English 144 - Fall, 2022

Post Civil War American Literature

Class Information

Instructor: Badley, Chip
CRN: 32099
Time: TR 10:30-11:50
Location: 146 Olson
GE Areas: American Cultures, Governance, and History Writing Experience


This course will introduce students to American literature published between 1865 and 1914, a period characterized by a postbellum "Reconstruction" (typically dated 1865-77) as well as upheavals in social, cultural, and political identity. We will study texts that both reflected and shaped the latter half of the nineteenth century: Elizabeth Stuart Phelps' The Gates Ajar (1868); Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885); Paul Laurence Dunbar's The Sport of the Gods (1902); Kate Chopin's The Awakening (1899); Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome (1911); Yone Noguchi's The American Diary of a Japanese Girl (1901); and Gertrude Stein's Tender Buttons (1914). In addition to these full-length works, short fiction and essays will include Charles Chesnutt, W. E. B. DuBois, Alice Dunbar-Nelson, Henry James, Emma Lazarus, Jos? Mart?, Constance Fenimore Woolson, and Zitk?la-??. Topics to include, but are not limited to: the Civil War; domestic sentimentalism; Reconstruction; abolition and emancipation; Jim Crow segregation laws; regionalism and local color writing; the Gilded Age; urbanization; industrialization; capitalism; Realism and journalism; the "New Woman"; the rise of divorce; immigration and the "melting pot"; Manifest Destiny and settler colonialism; emerging mass and popular cultures; and Modernism.


The Gates Ajar , Elizabeth Stuart Phelps
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain
The Sport of the Gods, Paul Laurence Dunbar
The Aspern Papers, Henry James
The Awakening, Kate Chopin
Ethan Frome, Edith Wharton
The American Diary of a Japanese Girl, Yone Noguchi
Tender Buttons, Gertrude Stein