The study of literature is an
important part of any educational program as is the understanding of the
history of one's own culture. The course is offered in two semesters
with the first semester covering writing from the colonial period to 1865 or
1900, and it is a requirement for English majors at most, if not all,
The first semester, EN 210,
typically includes literature from the colonial period. Most of these
works, however, are letters, speeches, and records of events. The
early settlers had little time for writing since the job of survival was
paramount. People who sat around writing were largely considered
shirkers. It is not until a nation is stable and secure that its art
flourishes. Consequently, that which we generally refer to as literary
art is sparse in the early years.
The finest American Literature text books that
became established in the 1950's and before generally contained political
essays and letters in the first volume.
Fifty years have passed since then, however, and the
lines between the first semester and second are being redrawn with writers
like Whitman and Dickinson being often covered in the first semester as well
as in EN211, the second semester since they are major influences on 20th
century and beyond writers.
The catalogue description of this
Course: EN 211¾American
EN 211 American
Literature Since (1865) II 3-0-3
selected works of American writers and their relationships to literary
movements from the Civil War to the present.