North American Literature


a) To enable a global survey of North-American literature from its origins until the Second World War.
b) To examine the literary works in its cultural and historical context.
c) To assess the specific characteristics of the American literary production in the period under consideration.
d) To be able to critically explore the authors’ works written and published in the period under consideration.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Isabel Maria Lourenço de Oliveira


Weekly - 4

Total - 168

Teaching language



Available soon


Ruland, Richard and Bradbury, Malcolm (eds.). 1991. From Puritanism to Post-Modernism. A History of American Literature, N.Y.: Routledge.
Harding, Brian. 1982. American Literature in Context II. 1830-1865, N.Y.: Methuen.
Hook, Andrew. 1983. American Literature in Context III. 1865-1900, N.Y.: Methuen.
Lee, Brian. 1987. American Fiction. 1865-1940, London and New York: Longman.

Teaching method

40% (practical) 60% (theoretical)
The analysis of primary texts will be privileged by the teacher, accompanied by the study of the contexts in which the works were produced. Reading and commenting on the works, as well as on their respective contexts, will be supervised so that students can develop their own critical capacity.

Evaluation method

Assessment consists of active oral participation in classes, and written participation in the forums and one final written test. The final mark will consider the final test grade and this will be compensated with the other participations. 

Subject matter

The land and the Puritan legacy:
John Smith, A Description of New England (excerpts)
John Winthrop, A Model of Christian Charity
Poemas de Anne Bradstreet (selection)
Searching for a national Identity and Literature
The Enlightenment influence 
Benjamin Franklin, Information to Those Who Would Remove to America
A influência transcendentalista
Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Self-Reliance”
Henry David Thoreau, “On Civil Disobedience”
Individual Voices
Herman Melville, “Bartebly, the Scrivener”
Nathaniel Hawthorne, “The Minister’s Black Veil”
Edgar Allan Poe, “The Black Cat”
Poems Walt Whitman (selection)
Poems Emily Dickinson (selection)
The transition into the 20th century
Stephen Crane, The Open Boat
Searching for answers in the aftermath of the First World War
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby