ENG250H1S - L5101

Introduction to American Literature


Monday 6 pm - 8 pm

Instructor Information

 M. Cobb

Course Description

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 Readings

  • 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

Methods of Evaluation

  • Mid-Term Test (35%)
  • Participation (20%)
  • Final Essay (45%)