How do we view the world? How do changes in our perception occur? How do those changes affect us? These are all questions that I’ve thought about recently, in various ways. When I think about the ways that we view the world around us, I always return to a passage from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Nature where he talks about the ways that “a small … Read More How do we view the world?
If you enjoy what you read here at Interminable Rambling, think about making a contribution on our Patreon page. While I ultimately see Ralph Waldo Emerson’s and the transcendentalists’ ideas as pretty little bubbles devoid of any substance, I enjoy reading Emerson’s thoughts on nature, beauty, and perception. Being in Norway this year, Emerson’s words keep coming back to me almost everyday as I … Read More Norway and Emerson!
Tomorrow, my ENG122 course, American Literature and Culture, will being at the University of Bergen. The course is set up with lectures (about 150 students) and seminars (about 30 students). There are four instructors, and each instructor delivers about 3-4 lectures each throughout the course of the semester. As well, each instructor has two of the seminar sessions. I will be presenting the four … Read More Introductory Lecture for American Literature Course
When I taught Rebecca Harding Davis’ Life in the Iron Mills (1861) this semester, I asked students to think about the opening paragraphs where the narrator describes the scene and implores the reader to come right down with her “into the thickest of the fog and mud and foul effluvia.” The opening images bring to mind Gothic texts as the narrator describes the trash … Read More The Canary in Davis’ “Life in the Iron Mills”
Every semester, I discuss how American authors sought to carve out their space in a early-nineteenth century world that countered European cultural and artistic influence. As we read throughout the semester, we encounter numerous authors who either explicitly or indirectly address the question, “How do we construct a distinctly American literature?” For me, this topic arises from the outset of the semester due to … Read More Chronicling the Rise of A Distinctly American Literature in the Survey Course