Vorlesung Mapping New Worlds American Literature 1580-1800

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What was -America when it was -discovered or rather settled by Europeans? An entirely -new- world? An alternative to the -old-? Or merely an extension, an outpost of Europe? This lecture series offers a survey of significant texts, mostly written in English and in the Americas, about what European explorers and settlers found in, and liked to think of, this strange, new world.

Many of these texts are as strange as they are exciting, esp. for all those who like what is unusual. Only after almost two centuries, late in the 18th century, did the settlers start to see themselves as -Americans", trying to become more independent from Britain and Europe. We will study this slow -mapping" of the new world by looking at an unusual variety of texts, not all of them -literature" in the European sense: narratives of exploration, emigration, war, and travel; annals and histories (some of them rather fanciful) of various settlements and regions; sermons, political manifestos, and pamphlets, autobiographical writing, public and private poetry. I will also draw on maps, prints, pictures, and other visual material to put these early -American- texts into their respective contexts and to discuss relevant issues of gender, class, religion, and politics in early North America.

Our material is mainly taken from vol. A (-Beginnings to 1820") of the Norton Anthology of American Literature, gen. ed. N. Baym. Hence the purchase of this excellent collection, available at good bookstores like -UNI-Buch-, is strongly recommended. Additional material and a preliminary outline will be available on the reserve shelf in the library (BB2) well before the beginning of classes. For background information see S. Bercovitch's Cambridge History of American Literature, vol 1, the chapter on -Anfänge" in H. Zapf's Amerikanische Literaturgeschichte and P. Boyer's cultural history, The Enduring Vision. Voraussetzungen None; all welcome. But serious students are invited to prepare by reading the introductory essay on -Beginnings to 1700" in the Norton Anthology. Note that topics for the written exams in American literary studies for Lehramt students (-Fachklausur Literaturwissenschaft / Amerikanistik-) in the fall of 2015 will be taken from this period. Hence exam candidates are particularly welcome to attend. Leistungsnachweis None. FB 02 Institut für Anglistik / Amerikanistik None; all welcome. But serious students are invited to prepare by reading the introductory essay on -Beginnings to 1700" in the Norton Anthology. Note that topics for the written exams in American literary studies for Lehramt students (-Fachklausur Literaturwissenschaft / Amerikanistik-) in the fall of 2015 will be taken from this period. Hence exam candidates are particularly welcome to attend. None. Uni Kassel SoSe 2015 Amerikanistik English and American Culture and Business Studies.