ENGLISH 313 - Topics in Literary Studies
Fall 2023, Section 006 - Race, Gender and Sexuality in Transatlantic Literature to 1830
Instruction Mode: Section 006 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
May be repeated for a maximum of 8 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 8/28/23 - 12/6/23 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


This advanced seminar investigates the rise of stereotypes, shared identities, and norms as they took shape in the first three centuries of European colonization of North America. How did the various differentiations drawn between people reinforce other distinctions? How did the people flung across oceans and continents during those tumultuous centuries understand their roles on the world stage; their ethnic, national, religious, or racial identities; and their gender identities? Which literary forms and genres permitted the expression of those identities? Along the way we will be analyzing some well-known and relatively unexamined texts in English primarily written from the 17th through early 19th centuries that shed light on past theories of human difference. We will explore the relationship between popular print forms like the captivity narrative, the travel narrative, and the novel, and the colonial upheaval, exploitation, and relocation against which they took shape.

This course satisfies the following CURRENT English major/minor requirements: Pre-1830, American Literature, Identity/Difference

This course satisfies the following NEW English major/minor requirements: Foundations & Methods (300/400-level), Regions (Americas, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland), Time (18th & 19th Centuries)

Course Requirements:

  • Students will be required to post short responses to most of the readings on the Canvas discussion board and participate actively in seminar discussion. They will complete up to 60 pages of reading for class, and conduct independent research. Major assignments include a short keyword paper investigating the historic meaning of a term that appears in one or more assigned text, a short write-up spotlighting a text or other archival find from before 1830, and a literary history tracing how and why a trope, meme, cultural representation, or idea changed over the course of centuries. 
  • A series of short, low-stakes quizzes will ensure that students complete and understand the readings. There will be no other testing.

Intended Audience:

This is an advanced course that requires some prior college-level writing experience, close analysis of texts, and some knowledge of and interest in the history of the United States. It is open to undergraduates from across the university, including LSA, the Honors Program, the Residential College, and students in English, WGS, AC, History, Communications, Political Science, Sociology, and the arts.


ENGLISH 313 - Topics in Literary Studies
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
8/28/23 - 12/6/23
004 (LEC)
 In Person
MW 8:30AM - 10:00AM
8/28/23 - 12/6/23
005 (LEC)
 In Person
MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM
8/28/23 - 12/6/23
006 (LEC)
 In Person
MW 5:30PM - 7:00PM
8/28/23 - 12/6/23

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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