This course is a comprehensive introduction to American literature from the early writings of the Puritans to the American Romantics, and through the American Civil War (1865), with attention to the cultural and social contexts in which all of these literatures were produced. The course includes a survey of important religious, political, genre, and cultural views, such as Puritan beliefs, including Horn books, adventure tales from Revolutionary and Enlightenment ideas, including adventure stories for adolescents, and Transcendentalism, while engaging questions of race, gender, social class, and family units. The course also gives attention to assessment tools to measure comprehension of literature studied, written about, and researched. Students explore different literary theories relevant to the variety of literature focused on adult and adolescent readers and engage in interpretative collaborative communication through group dynamics (i.e., oral presentations, peer-review workshops, and pairings) that build students’ leadership roles.
or ENG 199-200.