American Literature from 1789 to 1900: Brothels, Madness, Murder - Sin and Perdition in Early American Literature

Course Number: ENGL 103A
Prerequisites: Writing 2, or 50, or 109, or English 10 or upper-division standing
General Education Areas Fulfilled: Check on GOLD
Catalog Course Entry: ENGL 103A
Quarter: Summer B 2014
Day(s): MTWR
Time: 3:30 PM - 4:35 PM
Location: ARTS 1353

This class will examine literary works in their historical and social context for what they both reflect and reveal about the deviancies and perversions of the evolving American experience. We will consider the role of madness and sin, as these were being defined and redefined in the newly emerging society. We will also consider the role of sex and adultery in a country struggling with religious idealism. We will reflect upon the iconography of death, the nature of murder, and the customs of punishment, as these are described in the fiction, nonfiction, and sundry other writings of the late 18th and 19th century America.