From the 1820s and throughout the nineteenth century, the young US-American nation showed a growing cultural and national swagger, not least in its expanding literary activities. In their literary output Americans, on the one hand, looked back to their own recent history – its two successful revolutionary wars in particular – and, on the other, attempted to come to terms with the social, demographic, political, and economic changes of the nineteenth century. Indeed, with the transportation, industrial, and technological revolutions, the nineteenth century kept Americans in motion – physically and figuratively, domestically and internationally. Furthermore, the westward expansion and the escalating sectional conflicts about slavery divided the country, and Americans were required to adapt to swiftly changing circumstances in their daily lives.
This course traces the young nation’s literary and cultural aspirations in an age of expansion and upheaval, by combining fresh interpretations with literary history. The aim is to acquire an understanding of nineteenth-century literary periods, genres, and relevant contexts. Please purchase and read the following novels (no specific edition is required for the reading materials): Catherine Maria Sedgwick, Hope Leslie, Or, Early Times in the Massachusetts (1827); Martin Delaney, Blake; Or, The Huts of America (1859-1862); Frederick Douglass, “The Heroic Slave” (1852); and Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage (1895). The syllabus and additional reading materials will be available on Stud.IP.
The course is part of admission "Anmeldung gesperrt (global)".
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