SemesterFall Semester, 2019
DepartmentMA Program of English, First Year Ph.D. Program in English Literature, First Year MA Program of English, Second Year Ph.D. Program in English Literature, Second Year
Course NamePlace and Space in American Renaissance Literature
InstructorHSU LI-HSIN
Course TypeElective
Course Objective
Course Description
Course Schedule

Class 1    Introduction: Geography and American literature 

Geography & American Expansionism & American Romanticism 

William Cullen Bryant: “The Prairies” (1832) 


Class 2        Nature and Nation: Emerson's Nature 

Mitchell’s “Landscape and Power” Introduction & Chapter 1 

    Topic: The Representation of Nature 

Class 3        Jed Deppman’s “Emily Dickinson’s Prose and Poetry: Writing as Western Medicine” 

10-12 am, Room 250203 Research Building 

Class 4       Nature (continued) 

    Jehlen’s “American Incarnation” Chapter 3 

Topic: The Nation and the continent 

Class 5       Henry David Thoreau’s Walden 

Leo Marx: “The Machine in the Garden’ Chapter 5 

Topic: Nature v.s. Technology 

Class 6       Thoreau’s Walden (continued) 

Paul Giles & John Carlos Rowes 

Topic: Nationalism & Transnationalism 

Class 7        Urban Space: Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass 

    Raymond Williams’s “The Country and the City” Chapter 1, 2, 15, 16, 19, 20, 23, 24 

Topic: the Urban & the metropolis 

Class 8        Gaston Bachelard’s “The Poetics of Space” 

    Introduction, Chapter 1 & 2  

Michel de Certeau’s "The Practice of Everyday Life" Chapter 

Topic: House & the Universe  

Class 9        Nathaniel Hawthorne's The House of Seven Gables 

Yi-Fu Tuan’s “Space and Place” (Chapter 8 & 9) 

    Topic: Architectural Space & Awareness 

Class 10         Hawthorne's The House of Seven Gables (continued) 

Yi-Fu Tuan’s “Space and Place” (Chapter 9 & 13) 

Robert Abram’s “Topographies of Skepticism” Part I Chapter I 

Topic: Time & Movement 

Class 11        Margaret Fuller's Summer on the Lakes 

    Massey’s “Space, Place and Gender” (A Woman’s Place?) 

Susan Robertson’s “Antebellum American Women Writers and the Road” (Chapter 3) 

Topic: Gender & Space 

Class 12        Summer on the Lakes (continued) 

Homi K. Bhabha’s “The Location of Culture” Chapter 8: Dissemination      

J. B. Harvey’s “The New Nature of Maps” (Chapter 6) 

Topic: Mapping & migration 

Class 13        Emily Dickinson's Home/Homelessness (selected poems) 

Gaston’s “Poetics of Space” Chapter 3, 4, 8 

Yi-Fu Tuan’s “Space and Place” Chapter 10, 11 

Topic: Home 

First draft due (2-3000 words) 

Class 14        Dickinson’s Heaven/Graveyard poems 

    Michel Foucault’s “Discipline and Punish” (Panopticism) 

    Yi-Fu Tuan’s “Space and Place” Chapter 7, 12 

Topic: Visibility & Invisibility 

Class 15         Nathanial Hawthorne’s “Recollection of a Gifted Woman” & Washington Irving’s “Westminster Abbey” 

Paul Westover’s “Necromanticism” (Literary tourism)     

Topic: Literary Tourism 

Class 16         Harriet Prescott Spofford’s “Circumstance” & Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death” 

        The Freud Reader “The Unconscious” & “Repression” 

Topic: Visibility v.s. Invisibility 

Revised essay due (4-5000 words)

Teaching Methods
Teaching Assistant



Class participation 10% + Presentation (in-class + online) 30 % + One Essay (2-3000 words + Revision 4-5000 words) 60 %

Textbook & Reference

Primary reading list: 

The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Seventh Edition, Nina Baym, 2007. 

Ralph Waldo Emerson. Nature. 1836. 

Henry David Thoreau. Walden. 1854. 

Harriet Prescott Spofford. The Amber Gods and Other Stories. 1863. 

Margaret Fuller. Summer on the Lakes, in 1843. 1844. 

Nathaniel Hawthorne. The House of Seven Gables. 1851. 

Nathaniel Hawthorne. Our Old Homes.1863.  

Walt Whitman. Leaves of Grass. 1855. 

The Poems of Emily Dickinson. Franklin reading edition. 2005 

Edgar Allen Poe. “The Masque of the Red Death” & “The Black Cat”. 

Washington Irving. The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. 1819. 

Theory reading list: 

Bachelard, Gaston. The Poetics of Space. Boston: Beacon, (1969) 1994. 

Cresswell, Tim. Place: A Short Introduction. Wiley, 2004. 

Foucault, Michel, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, trans. Alan Sheridan. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1991. 

---. Foucault, Michel. "Of Other Spaces" (available online). 

Greg Garrard. Ecocriticism. New York: Routledge, 2004. 

Harley, J.B. The New Nature of Maps. The John Hopkins University Press, 2001. 

Lefebvre, Henri. The Production of Space. Wiley, 1991. 

Massey, Doreen. Space, Place, and Gender. University of Minnesota Press, 1994. 

Marx, Leo. The Machine in the Garden: Technology and the Pastoral Ideal in America. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. 

Mitchell, W.J.T. Landscape and Power. University of Chicago Press, 2002. 

Tuan, Yi-Fu. Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience. University of Minnesota Press, 1977. 

Williams, Raymond. The Country and the City. New York: Oxford University Press, 1973. 

Secondary reading list: 

Abrams, Robert E. Landscape and Ideology in American Renaissance Literature: Topographies of Skepticism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. 

Bate, Jonathan. The Song of the Earth. London: Picador, 2000. 

Bhabha, Homi. The Location of Culture. London: Routledge, 1994. 

Buell, Lawrence. The Environmental Imagination: Thoreau, Nature Writing, and the Formation of American Culture. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1995. 

Coupe, Lawrence, ed. The Green Studies Reader: From Romanticism to Ecocriticism. Routledge, 2000. 

De Certeau, Michel. The Practice of Everyday Life. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984. 

Garrard, Greg. Ecocriticism. London and New York: Routledge, 2004. 

Harvey, David. The Condition of Postmodernity: An Enquiry into the Origins of Cultural Change. Oxford: Blackwell, 1989. 

Hemmings, Clare. Bisexual Spaces: A Geography of Sexuality and Gender. London: Routledge, 2002. 

Heidegger, Martin. Poetry, Language, Thought. HarperCollins, 2001. 

Kaplan, Caren. Questions of Travel: Postmodern Discourses of Displacement. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1996. 

Miller, J. Hillis. Topographies. Stanford State University, 1995. 

Hsu, Hsuan L. Geography and the Production of Space in Nineteenth-Century American Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010. 

Jehlen, Myra. American Incarnation: the Individual, the Nation, and the Continent. Harvard University Press, 1986. 

Morton, Timothy. Ecology without Nature: Rethinking Environmental Aesthetics. Harvard University Press, 2007. 

Pratt, Mary Louise. Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation. Routledge, 2003. 

Richard, David Shuttleton and Diane Watt, De-Centering. Sexualities: Politics and Representations Beyond the Metropolis. London: Routledge, 1999. 

Roberson, Susan L. Antebellum American Women Writers and the Road: American Mobilities. New York & London: Routledge, 2011. 

Rose, Gillian. Feminism & Geography: The Limits of Geographical Knowledge. University of Minnesota Press, 1993.

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