Jul 16, 2024  
Catalogue 2024-2025 
    
Catalogue 2024-2025
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GNCS 328 - Literature of the American Renaissance

Semester Offered: Spring
1 unit(s)
(Same as ENGL 328 ) Topic for 2024/25b: Contending with the American Renaissance and its Legacies: This seminar deconstructs the nineteenth-century American literary canon by interrogating twentieth-century conceptions of what critics termed “the American Renaissance.” We read key works of criticism that defined this period in American literary history alongside readings by major “Renaissance” authors, like Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville, tracing how and why they seek to establish what counts as “serious” literary art and a distinctively “American” literature. At the same time, we examine more recent scholarship that outlines alternative conceptions of literary value and consider how they apply to works by lesser-known (but often, originally, more popular) nineteenth-century authors. Throughout the course, we interrogate the ways our critical as well as primary readings define literature and its relation to the world, ultimately aiming to answer, what should the future of American literary studies look like, and why does it matter? Blevin Shelnutt.

This course satisfies the pre-1900 requirement for the English major.

One 2-hour period.

Course Format: CLS



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