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The American Renaissance: Classic Literature of the 19th Century

Explore the writings of famous American authors from Ralph Waldo Emerson and Harriet Beecher Stowe to Mark Twain, and examine the historic role Dartmouth College played in their formation.
This course is archived
Estimated 4 weeks
3–5 hours per week
Instructor-paced
Instructor-led on a course schedule
Cost to Enroll
$50 USD

About this course

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What is the American Renaissance? How did Dartmouth help foster the formation of the American Renaissance and its reevaluation and reinvention in the twentieth? Why should we, as twenty-first century readers, concern ourselves with this literature?

Join a hybrid community of learners, both online and in residence at Dartmouth College, as we discover how to discern the historical turning points involved in the production and transmission of American Renaissance writings. We will conceptualize the role historical and affective turning points continue to play in the selection, interpretation and valuation of these writings.

Together we will propose continuities and discontinuities between these historical literary works and the present. Along the way we will construct global and temporal mappings between a set of seemingly disparate locations, myths, and traditions.

Join us in a discussion of the work of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Herman Melville, Frederick Douglass, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, and Mark Twain as we explore literary, political and historical context, their desire to create a distinctively national literature, and the ongoing controversy over the local, national, and transnational significance of this literature.

At a glance

  • Language: English
  • Video Transcript: English

What you'll learn

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  • The connections between the disparate locations, myths, and traditions found in nineteenth-century American literature.
  • The historical turning points involved in the production of an American literary tradition.
  • The ways in which Dartmouth College participated in the creation of American literature.

About the instructors

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