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American Literature until the End of the 19th Century

Class at Faculty of Education |


1.       Lecture: Colonial American Literature (online video lecture) Introductory class

2.       Lecture: Enlightenment Reading assignment – Benjamin Franklin: 2 pamphlets

3.       Lecture: Romantism I Reading assignment – Washington Irving: The Legend of the Sleepy Hollow

4.       Lecture: Romantism II E.A.Poe: The Black Cat, The Tell-Tale Heart

5.       Lecture: Romantism III Reading assignment –  N. Hawthorne: Birthmark

6.       Lecture: Romantism IV – slave narratives Reading assignment – The Narrative of Frederick Douglass

7.       Lecture: 19th century poetry (online video) Reading assignment – Whitman, Dickinson

8.            Lecture: American Transcendentalism Četba – H.D. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience

9.       Lecture: Transition between Romanticism and Realism Četba – H. Melville: Bartleby the Scrivener

10.     Lecture: Realism/Naturalism I Reading assignment –A. Bierce: An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge S. Crane: The Red Badge of Courage (excerpt)

11.     Lecture: Realism/Naturalism II – Local Color Reading assignment –Kate Chopin: A Respectable Woman and 4 other stories Optional reading assignment – C.P.Gilman: The Yellow Wallpaper

12.     Realismus/Naturalismus III – muckraking Theodore Dreiser: Sister Carrie (excerpt), Theodore Dreiser: Typhoon


This course aims to give the students a general outline of the most significant events in American literature, focusing largely, but not exclusively, on canonical authors. These seminars complement lectures which reside in presenting a particular literary movement, including its social and cultural background.

These are then followed by a close reading session which focuses on the selected seminar texts (short stories, plays, novels/extracts etc.).