American Long List and Statement




Students who want to be tested in “American” as their period should choose a specific 100-110 year span (for example, 1820-1930, 1835-1940, 1865-1970, etc. -- exception: students who want to offer 'colonial American' should use the period 1600 to 1800 or beyond) and pick approximately 40 book-length texts (or the equivalent) to represent that span.  Your list should reflect both your own particular interests and the period as a whole, with texts spread evenly across the span you've defined, and including both poetry and prose (and, for students whose lists include the 20th century, drama).  All or nearly all of the authors on your list should be included in the most recent two-volume edition of the Norton Anthology of American Literature.  Once you've got a draft, you should show your list to faculty in the American Area committee and get their advice about your choices, then bring it to the head of the Area committee for final approval.





The PhD Oral Examination

in the

American Period


The American Area has put together the following list of recommended secondary sources for you to use in deciding what critical works to add to your period lists. Choose six in addition to your forty primary texts.


Columbia Literary History of the U.S.

Cambridge History of American Litature

Perry Miller, The New England Mind (2 vols.)

Sacvan Bercovitch, The American Jeremiad

Bercovitch, Puritan Origins of the American Self

William J. Scheick, The Will and the Word: The Poetry of Edward Taylor

Crain, The Story of A

William J. Scheick, Design in Puritan American Literature

David Hacketet Fischer, Albion 's Seed

Patricia Caldwell, The Puritan Conversion Narrative

Phillip Gura, A Glimpse of Sion's Glory: Puritan Racicalism in New England 1620-1660

Jill Lepore: In The Name of War: King Philip's War and the Origins of American Identity

Boyer and Nissenbaum, Salem Possessed

Mason Lowance, The Language of Canaan : Metaphor and Symbol in New England from the Puritans to the Transcendentalists

Michael Warner, Letters of the Republic

Daniel Boorstin, The Lost World of Thomas Jefferson

Laurel Ulrich, A Midwife's Tale

Kenneth Silverman, A Cultural History of the American Revolution

Gordon Wood, The Creation of the American Republic

Jay Fliegelman, Prodigals and Pilgrims: The American Revolution Against Patriarchal Authority

Fliegelman, Declaring Independence : Jefferson , Natural Language, and the Culture of Performance

Gillian Brown, The Consent of the Governed

Frank Shuffleton, A Mixed Race: Ethnicity in Early America

William Goetzmann, Exploration and Empire

Alan Taylor, William Cooper's Town

Cathy Davidson, Revolution and the Word

Julia Stern, The Plight of Feeling: Sympathy and Dissent in the Early American Novel

Elizabeth Barnes, States of Sympathy: Seduction and Democracy in the American Novel

Marvin Meyers, The Jacksonian Persuasion

Richard Bushman, The Refinement of America : Persons, Houses, Cities

Richard Brodhead, Cultures of Letters: Scenes of Reading and Writing in 19th-Century America

Philip Fisher, Hard Facts: Setting and Form in the American Novel

Winthrop Jordan, White Over Black

Edmund Morgan, American Freedom, American Slavery

Lawrence Buell, New England Literary Culture from the Revolution through the Renaissance

Lawrence Buell, The Environmental Imagination

Henry Nash Smith, Virgin Land

Leo Marx, The Machine in the Garden

Alice Tyler, Freedom's Ferment

Karhryn Sklar, Catherine Beecher

Joseph Fichtelberg, Critical Fictions: Sentiment and the American Market

Jane Tompkins, Sensational Designs: The Cultural Work of American Fiction, 1790-1860

Gillian Brown, Domestic Individualism: Imaging Self in Nineteenth-Century America

Paul Boller, American Transcendentalism

F. O. Matthiessen, American Renaissance: Art and Expression in the Age of Emerson and Whitman

Donald Pease, ed., The American Renaissance Reconsidered

Stephen Railton, Authorship and Audience: Literary Performance in the American Renaissance

David Reynolds, Beneath the American Renaissance: The Subversive Imagination in the Age of Emerson and Melville

Eugene Genovese, Roll , Jordan , Roll

Deborah McDowell and Arnold Rampersad, Slavery and the Literary Imagination

Stuart Blumin, The Emergence of the Middle Class

Lawrence Levine, Highbrow, Lowbrow

Susan Howe, The Birth Mark: Unsettling the Wilderness in American Literary History

David Roediger, The Wages of Whiteness

Eric Lott, Love and Theft

Mary Louise Kete, Sentimental Collaborations: Mourning and Middle-Class Identity in Nineteenth-Century America

Karen Sanchez-Eppler, Touching Liberty : Abolition, Feminism, and the Politics of the Body

Lora Romero, Home Fronts: Domesticity and Its Critics in the Antebellum United States

Lori Merish, Sentimental Materialism: Gender, Commodity Culture

Kevin Henkin, City Reading: Written Words and Public Spaces in Antebellum New York

Joseph Roach, Cities of the Dead: Circum-Atlantic Performance

Cheryl Walker, Indian Nation: Native American Literature

Saidiya Hartman, Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in Nineteenth-Century America

George Frederickson, The Inner Civil War

Elizabeth Young, Disarming the Nation: Women's Writing and the American Civil War

Robin Wiegman, American Anatomies: Theorizing Race and Gender

Kirk Savage, Standing Soldiers, Kneeling Slaves: Race, War, and Monument in Nineteenth Century America

Ron Takaki, Iron Cages

Frances Foster, Written By Herself

Hazel Carby, Reconstructing Womanhood

Cheryl Wall, Changing Our Own Words

Alan Trachtenberg, The Incorporation of America

Judith Fetterley, The Resisting Reader: A Feminist Approach to American Fiction
Alfred Habegger, Gender, Fantasy and Realism in American Literature

Cynthia Russert, Darwin in America

John Higham, Strangers in the Land .

John Kasson, Amusing the Million

William Leach, Land of Desire

Miles Orvell, The Real Thing

Nell Painter, Standing at Armageddon

Michael Denning, Mechanic Accents

Richard Ohmann, Selling Culture

Sacvan Bercovitch, Rites of Assent: Transformations in the Symbolic Construction of America

Jackson Lears, No Place of Grace

Kevin Gaines, Uplifting the Race

George Fredrickson, The Black Image in the White Mind

Donald Pizer, Realism and Naturalism in Nineteenth-Century American Literature
David E. Shi, Facing Facts: Realism in American Thought and Culture
Robert Stepto, From Behind the Veil: A Study of Afro-American Narrative
Eric Sundquist, To Wake the Nations: Race in the Making of American Literature
Tony Tanner, The Reign of Wonder: Naivety and Reality in American Literature

Olivier Zunz, Making America Corporate

Amy Kaplan, The Social Construction of American Realism
Amy Kaplan and Donald Pease, Cultures of U.S. Imperialism
Alfred Kazin, An American Procession

Cecilia Tichi, Shifting Gears

David Nye, American Technological Sublime

Janet Davis, The Circus Age

Robert Clyde Allen, Horrible Prettiness

Henry Louis Gates, The Signifying Monkey

Roy Harvey Pearce, The Continuity of American Poetry

Hyatt H. Waggoner, American Poets: From the Puritans to the Present Day

James Breslin, From Modern to Contemporary American Poetry, 1945-1965
Barry Chabot, Writers for the Nation: American Literary Modernism Malcolm Cowley, Exile's Return: A Literary Odyssey of the 1920s
Ann Douglas, Terrible Honesty: Mongrel Manhattan in the 1920s
George Hutchinson, Harlem Renaissance in Black and White
Michael Kammen, Mystic Chords of Memory: The Transformation of Tradition in American Culture
Hugh Kenner, The Pound Era
Walter Benn Michaels, Our America: Nativism, Modernism, and Pluralism
Toni Morrison, Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination
Marjorie Perloff, Dance of the Intellect: Studies in the Poetry of the Pound Tradition
Stephen Fjellman, Vinyl Leaves: Walt Disney World and America
Anna Brickhouse, Transamerican Literary Relations and the Nineteenth-Century Public Sphere
Paul Gilroy, Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double-Consciousness
Lisa Lowe, Immigrant Acts: On Asian-American Cultural Politics
Wai-Chee Dimock, Through Other Continents: American Literature Across Deep Time