Department of English

University of Toronto

ENG250H1S - L5101

ENG250H1S - L5101
Introduction to American Literature

Times: Mon 6-8 pm

Instructor: M. Cobb

Brief Description of Course: This course will be just a taste of major American writings that will introduce you to some large themes, ideas, ideologies, preoccupations, and aesthetics that inform the formal study of American literature: among many possible topics, we’ll likely encounter the Frontier; the Great Outdoors; American exceptionalism; the inheritances of chattel slavery; violent displacements of indigenous populations; industrialization; capitalism; struggles for social and legal equality among minority and gendered populations; and the erotics and toxicities of technology and new media.

Required Reading(s): Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter; Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass; Herman Melville, "Bartleby, the Scrivener"; Nella Larsen, Passing; James Baldwin, Go Tell It on the Mountain; Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony; Toni Morrison, Beloved; Sandra Cisneros, The House on Mango Street; Tony Kushner, Angels in America, Parts 1 and 2.

First Three Authors/Texts: Hawthorne, Whitman, Melville

Method of Evaluation: Mid-Term Test (35%); Participation (20%); Final Essay (45%).

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