19th & 20th Century American Literature - Université Bordeaux Montaigne

19th & 20th Century American Literature

Crédits ECTS : 6.0

Effectif maximal : 25

Code ELP : MIA1Y24

Composante : UFR Langues et Civilisations

Période de l'année : Automne

Formes d'enseignement : Non accessible à distance


Part 1 : The American Essay
Virginia Ricard
The essay has thrived in North America from Colonial times to the present, and more particularly since the beginning of the nineteenth century. Its protean form—or perhaps its absence of form—seems to have been especially suited to a literature in the making and the essay's singular attributes—humility, open form, informality—lend themselves easily to American cultural and literary life in which the essay plays an essential role.
In this seminar students will explore the genre itself and then read a variety of essays by authors as different as, say, Joan Didion, Samuel Sewall, James Baldwin and Jonathan Franzen.

Required reading before the first session
Aldous Huxley, “Preface” Collected Essays (1943).
Joseph Epstein, “The Personal Essay: A Form of Discovery” (1997).
Phillip Lopate, “Introduction” The Art of the Personal Essay (1995).
Jean Starobinski “Peut-on définir l’essai ?” Cahiers pour un temps, (1985)

Part 2 : Transcendentalist Women and Children
Joseph Urbas

The second part of this seminar will explore the themes of women's rights, childhood, and family relations in Transcendentalist literature, with particular emphasis on the writings of Margaret Fuller and Louisa May Alcott.

Required Reading
Weeks 1-3: Margaret Fuller, Woman in the Nineteenth Century, Norton Critical Edition, ISBN: 0-393-97157-0.
Weeks 4-6: Louisa May Alcott, "Transcendental Wild Oats," Journals (excerpts), Little Women and Jo's Boys (excerpts). Recommended edition: The Portable Louisa May Alcott, ed. Elizabeth Lennox Keyser, Penguin Books, ISBN: 0-14-027574-6.

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