• Offered by School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject English
  • Areas of interest English, History, Literature

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.

Learning Outcomes

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:
  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.

Indicative Assessment

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]

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

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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

To enrol in this course you must have completed 12 Units of 1000 level English (ENGL) Courses. Alternatively you may gain permission of the Course Convenor to enrol in this course. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed ENGL2005 or ENGL6021.



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
2020 $3120
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $4800
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
3759 22 Feb 2021 01 Mar 2021 31 Mar 2021 28 May 2021 In Person View

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