American Literature to 1900
Graham Thompson - University of Nottingham
This module introduces students to some of the key figures, texts and debates in American Literature in the period up to 1900 and concentrates on four major literary forms: the short story, the novel, the slave narrative and poetry. The books and authors on which we focus have shaped thinking about the nature of American Literature and given rise to fierce critical and intellectual debate. They illustrate the depth of American writers’ engagements with problems of literary form and language and offer imaginative representations of their society and its history. The nature of American identity is a central concern of the texts we study.