English 142 - Winter, 2019

Early American Literature

Class Information

Instructor: Ziser, Michael
CRN: 54904
Time: TR 10:30-11:50
Location: 146 Olson


    This course is an advanced introduction to the key writers of the "old, weird America"--from the flabbergasted reportage of English explorers in the 16th and 17th centuries to the bizarro 18th-century novels of the fledgling United States. We'll misinterpret Powhatans with Capt. John Smith, examine miscarriages alongside John Winthrop, taste fawn fetus with Mary Rowlandson, summon divine ravishment with Edward Taylor, experience frontier loneliness through Anne Bradstreet, cast spiders into the abyss with Jonathan Edwards, mock our rivals in their own pages with Ben Franklin, and sow profound existential confusion with Charles Brockden Brown.

    Note on the text: I have selected the *Norton Anthology of American Literature* (8th edition) volume A. This is *not* the most recent edition of the anthology, and is accordingly much less expensive than the new offerings. If you act in a timely manner, you should be able to get this shipped for a total cost of around $10. Search "ISBN 0393934764" on your favorite used books site. If you snooze and lose, the 9th edition ($50) will mostly work, though you will have to locate a few missing texts on the internet.


    Quizzes: 15%
    Final: 15%
    Paper 1: 25%
    Paper 2: 30%
    3 Short Assignments: 15%