Fall 2011
Fully Enrolled

The Great American Novel - Foundational Course Option


09/12/2011 - 12/09/2011
Thursday 06:30 PM - 09:00 PM

285 Court Street

Foundational course option: Students taking the course with this option will receive more extensive and detailed feedback on their work through more frequent writing assignments and individual meetings with the instructor. Foundational courses are intended to provide an additional level of guidance, support, and feedback to ensure that students cultivate the tools and skills necessary for graduate level research and writing. All GLSP students working toward a degree are strongly encouraged to take a foundational course during their first few courses in the program. To choose the Foundational course option, please register for HUMS 639W.

In this survey of classic works of American fiction, we will focus on texts celebrated not just for their literary achievement but also for their aspiration to define the nature of American life and the aesthetic forms suitable to it. This course will make an effort to trace both some of the lasting continuities in those assumptions and the ways they have changed over two centuries.

Enrollment in HUMS 639 is limited to 14 students.

This course is open to auditors.

Enrollment in HUMS 639W is limited to 4 students.

This course is not open to auditors.

The deadline to withdraw and receive a tuition refund for this course is Friday, September 16 at 5:00 pm. Please visit our website for a complete list of registration and withdrawal dates for this session.

A syllabus for this course is available at:

Sean McCann (B.A. Georgetown University; Ph.D. City University of New York) is professor of English and American studies. He is author of A Pinnacle of Feeling: American Literature and Presidential Government, (Princeton University Press, 2008) and Gumshoe America: Hard-Boiled Crime Fiction and the Rise and Fall of New Deal Liberalism (Duke University Press, 2000). He was awarded Wesleyan's 2004 Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching. Click here for more information about Sean McCann.


Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 4

Texts to purchase for this course:
James Fenimore Cooper, LAST OF THE MOHICANS, (Oxford), Paperback, ISBN: 0199538190.

Harriet Beecher Stowe, UNCLE TOM'S CABIN, (Penguin), Paperback, ISBN: 0140390030.

Richard Wright, NATIVE SON, (Harper Perennial), Paperback, ISBN: 0060929804.

Ralph Ellison, THE INVISIBLE MAN, (Vintage), Paperback, ISBN: 0679732764.

Henry James, THE PROTRAIT OF A LADY, (Penguin), Paperback, ISBN: 014043223X.

Mark Twain, ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN, (Norton), Paperback, ISBN: 0393966402.

Willa Cather, MY ANTONIA, (Penguin), Paperback, ISBN: 0140187642.

Edith Wharton, THE HOUSE OF MIRTH, (Penguin), Paperback, ISBN: 0140187294.

Nathaniel Hawthorne, THE SCARLET LETTER, (Penguin), Paperback, ISBN: 0142437263.

Herman Melville, MOBY-DICK, (Norton), Paperback, ISBN: 0393972836.

Reading Materials are available at BROAD STREET BOOKS, 45 Broad Street, Middletown, 860-685-7323.

Register for Courses

Contact glsinquire@wesleyan.edu to submit comments or suggestions. 
Copyright Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, 06459