This course pairs classic 19th-century American novels with their 21st-century rewritings: Poe's Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym and Mat Johnson's Pym (2011), Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter and Hillary Jordan's When She Woke (2012), Melville's Moby-Dick and Jeffrey Ford's Ahab's Return (2018), Alcott's Little Women and Geraldine Brooks's March (2006), and Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Jon Clinch's Finn (2007). For each pairing, we will investigate the literary, cultural, and political contexts that inspired the texts, exploring enduring issues that vex and captivate American writers: race, class, gender, religion, violence - and the power of stories.
Satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric requirement.
Fulfills the Innovation requirement of the English major.
First-year students require permission of the instructor.