"The Civil War South" - Freshman Seminar
- Sarah Turner Lahey
- Annenberg Hall G31 - TuTh 11:00AM - 12:20PM
- Frankly, Scarlett, you may have gotten it wrong. The Civil War does not necessarily resemble the tale of social ruin and lost causes inscribed on the pages of Margaret Mitchell's 1936 epic novel, Gone With the Wind. In this course, we will consider literary representations of the Civil War beginning with Mitchell's saga and moving backwards in time to Confederate-intellectual Mary Chesnut's account of the firing on Fort Sumter. In this way, we commence with how the war has been memorialized in the public imagination and proceed to deconstruct this myth with real-life accounts of those who actually experienced the war. Specifically, we will focus on those whom Scarlett O'Hara criticizes or leaves out of her narration: poor whites, enslaved and freed blacks, Native Americans, Irish immigrants, and northern women (the object of much scorn). From this broader perspective, we will re-examine not only the events of the nation's bloodiest war, but also the diverse peoples who fought in, witnessed, and survived it.
Students will be graded on class participation as well as a series of response papers based on the assigned reading. These responses will serve as starting points for three formal essays, of increasing length. The final paper must address a memoir or diary that we have not discussed in class. The course will conclude with a mock conference in which students present material from their final essays, thus expanding our working knowledge of Civil War literature.
- Attendance and participation (15%). Response papers (10%). Essay 1 (15%). Essay 2 (25%). Essay 3 & Presentation (35%): Essay 1 (4-5 pages), Essay 2 (5-6 pages), and Essay 3 (6-8 pages).
- Sarah Lahey is a Ph.D Candidate in English and studies nineteenth-century American literature. Her dissertation, entitled "Fragmenting the Nation," argues that ethnic and minority writing of the Civil War era crucially changes our perspective on the war as a binary conflict. Her other interests include women's writing, gothic fiction, and autobiography.
- Enrollment Requirements: Reserved for Freshmen and Sophomores
Overview of class
Current as of 05/06/13 11:39:55 AM