610017 SE American Literature and Culture: The Evolution of the American Novel (I)

winter semester 2021/2022 | Last update: 03.05.2022 Place course on memo list
SE American Literature and Culture: The Evolution of the American Novel (I)
SE 2
each semester

Basic knowledge of the evolution of the American novel

The seminar will provide a cursory survey of major American novels and novelist from the Early Republic of the late 18th century to the advent modernism around the beginning of the 20th century.

We will look at typical subgenres of the novel, including sentimental, historical, gothic and epistolary novels, memoirs, the romance, new journalism, and the novel of manners.

The following texts form the core of the seminar: William Hill Brown, The Power of Sympathy (1789), Charles Brockden Brown, Edgar Huntly (1799), James Fenimore Cooper, The Last of the Mohicans (1826), Herman Melville, Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life (1846), Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter (1850), Henry David Thoreau, Walden; or, Life in the Woods (1854), Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage (1895); Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth (1905).

Course requirements include: active class participation, a presentation with discussion leading, and a 18-22 page research paper.

Students are encouraged to enlist for research topics and topics for discussion leading prior to the seminar.

Presentations, discussions

Active class participation, presentation, discussion


Prerequisite for Master Program (812): none

The seminar "SE American Literature and Culture" can be attended as the "SE American Literature and Culture II". If you wish to obtain credits for both seminars, the seminars' contents must differ substantially.

Due to substantial differences in the allocation of ECTS-Credits in various curricula (teacher training program - BA/MA English and American Studies), the requirements for this course vary. Information will be provided by the instructor at the beginning of the course.