ENGL2327 American Literature to 1865

Course Description

This course surveys American writers from the colonial period to the end of the Civil War. Topics for discussion include the spiritual and material motives for exploration and settlement, Native American responses to colonization and cultural imperialism, evolving conceptions of human nature and the natural world, the struggle against slavery, the quest for a national literature, evolving conceptions of God, shifting gender ideologies, and the struggle against conformity and materialism. Numerous texts, both canonical and emerging, will give us ample opportunity to explore these issues in distinctly American contexts. In addition to exposing you to the diversity and range of what we call American literature, this course will challenge you to read closely, think critically, and write clearly.

Course Credits: 3

Prerequisites: The prerequisite for this course is ENGL 1302 (Texas common course numbering system) or an equivalent second-semester college writing class. The reason for this prerequisite is that the readings are not easy, and neither are the papers; you need a solid grasp of how to think about language and how to write a thesis-and-support paper.

Student Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate awareness of the scope and variety of works in the arts and humanities.
  • Understand those works as expressions of individual and human values within an historical and social context.
  • Respond critically to works in arts and humanities.
  • Articulate an informed personal reaction to works in the arts and humanities.
  • Develop an appreciation for the aesthetic principles that guide or govern the humanities or arts.