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Dartmouth College

The American Renaissance: Classic Literature of the 19th Century

Dartmouth College via edX


What is the American Renaissance? How did Dartmouth help foster the formation of the American Renaissance and its reevaluation and reinvention in the twentieth? Why should we, as twenty-first century readers, concern ourselves with this literature?

Join a hybrid community of learners, both online and in residence at Dartmouth College, as we discover how to discern the historical turning points involved in the production and transmission of American Renaissance writings. We will conceptualize the role historical and affective turning points continue to play in the selection, interpretation and valuation of these writings.

Together we will propose continuities and discontinuities between these historical literary works and the present. Along the way we will construct global and temporal mappings between a set of seemingly disparate locations, myths, and traditions.

Join us in a discussion of the work of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Herman Melville, Frederick Douglass, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, and Mark Twain as we explore literary, political and historical context, their desire to create a distinctively national literature, and the ongoing controversy over the local, national, and transnational significance of this literature.

Taught by

Donald E. Pease, James E. Dobson , Michael Goudzwaard, Erin DeSilva, R. Michael Murray, Sawyer Broadley ‘08 and Laura Braunstein


5.0 rating, based on 1 Class Central review

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  • Anonymous
    Great class! Fascinating set of classic American books by important authors (Stowe, Twain, and Douglass among my favorites). The lectures are concise and I liked way in which the history of these books was presented.

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