English 443

ENGL 443
The American Renaissance

Catalog Entry

ENGL 443. The American Renaissance
Three hours lecture (3).

Prerequisite: CORE 101 and CORE 102

Study of several major 19th-century American writers and general intellectual climate of the period.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

1. Close reading of significant works by major American authors in the period from the 1830s through the Civil War.
2. Examination of the history of the volatile political and intellectual climate of the period, including transcendentalism, the anti-slavery movement, the Free-Soil movement, the women's movement, and the Civil War.
3. Study of varying critical approaches to the literature, such as historical, reader-response, and feminist.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

I. Class Format--a selection from the following:

  • Lecture and discussion led by Instructor;
  • Student-led discussion of assigned reading;
  • Small-group inquiry into particular works;
  • In-class writing;
  • Public reading or performance of selected passages.

II. Writing Requirements--a selection from the following:

  • Informal writing--In class and outside--In the form of journals, reading logs, correspondence, class exercises--Intended to allow students to explore their own responses to literary works;
  • Formal writing--e.g., essays, reviews, critical analyses, research reports, in which students will engage in the characteristic writing of the discipline of literature studies.

III. Exam writing--In which students will be asked to write at length, demonstrating their understanding and critical appreciation of the assigned reading.


Goals and Objectives of Course

The course has three major goals: (1) for students to read some of the most important works of American literature of the first half of the 19th century, and to examine these works in a variety of contexts; (2) to reinforce and extend interpretive strategies first introduced to students in general education writing and literature courses; (3) to engage students, through reading literature, in examining their own lives and worlds.


Assessment Measures

Either alone or in collaboration with others, students will (1) demonstrate their understanding of the art and interpretation of literature by participating in discussion and by formulating written analyses of the reading in their journals, papers, and exams; (2) demonstrate in writing and discussion their familiarity with, and analytical understanding of, several of the assigned readings; and (3)make personal connections to the literature and express those connections through talk, personal writing, creative projects, or class presentation or performance.


Other Course Information


Review and Approval

October, 2009