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. Beginning with some key essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman’s famous poem Leaves of Grass, we will read and study writing that, drawing on ideas coming out of Europe and the UK, positioned themselves as both representing and rising above, or transcending, everyday life. We will read, contextualise and analyse these works alongside 1) the works of writers (such as women and African-Americans) who, drawing on sentimental and sensational genres and tropes, aligned themselves with minor, rather than major, movements of the time and 2) the proliferation of mass-marketed popular fiction during this period.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:Upon successful completion of this course, student will have the knowledge and skills to:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
In-class oral presentation OF 15 MINS DURATION and 150-200 word write-up of tutorial presentation (20%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3]
Essay of 1,500 words (30%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2]
Essay of 2,500 words (50%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3]
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130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorials.
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
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