Skip to main content


Sentimentality in U.S. Literature

Subject code


Course Number




Department/Program Faculty

Course Long Title

Sentimentality in U.S. Literature


This course examines the place of sentimentality in U.S. literature and culture. Reading works of fiction, poetry, and performance, students ask how and why certain kinds of feeling-suffering in particular-have become central to the articulating and contesting U.S. national identity. They pay particular attention to how sentimental literature, in its various guises, seeks to enable identification across boundaries of race, gender, class, and ability. What kinds of politics do spectacles of emotion enable? What kinds of politics do they foreclose? Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English course.

Writing Credit

No writing credit

Departmental Course Attributes - Major/Minor Requirements

(English: Post-1800)

Class Restriction

Exclude First Years