Nineteenth-Century American Literature

RATIONALE

I wish to highlight a number of themes in this field including the work of literature in defining nation; racial formations in American literature; constructions of urban, rural, and frontier spaces; and the American expatriate or traveler. I am particularly concerned with the use of the figure of the Indian and what Toni Morrison calls "Africanist presences" in the works on this list. This field provides context for my major field, African American Literature, as it addresses the traditions that African American authors may be writing in and against in the 19th century. The articulations of nation in the works listed here will inform my readings of the texts on my other minor list which addresses mappings of nation and other communities in literature. Many of these works struggle to articulate models of nation that texts on my other minor field list will later resist.

 


PRIMARY READINGS

Washington Irving
Rip Van Winkle (1819)

James Fenimore Cooper
The Last of the Mohicans (1826)

Catherine Maria Sedgwick
Hope Leslie (1827)

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Nature (1836)
The American Scholar (1837)
Self-Reliance (1841)

Edgar Allan Poe
"The Fall of The House of Usher" (1839)

Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Scarlet Letter (1850)
The House of the Seven Gables (1851)

Herman Melville
"Hawthorne and His Mosses" (1850)
Moby Dick (1851)
"Benito Cereno" (1856)

Harriet Beecher Stowe
Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852)
Dred; A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp (1856)

William Wells Brown
Clotel (1853)

Henry David Thoreau
Walden (1854)

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The Song of Hiawatha (1855)

Frank Webb
The Garies and Their Friends (1857)

Harriet Jacobs
Incidents in The Life of A Slave Girl (1861)

Joel Chandler Harris
Uncle Remus: His Songs and Sayings (1880)

Mark Twain
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885)
Pudd'nhead Wilson (1894)

Henry James
The Portrait of a Lady (1881)

William Dean Howells
The Rise of Silas Lapham (1885)

Emily Dickinson
Complete Poems (1890)

Walt Whitman
Leaves of Grass: The Deathbed Edition (1892)

Frances E.W. Harper
Iola Leroy, or Shadows Uplifted (1893)


 


SELECTED CRITICAL READINGS:

Leslie Fiedler
Love and Death in the American Novel (1966)

Ann Douglas
The Feminization of American Culture (1977)

Jane Tompkins
Sensational Designs: The Cultural Work of American Fiction, 1790-1860 (1986)

Toni Morrison
Playing in The Dark (1992)

Eric Sundquist
To Wake the Nations (1993)

Eric Lott
Love and Theft (1995) 


                     RATIONALE

I wish to highlight a number of themes in this field including the work of literature in defining nation; racial formations in American literature; constructions of urban, rural, and frontier spaces; and the American expatriate or traveler. I am particularly concerned with the use of the figure of the Indian and what Toni Morrison calls "Africanist presences" in the works on this list. This field provides context for my major field, African American Literature, as it addresses the traditions that African American authors may be writing in and against in the 19th century. The articulations of nation in the works listed here will inform my readings of the texts on my other minor list which addresses mappings of nation and other communities in literature. Many of these works struggle to articulate models of nation that texts on my other minor field list will later resist.

 


PRIMARY READINGS

Washington Irving
Rip Van Winkle (1819)

James Fenimore Cooper
The Last of the Mohicans (1826)

Catherine Maria Sedgwick
Hope Leslie (1827)

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Nature (1836)
The American Scholar (1837)
Self-Reliance (1841)

Edgar Allan Poe
"The Fall of The House of Usher" (1839)

Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Scarlet Letter (1850)
The House of the Seven Gables (1851)

Herman Melville
"Hawthorne and His Mosses" (1850)
Moby Dick (1851)
"Benito Cereno" (1856)

Harriet Beecher Stowe
Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852)
Dred; A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp (1856)

William Wells Brown
Clotel (1853)

Henry David Thoreau
Walden (1854)

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The Song of Hiawatha (1855)

Frank Webb
The Garies and Their Friends (1857)

Harriet Jacobs
Incidents in The Life of A Slave Girl (1861)

Joel Chandler Harris
Uncle Remus: His Songs and Sayings (1880)

Mark Twain
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885)
Pudd'nhead Wilson (1894)

Henry James
The Portrait of a Lady (1881)

William Dean Howells
The Rise of Silas Lapham (1885)

Emily Dickinson
Complete Poems (1890)

Walt Whitman
Leaves of Grass: The Deathbed Edition (1892)

Frances E.W. Harper
Iola Leroy, or Shadows Uplifted (1893)


 


SELECTED CRITICAL READINGS:

Leslie Fiedler
Love and Death in the American Novel (1966)

Ann Douglas
The Feminization of American Culture (1977)

Jane Tompkins
Sensational Designs: The Cultural Work of American Fiction, 1790-1860 (1986)

Toni Morrison
Playing in The Dark (1992)

Eric Sundquist
To Wake the Nations (1993)

Eric Lott
Love and Theft (1995)