2010 AM Fictions of a Puritan Past: Hogg’s Justified Sinner and Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter, Tues 10-12
- Time: Tuesday 10-12
The focus of this course is on two narratives from the first half of the nineteenth century, which reflect the burning issues of their own time by telling stories from a past which, one may fear, is not quite completely over. The stories are set in Scotland and New England respectively, and they ostensibly represent the social oppressiveness, the self-righteousness and hypocrisy of the Puritans of former times. At the same time, they appear to address dangers arising from a religious fanaticism that continue to threaten the modern self-conception at the time of their publication. Along with the close reading of the two narratives, the course will thus engage in a discussion of the issues of national identities, of tradition vs. modernity, religion vs. secularity, individual vs. society. Students should purchase and read in advance:
James Hogg, Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner
Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter and Other Writings, 4th Leland S. Person, (Norton Critical Editions).[Both texts may be had at a very competitive price at the CvO Bookshop]
Additional materials for preparation will be made available on the course’s interactive wikiwebsite.
Requirements: for 3 KP: regular attendance, an oral contribution in the form of a presentation and participation in an ‘expert group’ that will prepare a certain aspect of the seminar’s topic for the final discussion. Requirements for 6 KP: as above, with a term paper of ca. 10 pp. based on the topic of the presentation (deadline Aug 15, 2010).
- Royer, Diana. "Puritan Constructs and Nineteenth -Century Politics: Allegory, Rhetoric, and Law in Three Hawthorne Tales."
- Durston, Christopher and Jacqueline Eales. "Introduction: The Puritan Ethos, 1560-1700." The Culture of English Puritanism, 1560-1700. Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002
Sacvan Bercovitch, "A-Politics" (Norton Critical Ed., 576-597)
- Colacurcio, Michael. "'The Woman's Own Choice': Sex, Metaphor, and the Puritan 'Sources' of the Scarlet Letter"