English 256 - Spring, 2016

Early American Literature

Class Information

Instructor: Freeman, Elizabeth
CRN: 63204
Time: M 3:10-6:00
Location: 120 Voorhies
Breadth: Earlier American
Focus: Theory


    Temporality and American Literature from Contact to the Civil War

    This course will ask after (inquire into, think in the wake of) Benedict Andersons conception of nationalism as the time of simultaneity and progress, reading for prehistories, posthistories, and counterhistories of American nationalist time. To what extent is Andersons idea of nation-time a necessary fiction? How does it frame colonial English and Native American temporal schemae and in what ways might it depend on them? What temporalities did the dynamics among industrial capitalism, domesticity, and chattel slavery produce, and how did these temporalities intersect with one another? In what ways did the temporal schemes of a variety of modes and genres of literaturesermon, lyric poem, captivity narrative, slave narrative, sentimentality, romanticism, elegy, novelas well as the temporal heterogeneity within individual works, offer a counterpoint to nation-time and in what ways might they have bolstered it? We will read canonical and noncanonical literary works from the 1600s to the 1860s, along with temporality theory and literary criticism engaging with temporality.




    Imagined Communities, Benedict Anderson
    Hope Leslie, Catharine Maria Sedgwick
    Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Harriet Jacobs
    Drum-Taps: the Complete 1865 Edition, Walt Whitman (ed. Kramer)
    Huge Course Pack, TBA
    The House of the Seven Gables, Nathaniel Hawthorne