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Major Author(s): Mourning America: Emerson and Douglass

ENG 411/AMS 411/AAS 413

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This course will focus on two "representative men" of the nineteenth century. It will propose that Emerson and Douglass are two of America's greatest defenders, precisely because they are its greatest mourners. While they point to America's unfulfilled promise of universal representation, they seek to realize it in their own acts of writing. This course attends to these writers' relations to the period's broader discourses surrounding race, ecology, empire, and nation-building. Alongside Emerson and Douglass, we will read short texts by naturalists, politicians, and activists such as J.B. Lamarck, James Madison, and Ida B. Wells.
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Section S01