• Offered by School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject English
  • Areas of interest Literature
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Monique Rooney
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2016
    See Future Offerings

This course examines a selection of key texts published in the US in the nineteenth century, a key period in the nation's development as a modern republic. Students will read and study the works of those writers (Emerson and Whitman) whose embracing of democratic energies and creation of aesthetic forms seemed to capture the spirit of a new republican age. We will analyse these much-celebrated works alongside 1) the works of minority writers and 2) the proliferation of mass-marketed popular fiction during this period.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon Successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Identify distinctive features of and evaluate the similarities and differences between various narrative forms (literary, popular and intellectual) in the context of key changes taking place in 19th Century US society and culture.
  2. Think, write and argue about the importance of literary, intellectual and popular approaches in the context of the role of the ‘representative self’ and in relation to advancements in communications and print technologies in 19th Century US society and culture.
  3. Develop a critical stance on the role that literary, intellectual and popular narrative forms play in representing 19th Century US culture as well as imagining and shaping that culture.
  4. Understand and successfully deploy a range of terms and concepts integral to literary studies.

Indicative Assessment

In-class oral presentation and 150-200 word write-up of tutorial presentation (20%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3]

Essay of 1,500 words (20%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2]

Essay of 2,500 words (40%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3]

Critical analysis of 1,000 words (20%) [LO 4]

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130 hours across the semester, comprised of 1 x 1.5 hour lecture and 1 x 1 hour tutorial, and 7.5 hours of associated reading/study time per week.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be studying a Masters level program. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed ENGL2005.

Prescribed Texts

Prescribed texts may include:

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature and Selected Essays (Penguin Classics);

Henry David Thoreau, Nature and Civil Disobedience (Penguin Classics);

Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass. Original 1855 edition. Republished as Penguin Classics, Seventh Edition.

Preliminary Reading

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature and Selected Essays (Penguin Classics)

As per prescribed texts


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $3054
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $4368
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4268 15 Feb 2016 26 Feb 2016 31 Mar 2016 27 May 2016 In Person N/A

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