This course aims to study the literary innovations of early American poets within the historical and cultural context of their time. Beginning with the Puritans and the age of colonization, the course will move through the tumultuous period of the age of Rationalism and the period of the American War for Independence to the period of the American Civil War and American Romanticism. Although not a prerequisite, it will be to the students’ advantage to have some prior knowledge of the literary trends and cultural perspectives of these three centuries studied in the survey courses that the Department of American Literature and Culture offers. By the end of the term students: •will have acquired a basic knowledge of the poetic aesthetics of Puritanism, of the American Enlightenment and of the New Nation. Course textbook and outline/bibliography are available. For information about the course please visit the blackboard site. Assessment: Active class participation 20%, two in-class presentations 30% each, final exam/term paper 20%.