eng491 | undergraduate

American Literature To 1860

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This course will survey major authors, ideologies, and historical contexts of American literature from colonial times until the Civil War era. A diverse range of works, genres, movements, and cultural narratives will be explored. Accounts of early explorers, Puritan sermons, Native American mythology, slave narratives, political and social writings, and poetry will be read and discussed.

This undergraduate-level course is 5 weeks This course is available to take individually or To enroll, speak with an Enrollment Representative.

Course details:

Credits: 3
Continuing education units: XX
Professional development units: XX
Duration: 5 weeks

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    The American Renaissance

    • Summarize how culture, politics, and religion influenced the writings of the American Renaissance.
    • Explain the Transcendentalist movement's influence on American literature and culture.
    • Identify the role poetry played in the American Renaissance.
    • Recognize the major works and authors of the American Renaissance.

    The Changing Nation

    • Explain how increasing concern over race and gender relations affected the literature of the pre–Civil War period.
    • Identify the roles of fiction, essays, and plays in the pre–Civil War period.
    • Describe how different public rhetorics contested American national identity.
    • Analyze early American literature’s meaning and importance.

    The New World

    • Identify the predominant literary qualities of the early explorers.
    • Summarize how culture, politics, and religion influenced the writings of the early American exploration period.
    • Explain the literary qualities and ideologies of Native American myths and oral traditions.

    The New Republic

    • Recognize the major works and authors of the revolutionary period.
    • Explain how the American Revolution influenced the literature of the revolutionary period.
    • Describe how developing a national identity shaped the creation of an American literary culture.
    • Describe how the westward land expansion of America influenced literature of the revolutionary period. 

    Colonial America

    • Recognize the major works and authors of the colonial period.
    • Explain how religion shaped colonial American literature.
    • Explain how politics and historical events shaped colonial American literature.
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