Literatura norteamericana hasta finales del siglo XIX

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2º Curso de Filología Grupos: 4, 5, 6

Créditos totales: 6

Profesor: Daniel Pastor

Horario de Tutorías: Martes: 6-7; Miércoles: 5-7; Viernes: 10-1

Course Description

This is a thorough survey of American literature from the time of English colonization to the end of the nineteenth century. Our class discussions will focus on close analysis of texts (fiction, poetry, essays, autobiography, letters, sermons, …), while lectures will introduce individual authors and survey relevant historical issues and cultural movements.


Week 1 (Feb. 14-16) Course Introduction.

Week 2 (Feb. 21-23) The colonial period (1607-1775). The record of exploration. Readings: John Smith: From A Map of Virginia; From A Description of New England.

The Puritan doctrine and literature. Readings: John Winthrop: From A Model of Christian Charity; William Bradford: From Of Plymouth Plantation. Anne Bradstreet: To My Dear and Loving Husband, Upon the Burning of Our House.

*** Organization of group presentations.

Week 3 (Feb. 28-March 2) The Revolutionary period (1765-1820). The Enlightenment. Literary manifestations of the period. Readings: Thomas Jefferson: From The Declaration of Independence; St. John de Crevecoeur: From What Is an American?.

The rise of a national literature. Readings: W. Irving: From English Writers on America, From The Author´s Account of Himself; James Fenimore Cooper: From Notions of the Americans, From Preface to The Leatherstocking Tales.

*** Presentation: B. Franklin Autobiography.

Week 4 (March 7-9) The Romantic period (1820-1865). The American Renaissance. E. A. Poe (I): Readings: From Review of Hawthorne´s Twice-Told Tales, Sonnet To Science.

*** Presentation: Irving “Rip van Winkle”.

Week 5 (March 14-16) E. A. Poe (II) Readings: To Helen, Annabel Lee, The Raven.

*** Presentation: Poe “The Cask of Amontillado”.

Week 6 (March 21-23) The Transcendentalist Movement. Readings: R.W. Emerson: From Self-Reliance, From The Poet; Henry D. Thoreau: From Walden.

*** Presentation: Hawthorne The Scarlet Letter.

Week 7 (April 5-6) Romance: Hawthorne and Melville (I). Readings: Richard Chase: From The American Novel and its Tradition; Hawthorne: From Preface to The House of the Seven Gables.

Week 8 (April 11-13) Hawthorne and Melville (II); W. Whitman and Emily Dickinson (I). Readings: Whitman: Preface to Leaves of Grass, One´s Self I Sing.

*** Presentation: Jewett “A White Heron”.

Week 9 (April 18-20) Whitman and Emily Dickinson (II): Readings: Whitman: I Hear America Singing, To the Garden the World, Cavalry Crossing a Ford, When I Heard the Learn´d Astronomer. E. Dickinson: Wild Nights! Wild Nights!, These are the days…

*** Presentation: James Daisy Miller.

Week 10 (April 27-May 2, 3) E. Dickinson (III). Readings: E. Dickinson: The Soul Selects her Own Society, I heard a Fly buzz.., Because I could not stop for Death.

*** Presentation: Crane The Red Badge of Courage.

Week 11 (May 9-11) The Rise of Realism and Naturalism (I). Local Color Fiction, and American Realism, Characteristics. Readings: William Dean Howells: From Criticism and Fiction; Henry James: From The Art of Fiction.

*** Revision.

Week 12 (May 16-18) American Naturalism. Readings: Norris: From The Responsibilities of the Novelist.

*** Reading Quizz.

Week 13 (May 23-25) Revision.

Recommended Readings:

Nina Baym et al. (eds.) The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Norton, 1994.

Marcus Cunliffe, The Literature of the United States, Penguin, 1991.

Boris Ford (ed.). American Literature, Penguin, 1991.

Emory Elliott (ed.), Columbia Literary History of the United States, Columbia University Press, 1988.

James D Hart. The Concise Oxford Companion to American Literature, OUP, 1986.

Richard Ruland & Malcolm Bradbury, From Puritanism to Postmodernism: A History of American Literature, New York: Penguin Books, 1991.

Required Readings (clases prácticas):

Benjamin Franklin, Excerpts from The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.

Washington Irving, “Rip van Winkle”.

Edgar Allan Poe, “The Cask of Amontillado”.

Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter.

Sarah Orne Jewett, “A White Heron”.

Henry James, Daisy Miller.

Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage.

Course Methodology

-- lecture (practice oriented)/explanation

-- analysis of texts

-- individual work (summaries)

-- group work on a required reading

Explanation of Assignments

Class meetings will be spent on the discussion and practice of the principles of careful reading.

Class Discussions

Students are expected to participate in class discussions. These discussions will revolve around the corresponding readings in each unit. We will spend a significant amount of time reflecting on these readings and incorporating our personal experience. You are expected to have read your assignment before coming to class on the first day we begin to address it. Students should write down at least one or more question/s that will get the class talking. Your question/s should help you and us examine what you believe to be the most important ideas of the piece. Avoid simplistic questions that can be answered with a yes or no. Study questions may be distributed before each class meeting. Come to class prepared to respond to these questions. I´ll be calling on you.


Each week you will be required to submit a 1-2 page summary (typed, double-spaced) of the unit in which you must comment and give your opinion on the readings of the unit.

Group presentations (clases prácticas).


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