E 372L • The American Renaissance
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
This course centres on the notion of romanticism and the ways in which American authors have transformed the inheritance of the European Romantics into a native philosophical and artistic movement. The course will look at some founding philosophical and literary texts of European romanticism before investigating how the Transcendentalists have set the ground for an American form of Romanticism. It will be discussed how this stems from the changing literary representations of man's relationship to the natural environment, particularly relevant in the context of the "new world". This course will require close reading skills and introduce you to critical methodologies to analyse the literary texts and philosophical essays that are key in shaping American Romanticism and defining the aesthetics of nature writing.
Among the authors studied will be: R.W. Emerson (selected essays from Emerson's Prose and Poetry ed Joel Porte and Saundra Morris. Norton: 2001), H.D. Thoreau (selected essays from Walden and Resistance to Civil Government, ed William Rossi. Norton: 1992), H. Melville (Moby Dick), N. Hawthorne (Tales, The Scarlet Letter), E. Poe (Tales of Mystery and Imagination) and Mark Twain (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn).