ENGL4710: American Renaissance (49613)

Marrs, Cody

MWF 11:30 AM

Park Hall 250

The American Renaissance was one of the major events in American literary history. This course explores the literature and philosophy of the American Renaissance. We will study the movement’s birth and development, as well as its context and legacies. Focusing on several authors (i.e., Emily Dickinson, Frederick Douglass, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Herman Melville, Henry David Thoreau, and Walt Whitman), we will discover how they adapted and expressed their ideas, as well as our understanding and assessment of those ideas in the twenty-first century. Throughout the semester, we will pay particularly close attention to these authors’ biographies, styles, and views on a range of aesthetic and philosophical questions.


Note: this class will be entirely in-person. 



Emily Dickinson, Poems: Reading Edition, ed. Franklin (Harvard University Press)

Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Essential Writings (Modern Library)

Frederick Douglass, My Bondage and My Freedom (Penguin)

Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter (Penguin)

Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (Norton)

Walt Whitman, Poetry and Prose (Library of America)

Henry David Thoreau, Walden (Norton)