Increase Mather’s greatest contribution to the literature of early America is, perhaps, his American jeremiad, a homiletic lamentation of New England’s departure from its original Errand into the Wilderness. His (1674) and (1702) are representative examples of this genre. Characteristically, Mather assumes the persona of the OT prophet Jeremiah, whose chosen people in the New World are the antitype of God’s ancient Israel, the type; he reminds the colony of its Federal Covenant with God and threatens the Saints with divine retribution for their backsliding. In spite of its gloomy vision, —like all jeremiad sermons—ends on a note of millenarian hope: the Almighty will not abandon his covenanted Saints if only they repent and reform before it is too late. Thus while holding the rod of punishment in one hand, Mather offers God’s dove of peace in the other. A response to the declining numbers of new church communicants, the jeremiad as a sermon sub-genre came to its full flowering in the decades following New England’s Half-Way Covenant (1662). As a means to incite people to action, the jeremiad also flourished during the Great Awakening and beyond the American Revolution and Manifest Destiny into the early nineteenth century, when the pursuit of the millennium culminated in the Second Great Awakening.
The Literature of Early America 1
ENGL 515: Survey of American Literature
ENGL 650: Studies in American Literature and Culture: Land/Text/Image in the Nineteenth Century
ENGL 741: Literature of Early America
ENGL 742: American Literature: 1815-1865
ENGL 787: Seminar/Urban Writing & American Cities
ENGL 897: Special Studies in Literature/Graduate Survey of American Literature to 1865
ENGL937: Seminar/Nineteenth Century American Literature
Literature of Early America, 4.00, English General
Various, distance learning format.
May 2013 to Present.
Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to: recognize and appreciate the importance of American Literary texts; perform close readings and explicate texts written in various modes; identify and analyze fundamental literary elements and devices within various texts including nonfiction, fiction, speech, and poetry; synthesize ideas in literary form and use literary terms in correct historical context; develop and carry out research-based writings formulated on literary context including locating, evaluating, organizing, and incorporating information; write clear and grammatically correct sentences; and correctly apply MLA format to all written work.
This self-study course provides students with an overview of the important writers and works of 500 years of American Literature from Early America to World War II. Class discussions focus on nonfiction essays, documents, poems, speeches, and short stories and their relevance to respective historical time periods. Students are responsible for required works and will choose supplemental readings in a genre of their choice to enhance and inform their literary education. Major topics include: Literature of Early America-Colonial, Literature of the Eighteenth Century, Defining America and Americans, Early to Mid-Nineteenth Century, Romanticism, Transcendentalism, Humor and Satire, and finding meaning.
In the lower division associate/baccalaureate degree category, 3 semester hours in English or Literature (6/13).
ies, and multi-ethnic literature of early America