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Richard Deming ENG 275 Spring 2014 Office: L-C 407 Office hours: TBD richard.deming@yale.



I love all men who dive. Any fish can swim near the surface, but it takes a great whale to go down stairs five miles or more; & if he don't attain the bottom, why, all the lead in Galena can't fashion the plumet that will. I'm not talking of Mr Emerson now -- but of the whole corps of thoughtdivers, that have been diving & coming up again with bloodshot eyes since the world began.Herman Melville This seminar will offer an in-depth look at central works by three foundational writers of the Nineteenth Century-- Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, and Ralph Waldo Emerson--who have helped shaped what we might call an American consciousness. In looking at this work and discussing it, we will address important questions about American identity, ethics, culture, and the function of literature, all of which these authors posed in (and posed as) their respective novels, short fiction, and essays. Texts:

-- Melville: Moby-Dick, The Confidence Man (Norton Critical Editions) --Hawthorne: The House of Seven Gables and Selected Tales and Sketches ((Norton Critical Editions) --Emerson: Essays: First and Second Series (Library of America) Additional secondary reading includes work by Stanley Cavell, Jorge Luis Borges, Henry James, F. O. Matthiessen, Sharon Cameron, and others. These are all available at the Yale Bookstore. Course Requirements: Assignments: There will be one mid-term paper of 5-7pages. There will be a final long paper of 12-15 pages. Also students will be asked to present two short responses that will guide class discussions. See the next section for a description.

Leading Class Discussions: During each class the initial discussion will be led by two students. One student will be asked to post to the class via email in a 750word response to the reading that presents a specific take/argument on the text at hand. The other student will post four questions that are intended to raise issues about the text. One question of the four needs to be in direct conversation with the reading response of his or her peer (in other words, raising questions about the reading offered by the peer). The entire class will be expected to consider these posts and come ready to discuss these questions and responses. Responses and questions will be posted to the website on the class server at least 24 hours before class. Attendance: Since so much of the class is based on discussion, it is vital that you are there for those discussions. You are required to attend all class meetings. Absences can drop your term grade considerably. Grading: Midterm Paper: 25%; Class responses: 25%; Final Paper 50%.

NC = included in the Norton Critical Edition PDF = made available via the classes server 1/14Introductions 1/16Emerson, American Scholar. 1/21Emerson, The Poet

1/23Self-Reliance; Matthiesson 1/28 Emerson: History and Circles; Cavell (pdf) 1/30 EmersonIntellect & Art 2/4 Emerson: Experience 2/6Young Goodman Brown & Ministers Black Veil; Henry James (nc) 2/11Rappacinis Daughter & The Birth-Mark; Borges (nc) 2/13 Wakefield & The Ambitious Guest; Sharon Cameron (nc) 2/18Haunted Mind & My Kinsman 2/20-- House of Seven Gables 2/25-- House of Seven Gables 2/27-- House of Seven Gables 3/4-- House of Seven Gables 3/6Melville: Hawthorne and His Mosses & Bartleby the Scrivener. Midterm essay due. 5-7 pps. Break 3/25Moby-Dick 3/27Moby-Dick 4/1-- Moby-Dick 4/3-- Moby-Dick 4/8Moby-Dick 4/10Moby-Dick 4/15Confidence Man 4/17Confidence Man 4/22Confidence Man 4/24Emerson: Uses of Great Men (pdf) Final essay due 4/28. 12-15 pps.