WesMaps - Wesleyan University Catalog 2021-2022       Summer Session       Winter Session       Home       Archive       Search
Literary Perversions: Revolution, Democracy, Identity

CHUM 288
Fall 2021 not offered
Crosslisting: ENGL 284
Course Cluster and Certificates: Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory Certificate

The Federalist Papers wrote under the strong impression that the American Revolution was imperiled by an overwhelming debt and the lack of a national authority and identity to bind the States together. Public fear of moral degeneration via the replacement of the "Old World" symbolic order with a "New World" order under the aegis of "representative democracy" loomed over the republic.

Taking these concerns and the dissemination of The Federalist Papers as our point of departure, this course will examine how representations of "non-normative" identities in several major 19th-century works relate to the problems of representing democracy in the aftermath of the American Revolution. Many of the most famous canonical literary texts in the United States during the 19th century write about "non-normative" topics such as maternity, slavery, bestiality, and gender inequality in the context of narratives that attempt to rewrite the legacy of the American Revolution. By focusing on the literary treatment of these "perverse" topics, we shall attempt to understand whether the authors we will undertake close readings of in this course were successful in their endeavors to not only amend the shortcomings of the Revolution, but also to think more rigorously about the history of slavery and gender inequality.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA CHUM
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (AMST)(ENGL)(ENGL-Literature)

Last Updated on JUN-16-2024
Contact wesmaps@wesleyan.edu to submit comments or suggestions. Please include a url, course title, faculty name or other page reference in your email ? Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, 06459