ENGL.2820.031: American Literary Traditions - Mitchell

Winslow Homer, (1836-1910)

ENGL.2820.031: American Literary Traditions

Welcome to Professor Keith Mitchell's American Literary Traditions.

This course is a survey of American Literary history from early contact between Native American populations and European colonists through contemporary American writing.

What to Expect

This class is designed to be as inclusive as possible, and it will demand that students read a large number of texts. As such, it will seek to encourage students to see and form connections, as well as question connections others have claimed as "obvious." In short, though it will be primarily a reading course, it will require a great deal of thought, and each student needs to think of himself or herself as an intellectual. The course will undertake to define the major periods or styles or literary movements often used to describe American writing from the 17th century to the Present:

  • Colonial Literature
  • Romanticism
  • Realism
  • Naturalism
  • Modernism
  • Postmodernism.

These broad headings will be challenged and redefined as we consider not just the canonical texts that generally define these terms but also texts by ethnic minorities, women, and others writers sometimes considered as less or even non-literary than those authors who are firmly embedded in the American literary canon.

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