American Literature to 1865 (Fall 2018)

This course provides an overview of American literature from early encounters between Native Americans and Europeans to the end of the Civil War. We examine literature as a form of knowledge that contributes to and intervenes in histories of colonialism, revolution, race-making, and reform that have shaped—and continue to shape—the U.S. nation and its culture. Throughout the semester, we consider a number of key questions: What is American literature? How does it imagine and reimagine notions of “America” and an “American people”? How does it engage with issues of race, gender, sexuality, religion, and class? How do perceptions of American literature change across time and space? Authors include Bartolomé de las Casas, John Winthrop, Mary Rowlandson, Samson Occom, John and Abigail Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Olaudah Equiano, Phillis Wheatley, Hannah Webster Foster, William Apess, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Frederick Douglass, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Harriet Jacobs, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, and Rebecca Harding Davis.

English Composition II (Fall 2018)

The second course in The University of Alabama’s first-year writing sequence, this class not only continues students’ practice of rhetorical strategies and composing processes but also emphasizes the work of argumentation in academic essays. Using both print and digital media, students create four revised essays that advance ongoing conversations. A central principle of this class is that academic writers do not write in a vacuum but in dialogue with other writers. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to participate in academic dialogue as we pursue and share our writing that considers the course theme, “Southern Culture and Diversity.” We begin the semester by reading works by James C. Cobb, William Faulkner, and Martin Luther King. Students then develop their own research projects that critically investigate some aspect of the multifaceted U.S. South, an object of study that seems continually to defy stable understanding. Students are invited to guide the direction of their research with their own interests, expertise, and questions.