EG 71-72 (ENG 215-216)
American Literature Survey
Fall 2006 Course Outline
Spring 2007 Course Outline
"We Americans have yet to really learn our antecedents . . . . Thus far, impress'd by New England writers and
schoolmasters, we tacitly abandon ourselves to the notion that our United States have been fashion'd from
the British Isles only . . . which is a very great mistake."
Walt Whitman, 1883
"The past is a foreign
country: they do things differently there."
David Lowenthal, 1985
Discovery, Encounter, and Settlement
(Prehistory to AD 1620)
The American dream will be the focus of our discussions this semester,
as well as American Exceptionalism
These fundamental ideas/myths have been parallel themes in American life from the beginning. In their most extreme form, they can lead to Triumphalism.
NativeWeb: Resources for
Indigenous Cultures around the World
This important site, maintained by Native Americans, focuses primarily on the indigenous peoples of North America, Meso America, and South America, including their literature and history. Includes many excellent links.
The North Atlantic Saga
The World of the Vikings
More than 1000 years ago, the Vikings became the first Europeans to discover, explore, and settle in the New World: North America in the Western hemisphere. They were also the first Europeans to encounter native Americans whom they referred to by the derogatory term "skraelings." These two sites provide provide archeological evidence, as well as historical context, to support the Vikings' claim.
Heath Guide to American Literature, Volumes A & B (formerly Vol. 1) Web Sites
This site is as as ESSENTIAL SOURCE for links related to all the readings in this semester's text. Sadly, it also includes too many dead links, but don't give up!
As a backup, use This Heath Site that duplicates the links in the above site.
Iroquois Confederacy is the oldest participatory democracy on earth,
dating from 31 August 1142.
This site contains the full text of the Gayanashagowa, the Constitution of the Iroquois Nations
Discovers, Explorers, Clerics, and Conquers:
On this important page are links to the original texts (in translation) written by the discovers, explorers, clerics, conquers, and first settlers themselves. There are also links to secondary sources written by others about those discovers, explorers, clerics, conquers, and first settlers.
(as in Requirement or Demand) composed in 1510 to be read, in Spanish, to all Native Americans.
Bernal Díaz del Castillo (c1492-1581) was a conquistadore who traveled with Cortés (in 1519-21) among others. His The Discovery and Conquest of Mexico (first printed in 1632, but written in Guatemala in his old age) is considered the truest account of the fall of the Mexican empire. Another Site in Spanish is to be preferred for its illustrations.
Cabeza de Vaca
Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca Site 2
Bartolomé de Las Casas
Francisco Vásquez de Coronado
Hernando de Soto
de Soto's story is told by A Gentleman of Elvas
Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (Juana Ramírez de Asbaje)
The Virgin of Guadalupe
A powerful presence throughout Mexico and, increasingly, in the United States, the Virgin of Guadalupe combines Native American and European features. She is a mestizo (or mestiza?) and has become associated with civil rights as well as traditional values.
Samuel de Champlain
Captain John Smith
The Puritans and Others: Native Americans and African
Outline of American Literature
Maintained by the US Department of State (of all people!), this page lists key sites on American Literature.
American and Colonial Literature to 1700
Part of the Internet School Library Media Center, this page provides links to many general AmLit sites as well as to specific authors, like Bradford, Winthrop, Bradstreet, Rowlandson, and the Mathers.
Political History On-Line
Outstanding metasite with thousands of links. An invaluable adjunct to the study of AmLit.
and another site (this time with links to Bradford's Journal): Here
the anti-Puritan and intellectual heathen
The Revolutionary Period
Click on internal links for brief essays
J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur
"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead and rotten,
either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing."
The Early Republic, American-ness, and Westward Expansion
Tales of the Early Republic
Excellent background for this unit
James Fenimore Cooper
Catharine Maria Sedgwick
Sedgwick attempts to counter the stereotypes and prejudices she found in Cooper's depiction of women, Native Americans, and mixed-blood peoples. See her novel Hope Leslie.
Edgar Allan Poe
Transcendentalism, Slavery, and American Exceptionalism
Nationalism and Sectionalism in the US: 1815-1850
Transcendentalism and Transcendentalists
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Henry David Thoreau
Abolitionism in America
Harriet Ann Jacobs
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Caroline Lee Hentz
A Divided Nation and the Civil War
Civil War and Reconstruction
Additional Melville information and criticism Here
William Cullen Bryant and Here
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
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