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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Spring 2008

E 395M • Nineteenth-Century American Poetry and the Poetics of the Page

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
35585 F
12:00 PM-3:00 PM
HRC 2.214

Course Description

This course offers a survey of nineteenth-century American poetry that emphasizes the formal and thematic diversity of that century's "forgotten" poets. While the course will include an extended study of Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman, it will situate their poetry within a literary and cultural history of the nineteenth-century. The course will also have a significant textual studies component (q.v., "the poetics of the page"). We will read widely in bibliographic and editorial theory; discuss manuscript, print, and oral performance forms; and think about the sometimes vexed relationship between lyric and volume, between poem and book. Finally, the course will define American poetry broadly. We will discuss both transatlantic reading formations and relevant contemporary British and continental poetry (e.g., Byron, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Christina Rossetti, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Matthew Arnold).

Class will meet in the Ransom Center and students will work with the HRC and PCL's extensive holdings in nineteenth-century American poetry.


Primary texts will include poems by Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Joel Barlow, William Cullen Bryant, Phoebe Cary, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Alice Dunbar-Nelson, Francis EW Harper, E. Pauline Johnson, Emma Lazarus, H.W. Longfellow, James Russell Lowell, Jose Martí, Herman Melville, Sarah Piatt, E.A. Poe, William Gilmore Simms, Henry Timrod, Jones Very, and John Greenleaf Whittier; as well as "slave songs" and Native American chants and songs.

Secondary texts will include: Derek Attridge, Poetic Rhythm; Paul Fussell, Poetic Meter and Poetic Form; D.F. McKenzie, Bibliography and the Sociology of Texts; as well as essays and book chapters by Giorgio Agamben, Paula Bennett, Pierre Bourdieu, Max Cavitch, Jacques Derrida, Giles Deleuze, Wai-Chee Dimock, Betsy Erkkila, Victoria Jackson, Jerome McGann, Meredith McGill, Domhnall Mitchell, Michael Moon, Deak Nabers, Jahan Ramazani, Barbara Herrnstein Smith, and Michael Winship, among others.


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