Seminar in 19th Century American Literature: The Long Civil War

Section 01
John Evelev
Course Description

This course seeks to reckon with the American Civil War by examining the literature produced during the War as well as its persistence as a theme or presence in the literature in the years following into the present.  The complete scope of the course will be determined by the class.  As the instructor, I will select some of the central literary products of the war and its aftermath, then students and I will select the materials for the rest of the term. I will work in conjunction with each student to help select primary and secondary materials that fit their interests and we will work together to organize the course as a whole. 

Possible topics include: Civil War literary genres, Memory & Memorial Cultures, War Trauma, Post-Reconstruction: Race and Region Redux, Counter/Alternative Histories, and Afterlives of Slavery and Mass Incarceration,

Depending upon each student preferences, we will team-teach or the student can teach independently.  Multiple options for final projects will be available, including traditional seminar essays and preparing materials for an undergraduate course.

Possible authors include: Walt Whitman, Herman Melville, Emily Dickinson, Louisa May Alcott, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, Henry James, W.D. Howells, Stephen Crane, Charles Chesnutt, William Faulkner, Toni Morrison, Octavia Butler, Colson Whitehead, Natasha Tretheway, Jesmyn Ward.  This list is really only to suggest the possible range of texts, not to set what will be read.