ENGLISH 270 - Introduction to American Literature
Section: 001
Term: FA 2013
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

“Literature is particularly responsive to historical developments we cannot bear to admit shape the course of our lives.”

— Jacqueline Goldsby, A Spectacular Secret: Lynching in American Life and Literature, 2006

In the above quote, literary historian and critic Jacqueline Goldsby articulates an excellent reason to study American literature. Goldsby suggests that the stories, poems, novels and plays that we value can tell us more than we might be willing or able to say in “regular language” about American history and life, and in this class, we will investigate how and why the literary text responds to the world with the special kind of insight that Goldsby’s quote implies. We will survey the field of American literature broadly, focusing specifically on how and why these texts reflect the most tumultuous and transformative historical developments in American history. We will read works from authors including but not limited to: Cooper, Emerson, Thoreau, Poe, Douglass, Whitman, Dickinson, Crane, Eliot, Faulkner, Hemingway, Brooks, Hughes, and Ginsberg.

Students will emerge from the class with an overview of the different periods, genres, and movements of American literature, beginning with the narratives and political documents of a newly formed American republic and ending with contemporary (post-1945) fiction and poetry.

Course Requirements:

Several (2-3) short (4-5 page) papers, regular quizzes and a final exam.

Intended Audience:

No data submitted

Class Format:

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ENGLISH 270 - Introduction to American Literature
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

Hello 270 students! Due to a change in instructor for this course, you will only need one textbook: The Norton Anthology of American Literature (shorter edition) ISBN 9780393930573, which you may have already purchased. You will NOT need Faulkner's As I Lay Dying. Additional readings will be provided online/through CTools.
ISBN: 9780393930573
The Norton anthology of American literature, Author: Nina Baym, general editor., Publisher: W.W. Norton Shorter 7t 2008
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