19th Century American Literature

Course Dates: 04/11/21 - 09/12/21
Time: 18:00 - 19:30
Location: Online
Tutors: 
This class explores 19th century American literature, reading classic texts to broaden knowledge of literary history through a range of influential novels, stories and poems. Among the writers considered in their literary, political and cultural contexts will be Poe, Whitman, Dickinson, Hawthorne, Melville, and Twain.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
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SKU
185687
Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £54.00

Course Code: HLT248

Thu, eve, 04 Nov - 09 Dec '21

Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 weeks)

Or call to enrol:020 7831 7831

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

This online literature course offers a rich encounter with seminal works of 19th century American literature, exploring texts that reflect diverse elements of the American experience of the 19th century. It treats classic works in detail and also allows students the chance to study a range of political, cultural and literary contexts and their role in shaping the work of various writers from the canon of 19th century American literature.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

Focusing on shorter works by major writers, the course will cover a number of interrelated topics in the context of 19th century American literary culture, all of which contributed to the emergence of a distinctive American literary identity in the 19th century. Among the writers considered will be Douglass, Whitman, Melville, and Twain. We will examine the following texts:

Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (1845)
Walt Whitman, Selected Poems (1850s)
Herman Melville, “Benito Cereno” (1855).
Mark Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884).

Electronic copies of all texts will be sent to students by the tutor. All texts are also widely available in paperback. Penguin, Oxford, and Norton offer especially useful introductions and reliable texts.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

Develop general literary, historical, and critical knowledge through varied reading on 19th century American literature.

Develop understanding of key individual 19th century American works and authors, and a knowledge of the main historical, literary, and political contexts of nineteenth century American literature.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

No previous knowledge or experience of literature is necessary. However, learners will, ideally, need the following
skills and attributes:
- An enthusiasm for reading and discussing a range of texts in large and small groups.
- A willingness and ability to do some reading and preparation outside the class. You will be expected to read the selected texts for each session.
- An interest in, and ability to listen to, the responses of other students to the work discussed.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

The class will be held in 90-minute sessions over six weeks. The first half hour will be an interactive lecture on the text, writer, themes and contexts. The remaining hour will be a round table and small group discussion of the texts in detail.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

No other costs. Electronic copies of all texts will be sent to students by the tutor. All texts are also widely available in paperback. Penguin, Oxford, and Norton offer especially useful introductions and reliable texts.

Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (1845)
Walt Whitman, Selected Poems (1850s)
Herman Melville, “Benito Cereno” (1855).
Mark Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884).

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Please look for other Literature courses under History, Culture & Writing/Literature at www.citylit.ac.uk.

Richard Niland

Richard Niland has published widely on Joseph Conrad and a range of other 19th and 20th century writers. He taught for many years at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow and is interested in the various intersections of literature, culture, politics, music and film in different global contexts.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.