommodations can be made in a timely manner.


2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2022