Nineteenth-Century American Literature

Subject 673-343 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Undergraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2008.

Time Commitment: Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: Usually 12.5 pts of first year English Literary Studies or Creative Writing
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Anne Maxwell
Subject Overview:

In this subject, students will study a selection of major American literary texts from the nineteenth century. While learning about the original historical contexts in which the texts were written and read, they will also be introduced to some of the key contemporary critical debates about these texts. Themes explored include the novel and Puritan culture, Gothic undercurrents in American writing, literary representations of the frontier and westward expansion, white and black writing on slavery and emancipation, and representations of male and female sexuality. The subject will also examine the views of American writers on the self, the powers of the mind, and American/European relations. Texts studied include novels, short stories, poems, and captivity and slave narratives.

Assessment: Written work of 4000 words, comprising two essays of 2000 words 50% each, and one 15 minute class presentation as a hurdle requirement. The first essay will be due mid semester, the second at the end of semester.
Prescribed Texts: Prescribed Texts:A subject reader will be available from the University BookshopThe Scarlet Letter (Hawthorne) Benito Cereno and Billy Budd (Melville) The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym (Poe) Uncle Tom's Cabin (Beecher Stowe) Pudd'nhead Wilson (Twain) Collected Poems (Dickinson) Daisy Miller (James) The Awakening and other Stories (Chopin)
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • have the ability to critically analyse and discuss a wide range of reading materials through participation in class discussions, the reading of critical essays and the writing of scholarly essays;

  • have the capacity for independent and targeted research as a result of preparing for class discussions and writing scholarly essays;

  • have the capacity for creative thinking through participation in discussions and the writing of essays that apply critical and theoretical ideas to the reading and interpretation of texts;

  • have the capacity for critical self-awareness through participation in discussions and the reading of critical texts;

  • have the capacity for lucid and logical argument as a result of careful essay planning and writing;

  • be competent in the use of library and other information sources such as on line websites and search engines through the researching and writing of essays that require the use of these resources.

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