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This course covers works by major American novelists, beginning with the late 18th century and concluding with a contemporary novelist. The class places major emphasis on reading novels as literary texts, but attention is paid to historical, intellectual, and political contexts as well. The syllabus varies from term to term, but many of the following writers are represented: Rowson, Hawthorne, Melville, Twain, Wharton, James, and Toni Morrison. Previously taught topics include The American Revolution and Makeovers (i.e. adaptations and reinterpretation of novels traditionally considered as American "Classics"). May be repeated for credit with instructor's permission so long as the content differs.