01 TTH4 CAC 09879 MCGILL MU-208
A survey of writing in English produced by contact with the New World, from the first English settlements in Virginia and New England through the emergence of a national literature in the mid-nineteenth century. We will read a wide range of texts (settlement propaganda, sermons, official histories, autobiographies, political pamphlets, philosophical essays, poetry, drama, and fiction), tracing the course of three ideas that shaped the colonies and the new nation: wilderness, liberty, and democracy. We will conclude by re-evaluating the semester’s reading through the lens of Herman Melville’s perverse and extraordinary novel, Moby-Dick. Students will complete two short papers, a mid-term and a final exam.