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.



Wai-Chee Dimock, Through Other Continents: American Literature Across Deep Time (2006) 

Anna Brickhouse, Transamerican Literary Relations and the Nineteenth-Century Public Sphere (2004) 

Joseph Fichtelberg, Critical Fictions: Sentiment and the American Market (2003) 

Janet Davis, The Circus Age (2002) 

Gillian Brown, The Consent of the Governed (2001) 

Cambridge History of American Literature (2000) 

Patricia Crain, The Story of A (2000) 

Mary Louise Kete, Sentimental Collaborations: Mourning and Middle-Class Identity in  Nineteenth-Century America (2000) 

Lori Merish, Sentimental Materialism: Gender, Commodity Culture (2000) 

Elizabeth Young, Disarming the Nation: Women's Writing and the American Civil War (1999) 

Emory Elliot, ed. Columbia Literary History of the U.S. (1998) 

Kevin Henkin, City Reading: Written Words and Public Spaces in Antebellum New York (1998) 

Jill Lepore, In The Name of War: King Philip's War and the Origins of American Identity (1998) 

Elizabeth Barnes, States of Sympathy: Seduction and Democracy in the American Novel (1997) 

Barry Chabot, Writers for the Nation: American Literary Modernism (1997) 

Saidiya Hartman, Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in Nineteenth-Century America (1997) 

Lora Romero, Home Fronts: Domesticity and Its Critics in the Antebellum United States (1997) 

Kirk Savage, Standing Soldiers, Kneeling Slaves: Race, War, and Monument in Nineteenth Century America (1997) 

Julia Stern, The Plight of Feeling: Sympathy and Dissent in the Early American Novel (1997) 

Kevin Gaines, Uplifting the Race (1996) 

George Hutchinson, Harlem Renaissance in Black and White (1996) 

Lisa Lowe, Immigrant Acts: On Asian-American Cultural Politics (1996) 

Richard Ohmann, Selling Culture (1996) 

Joseph Roach, Cities of the Dead: Circum-Atlantic Performance (1996) 

Richard Brodhead, Cultures of Letters: Scenes of Reading and Writing in 19th-Century America (1995) 

Lawrence Buell, The Environmental Imagination (1995) 

Ann Douglas, Terrible Honesty: Mongrel Manhattan in the 1920s (1995) 

David E. Shi, Facing Facts: Realism in American Thought and Culture (1995) 

Walter Benn Michaels, Our America: Nativism, Modernism, and Pluralism (1995) 

Alan Taylor, William Cooper's Town (1995) 

David Nye, American Technological Sublime (1994) 

Sacvan Bercovitch, Rites of Assent: Transformations in the Symbolic Construction of America (1993) 

Jay Fliegelman, Declaring Independence: Jefferson, Natural Language, and the Culture of Performance (1993) 

Frances Foster, Written By Herself (1993) 

Paul Gilroy, Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double-Consciousness (1993) 

Susan Howe, The Birth Mark: Unsettling the Wilderness in American Literary History (1993) 

Amy Kaplan and Donald Pease, Cultures of U.S. Imperialism (1993) 

William Leach, Land of Desire (1993) 

Eric Lott, Love and Theft (1993) 

Karen Sanchez-Eppler, Touching Liberty: Abolition, Feminism, and the Politics of the Body (1993) 

Frank Shuffleton, A Mixed Race: Ethnicity in Early America (1993) 

Eric Sundquist, To Wake the Nations: Race in the Making of American Literature (1993) 

Richard Bushman, The Refinement of America: Persons, Houses, Cities (1992) 

Stephen Fjellman, Vinyl Leaves: Walt Disney World and America (1992) 

Toni Morrison, Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination (1992) 

William J. Scheick, Design in Puritan American Literature (1992) 

Robert Clyde Allen, Horrible Prettiness (1991) 

Michael Kammen, Mystic Chords of Memory: The Transformation of Tradition in American Culture (1991) 

Stephen Railton, Authorship and Audience: Literary Performance in the American Renaissance (1991) 

David Roediger, The Wages of Whiteness (1991) 

Laurel Ulrich, A Midwife's Tale (1990) 

Michael Warner, Letters of the Republic (1990) 

Gillian Brown, Domestic Individualism: Imaging Self in Nineteenth-Century America (1990) 

Olivier Zunz, Making America Corporate (1990) 

Stuart Blumin, The Emergence of the Middle Class (1989) 

David Hacketet Fischer, Albion 's Seed (1989) 

Deborah McDowell and Arnold Rampersad, Slavery and the Literary Imagination (1989) 

Miles Orvell, The Real Thing (1989) 

Donald Pease, ed., The American Renaissance Reconsidered (1989) 

Cheryl Wall, Changing Our Own Words (1989) 

Henry Louis Gates, The Signifying Monkey (1988) 

Amy Kaplan, The Social Construction of American Realism (1988) 

Lawrence Levine, Highbrow, Lowbrow (1988) 

David Reynolds, Beneath the American Renaissance: The Subversive Imagination in the Age of  Emerson and Melville (1988) 

Hazel Carby, Reconstructing Womanhood (1987) 

Michael Denning, Mechanic Accents (1987) 

Nell Painter, Standing at Armageddon (1987) 

Cecilia Tichi, Shifting Gears (1987) 

Lawrence Buell, New England Literary Culture from the Revolution through the Renaissance (1986) 

Cathy Davidson, Revolution and the Word (1986) 

Philip Fisher, Hard Facts: Setting and Form in the American Novel (1985) 

Marjorie Perloff, Dance of the Intellect: Studies in the Poetry of the Pound Tradition (1985) 

Jane Tompkins, Sensational Designs: The Cultural Work of American Fiction, 1790-1860 (1985) 

James Breslin, From Modern to Contemporary American Poetry, 1945-1965 (1984) 

Phillip Gura, A Glimpse of Sion's Glory: Puritan Racicalism in New England 1620-1660 (1984) 

Alfred Kazin, An American Procession (1984) 

Patricia Caldwell, The Puritan Conversion Narrative (1983) 

Perry Miller, The New England Mind: From Colony to Province (repr. 1983) 

Perry Miller, The New England Mind: The Seventeenth Century (repr. 1983) 

Jay Fliegelman, Prodigals and Pilgrims: The American Revolution Against Patriarchal Authority (1982) 

Alfred Habegger, Gender, Fantasy and Realism in American Literature (1982) 

Alan Trachtenberg, The Incorporation of America (1982) 

Jackson Lears, No Place of Grace (1981) 

Mason Lowance, The Language of Canaan: Metaphor and Symbol in New England from the Puritans to the Transcendentalists (1980) 

Robert Stepto, From Behind the Veil: A Study of Afro-American Narrative (1979) 

Ron Takaki, Iron Cages (1979) 

Sacvan Bercovitch, The American Jeremiad (1978) 

Judith Fetterley, The Resisting Reader: A Feminist Approach to American Fiction (1978) 

John Kasson, Amusing the Million (1978) 

Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum, Salem Possessed (1976) 

Cynthia Russert, Darwin in America (1976) 

Kenneth Silverman, A Cultural History of the American Revolution (1976) 

Sacvan Bercovitch, Puritan Origins of the American Self (1975) 

Edmund Morgan, American Freedom, American Slavery (1975) 

Paul Boller, American Transcendentalism (1974) 

Eugene Genovese, Roll, Jordan, Roll (1974) 

William J. Scheick, The Will and the Word: The Poetry of Edward Taylor (1974) 

Karhryn Sklar, Catherine Beecher (1973) 

George Fredrickson, The Black Image in the White Mind (1971) 

Hugh Kenner, The Pound Era (1971) 

Gordon Wood, The Creation of the American Republic (1969) 

Winthrop Jordan, White Over Black (1968) 

Hyatt H. Waggoner, American Poets: From the Puritans to the Present Day (1968) 

William Goetzmann, Exploration and Empire (1966) 

Donald Pizer, Realism and Naturalism in Nineteenth-Century American Literature (1966) 

George Frederickson, The Inner Civil War (1965) 

Tony Tanner, The Reign of Wonder: Naivety and Reality in American Literature (1965) 

Leo Marx, The Machine in the Garden (1964) 

Roy Harvey Pearce, The Continuity of American Poetry (1961) 

Marvin Meyers, The Jacksonian Persuasion (1957) 

John Higham, Strangers in the Land (1955) 

Malcolm Cowley, Exile's Return: A Literary Odyssey of the 1920s (1951) 

Henry Nash Smith, Virgin Land (1950) 

Daniel Boorstin, The Lost World of Thomas Jefferson (1948) 

Alice Tyler, Freedom's Ferment (1944) 

F. O. Matthiessen, American Renaissance: Art and Expression in the Age of Emerson and Whitman (1941)