It’s creepy and it’s kooky, mysterious and spooky, and entirely fun to read — it’s American Gothic, a genre of literature that emerged in the United States as a particularly regional twist on traditional Gothic literature. We’ll look at how American Gothic explores the dark underbelly of U.S. history, including slavery, genocide, and environmental destruction, through works by Edgar Allan Poe, Shirley Jackson, Flannery O’Connor, William Faulkner, and more. Click for details.
This slender little novel is packed full of symbolism, psychology, and ideas about identity that were groundbreaking at the turn of the 20th century and that still have the power to shake up your reading life today. We’ll focus on close, careful reading, building critical reading and thinking skills as we explore this early feminist work. (Indignation about Victorian social roles for women encouraged.) Click for details.
We’ll be kicking off our year of U.S. literature with a look at one of the most ironically iconic poets in the canon — ironic because her work was never published while she was alive. Emily Dickinson’s work is deliberately elusive, hauntingly subversive, and just plain fun to read. We’ll consider her work in the context of its time, its contradictory perspectives on big ideas like Nature and Death, and its place in the 21st century canon. Click for details.