19th Century American Literature

GRADUATE COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINATION READING LIST SELECTED BY THE GRADUATE FACULTY

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The degree candidate is responsible for having read all of the following works:

William Apess. “An Indian’s Looking Glass for the White Man,” “Eulogy on King Philip” 

Ambrose Bierce. “Chickamauga,” “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”

Gertrude Simmons Bonnin (Zitkala-Sa). School Days of an Indian Girl

William Wells Brown. Clotel or The Escape: A Leap for Freedom

William Cullen Bryant. Selected Poems

The Cherokee Memorials

Charles Chesnutt. The Conjure Woman

Lydia Maria Child. Hobomok

Kate Chopin. The Awakening, Selected Stories

James Fenimore Cooper. Last of the Mohicans

Stephen Crane. The Red Badge of Courage or Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, “The Blue Hotel,” “The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky,” “The Open Boat”

Rebecca Harding Davis. Life in the Iron Mills           

Emily Dickinson. Selected Poems

Frederick Douglass. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” 

Theodore Dreiser. Sister Carrie

W.E.B. Dubois. The Souls of Black Folks[1]

Ralph Waldo Emerson. “The American Scholar,” “The Divinity School Address,”  “Nature,” “The Over-Soul,” “The Poet,” “Self-Reliance”

Margaret Fuller. “Woman in the Nineteenth Century”

Charlotte Perkins Gilman. “The Yellow Wallpaper”

F.E.W. Harper. Iola Leroy

Nathaniel Hawthorne. Selected Stories, At Least One Major Novel

Oliver Wendell Holmes. “The Chambered Nautilus,” “The Deacon’s Masterpiece”

Washington Irving. “Rip Van Winkle,” “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”

Harriet Jacobs. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

Henry James. Selected Stories, At Least One Major Novel

Sarah Orne Jewett. Selected Stories

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Selected Poems

Herman Melville. Moby Dick or both Billy Budd and either “Bartleby, the Scrivener” or Benito Cereno

Frank Norris. McTeague: A Story of San Francisco 

Edgar Allan Poe. Selected Stories; Selected Poems; “The Philosophy of Composition”; “A Review: Twice-Told Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne”

Catherine Maria Sedgwick. Hope Leslie

Harrriet Beecher Stowe. Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Henry David Thoreau. “Resistance to Civil Government” [“Civil Disobedience”]; Walden

Mark Twain. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

David Walker. Walker’s Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World

Booker Washington. Up from Slavery[2]

Walt Whitman. Selected Poems, including “Song of Myself” (1882 edition) and “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d”

Harriet Wilson. Our Nig



[1] Although this work appeared in 1903, many scholars consider it important to a study of the “long nineteenth century.”

[2] Although this work appeared in 1901, many scholars consider it important to a study of the “long nineteenth century.”

A candidate may also submit a list of readings to supplement, but not replace, the readings from the core list above. The supplementary list should be submitted for approval with the declaration of intent to take the comprehensive examination form. 


Rev. 1 August 2014


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