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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : English Literature

Postgraduate Course: Enlightenment to Entropy: Writing the American Republic from Thomas Jefferson to Henry Adams (ENLI11173)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaEnglish Literature Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThe course offers students the opportunity to engage with key texts - canonical and non-mainstream - that have contributed to the development, interrogation or undermining of notions of U.S. self-perception, understood both in terms of aesthetic significance and political impact. It proposes a series of cultural, political, or literary'pressure points' that result in the emergence of modes of writing that seek to express transformed or contested expressions of U.S. identity. Areas of investigation include: the civil war, Reconstruction, Vietnam and the counter-culture, and 9/11.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2013/14 Semester 1, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Learn enabled:  Yes Quota:  None
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 27/09/2013
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
Students should develop the capacity to read and criticise complex literary and political texts and arguments. In addition, students should also possess a broad understanding of some of the key American historical and cultural moments, and how those are refracted through literary texts. After completion of the course students should be able to read further and more widely in U.S. literary and cultural history, having gained the requisite background knowledge and critical vocabulary.
Assessment Information
One essay of 4,000 words (100%)
Special Arrangements
No UG version
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Week 1: Manifesto I: Crafting a Beginning
- Thomas Jefferson et al Declaration of Independence (1776)
- Selections from James Madison, John Jay, Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers (1787)
- Thomas Paine, Common Sense (1776)

Week 2: Expansionism and American Culture I
- James Fenimore Cooper, The Last of the Mohicans (1826)
- Selections from James Fenimore Cooper, The American Democrat (1838)

Week 3: The Culture of Slavery I
- William Wells Brown, Clotel: Or, The President┐s Daughter (1853)
- Frederick Douglass, What to the Slave is the Fourth of July? (1852)
- Lydia Maria Child, The Quadroons┐ (1842)

Week 4: The Culture of Slavery II
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, New England Reformers (1844); Emancipation in the British West Indies (1844); The Fugitive Slave Law (1851)
- Henry David Thoreau, A Plea for Captain John Brown (1859)
- Selections from George Fitzhugh, Cannibals All! or Slaves Without Masters (1857)

Week 5: A Republican Poetics of Democracy?
- Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass (1855 edition); The Eighteenth Presidency! (1856)

Week 6: Class and Conflict in Antebellum America
- Rebecca Harding Davis, Life in the Iron Mills (1861)
- Herman Melville, The Paradise of Bachelors and the Tartarus of Maids (1855)

Week 7: Expansionism and American Culture II
- Richard Harding Davis, Soldiers of Fortune (1897)
- Mark Twain, To the Person Sitting in Darkness (1901)

Week 8: Race and Reconstruction I
- Charles Chesnutt, The House Behind the Cedars (1900), What is a White Man? (1889); The Future American (1900)

Week 9: Capital Fictions 1: Gender and Class in Fin-de-Siecle America
- Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth (1905)
- Selections from Thorstein Veblen, The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899)
- Selections from Charlotte Perkins Gilman,Women and Economics: A Study of the Economic Relation Between Women and Men(1898)

Week 10: Manifesto II: The Anxiety of Modernity
- Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams (1907); Letter to American Teachers of History (1910)
- Selections from Brooks Adams, The Law of Civilisation and Decay (1895)
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
Course organiserDr Andrew Taylor
Tel: (1031 6)50 4584
Course secretaryMs Nicole Luu
Tel: (0131 6)50 4465
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