• Course Number: ENGL 131AW
  • Prerequisites:

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  • Quarter: Fall 2024

What is the role of grief in a nation founded in slavery, genocide, and dispossession? Nineteenth-century Americans had distinctive rituals around death, including displaying photographs of dead children and wearing loved ones’ locks of hair. But their writings on grief are perhaps even more notable. This course investigates literary works from multiple genres that position grief as both a collective and an individual experience; as distinct from traditional mourning practices; and as untethered from death. We will cover the classic grief writers, such as Harriet Beecher Stowe, Lydia Sigourney, and Walt Whitman. We will also broaden the canon of “grief literature” as we read authors such as Charles Chesnutt, an activist African-American lawyer; Catharine Brown, a Cherokee diarist and Christian missionary; and Elizabeth Keckley, a formerly enslaved White House dress designer. This course explores the centrality of grief to the American experience.

  • Schedule & Location
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