EN 8563: American Literature, Civil War to 1914

Dr. Little; Th 3:30-6:00

Tentative theme for Fall 2008: Extremes of Realism. Most of the canonical authors who flourished during the heyday of American realistic / naturalistic fiction earned at least some of their money in journalism (e.g. Chopin, Douglass, Drieser, Crane, Howells, James, Twain, Whitman); but most were also conversant with -- and some actually produced -- utopian / dystopian fantasy. In addition to works by canonicals, readings for the seminar will include writings by Fanny Fern; Upton Sinclair (who, after publishing The Jungle, founded a commune where future Novel Laureate Sinclair Lewis worked for a time as a janitor); and Edward Bellamy, whose futuristic Looking Backward (1888) was the third-best-selling American novel of the nineteenth century.