MIT Course Number
21L.705 / WGS.512
As Taught In
This seminar provides intensive study of texts by two American authors (Herman Melville, 1819-1891, and Toni Morrison, 1931-) who, using lyrical, radically innovative prose, explore in different ways epic notions of American identity. Focusing on Melville's Typee (1846), Moby-Dick (1851), and The Confidence-Man (1857) and Morrison's Sula (1973), Beloved (1987), Jazz (1992), and Paradise (1998), the class will address their common concerns with issues of gender, race, language, and nationhood. Be prepared to read deeply (i.e. a small number of texts with considerable care), to draw on a variety of sources in different media, and to employ them in creative research, writing, and multimedia projects.
Other OCW Versions
OCW has published multiple versions of this subject.
- 21L.705 Major Authors: Old English and Beowulf (Spring 2014)
- 21L.705 Major Authors: America's Literary Scientists (Fall 2010)
- 21L.705 Major Authors: Rewriting Genesis: "Paradise Lost" and Twentieth-Century Fantasy (Spring 2009)
- 21L.705 Major Authors: John Milton (Spring 2008)
- 21L.705 Major Authors: After the Masterpiece: Novels by Melville, Twain, Faulkner, and Morrison (Fall 2006)
- 21L.705 Masterworks in American Short Fiction (Fall 2005)
- 21L.705 Major Authors: Oscar Wilde and the '90's (Spring 2003)