May 25, 2024  
College Catalog 2021-2022 
College Catalog 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

ENGL 277 - Angels and Demons of the American Renaissance (1835-1880)

As the US tottered on the brink of its bloody Civil War, a small group of strange and visionary artists started a revolution. During the span of just five years, in one of history’s most astonishing creative convergences, the most elegant, profane, unhinged, heart-wrenching, and  influential works of US literature were published. Emerson, Hawthorne, Stowe, Thoreau, Douglass, Melville, Dickinson, Whitman, and Jacobs - together these artists produced a canon of literature that revealed both the demons and angels of our histories and futures. They invented a spiritual movement of unprecedented optimism at the same time that they despaired over what they had become. Everything that was written in the US afterwards would have to come to terms with the brilliant and disturbing achievements of this cluster of outsiders, mystics, and heroes. In this course we will read the landmark texts of this era from literary, historical, and philosophical perspectives. Every year. (4 Credits)