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Opleidingsonderdelen 2010-2011  

Literary texts in English 6: Upstairs/Downstairs: Domestic constructions in 19th-century American literature
Code opleidingsonderdeel:FLWTLE0410bis
Semester:2e semester
Uren Studietijd:112
Uren theorie:30,00
Uren praktijk:
Uren andere:
Deeltijds programma:1/2
Titularis(sen)Caroline Hellman
Taal waarin de cursus wordt gedoceerd:Engels
Info semesterexamen:examen in het 2de semester
Info contractrestrictie:geen inschrijving onder examencontract

1. Aanvangscompetenties (begintermen)
*Algemene competenties
It is advisable that students taking this course have first passed "Introduction to the Study of Literature in English" and "Fiction in English" (BA1).

Niet gedefinieerd

2. Eindcompetenties (eindtermen)

- The ability to understand and discuss literary texts that reflect reality as it was experienced at different moments in late nineteenth-century American literature.

- The ability to write a coherent and inspired medium-long essay about these texts.

3. Inhoud

Upstairs/ Downstairs: Domestic Constructions in 19th-Century American Literature
Course Description
While the colonial household encompassed home, factory, and school, nineteenth-century America saw a rise in interiority and an increasing distinction between public and private space.  Though domesticity was a moral and powerful center, a positive nationalist, cultural, and spiritual force of the nineteenth century, resistance to its centrality is understandable as while it provided triumph for some, it silenced, limited, and subjugated others. In fiction and non-fiction, the concept of home was idealized or abhorred, an escape or a prison, a space of concentrated power or isolated discrimination.
How are domestic existences crafted? What do they convey about self and nation? Do individual homes represent any sort of collective American experience or truth(s)? We will be studying the implications of home—and homes away from home. Ultimately, homemaking is a form of self-making. In the process of studying issues of identity, community, isolation, individualism, and escape that arise in domestic portraits, we will also examine constructions of race, ethnicity, gender, and class. Literary genres to be studied include the novel, essay, and short story.

4. Werkvormen
  • Seminaries

  • Eigen werk:
  • Opdrachten:Individueel

  • Projectwerk:
  • Individueel

  • 5. Evaluatievormen
    Permanente evaluatie:
  • (tussentijdse) testen

  • Schriftelijk werkstuk:
  • zonder mondelinge toelichting

  • Presentatie

    6. Noodzakelijk studiemateriaal

    Required Texts
    Herman Melville, Bartleby the Scrivener
    Henry David Thoreau, Walden
    Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
    Louisa May Alcott, Hospital Sketches and Transcendental Wild Oats
    Catharine Beecher & Harriet Beecher Stowe, The American Woman’s Home (selections)
    Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
    Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper
    Please note that the only reliable editions of the above-mentioned books are available at De Groene Waterman, where you are also getting a student discount. Books bought elsewhere threaten to be totally useless in class.

    7. Facultatief studiemateriaal

    Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space
    Clarence Cook, The House Beautiful
    Edith Wharton & Ogden Codman, The Decoration of Houses

    8. Studiebegeleiding

    Students have the opportunity to hand in a draft of the paper and to discuss it in tutorials.
    A document with guidelines and suggestions on how to write a research paper will be made available on Blackboard. For problems relating to the course, please contact your professor at

    laatste aanpassing: laatste aanpassing: 22/09/2010 16:53 myriam.demeulenaere