English 4450

Early American Gothic

Prof. Jared Gardner

Autumn 2016



office hours (DE 565): by appt. at

C= Carmen 

Week 1

Wed 8/24

Introductions & Logistics • Errand into the Wilderness & The American Jeremiad

Fri 8/26

Readings: John Cotton, “God’s Promise to His Plantations” (1630); John Winthrop, “A Modell of Christian Charity” (1630) [C]

Week 2

Wed 8/31

First-generation Crises: The Antinomian Controversy & the Pequod War

readings:  Anne Hutchinson’s examination at Newtown (1637) and John Winthrop’s A Short Story of the Rise, reign, and ruine of the Antinomians, Familists & Libertines (1644) [C]; John Underhill, Newes from America; Or, A New and Experimentall Discoverie of New England (1638) [C]

Fri 9/2

Second-generation Crises & Captivity

readings: Mary Rowlandson, A True History of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson (1682) in Women’s Indian Captivity Narratives; selections from 1670s jeremiads (Samuel Danforth, Increase Mather) [handout in class]

Week 3

Wed 9/7

Readings: Rowlandson (continued); Cotton Mather, A Notable Exploit [Hannah Dustan] (1707) in Women’s Indian Captivity Narratives

Fri 9/9

Witches & Witchhunts

Readings: selections from Salem Witch Hunt (37-115)


Week 4

Wed 9/14

Readings: Salem Witch Hunt (101-78)

Fri 9/16

Puritan True Crime

Readings: Cotton Mather, Pillars of Salt (1699); Faithful Narrative of the Wicked Life &

Remarkable Conversion of Patience Boston (1738) [C]

Week 5

Wed 9/21

Slavery & The Heart of Darkness

A narrative of the uncommon sufferings, and surprizing deliverance of Briton Hammon (1760); A Narrative of the Most remarkable Particulars in the Life of James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw, an African Prince (1772);  A Narrative of the Lord's Wonderful Dealings with John Marrant (1785) in Pioneers of the Black Atlantic

Fr 9/23

No class

Week 6

Wed 9/28

periodical research video lecture [C]

Fri 9/30

The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano (1789) in Pioneers of the Black Atlantic

Week 7

Wed 10/5

Equiano (cont.)

Quiz 2

Fri 10/7

Charles Brockden Brown, Wieland: or, The Transformation (1798)

Week 8

Wed 10/12

Brown, Wieland (cont.)

Fall Break

Week 9

Wed 10/19

Wieland (cont.);  Narrative of the Life of William Beadle (1783); “An Account of a Murder Committed by Mr. J---- Y----” (1796) [C]

Periodical project due

Fri 10/21

Periodical project

Week 10

Wed 10/26

Periodical project (cont.)

Fri 10/28

Catherine Maria Sedgwick; Hope Leslie, or, Early Times in the Massachusetts (1827)

Quiz 3

Week 11

Wed 11/2

Hope Leslie (cont.)

Fri 11/4

Hope Leslie (cont.); Abraham Panther, “Surprising Account” (1787) in Women’s Indian Captivity Narratives

Week 12

Wed 11/9

Washington Irving, The Sketchbook

Fri 11/11


Week 13

Wed 11/16

Irving (cont.)

Quiz 4

Friday 11/18

Edgar Allan Poe, “Ligeia” (1838); “Fall of the House of Usher” (1839); “William Wilson” (1839); “Man of the Crowd” (1840)

Short Paper due


Week 14/15

Wed 11/30

Poe, "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" (1841); "The Pit and the Pendulum" (1842); “The Masque of the Red Death” (1842);  “Cask of Amantillado” (1846)

Fri 12/2

Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Young Goodman Brown” (1835); “Minister’s Black Veil” (1837); “The Birth-Mark” (1843)

Quiz 5

Wed 12/7

The Witch (2016)

Early American Hauntings in the 21st Century


Wed 12/14

Final paper due

FINAL EXAM         (Carmen)                                           


Required texts

Additional readings will be available on the class’s Carmen site. Other supplementary materials will also be made available on the Carmen site during the course of the term.


In lieu of a midterm, we will have 5 quizzes spread out throughout the semester (roughly every three weeks).  They will cover material from our reading, discussions and lectures. The lowest grade will be dropped. No make-ups allowed for missed quizzes.


There will be three writing projects for the class: 1 3-4 page paper; a 5-8 page final research paper; and a group “periodical project”. Suggestions and starting places will be distributed along with the paper prompt several weeks before the paper is due.


This is a large class focusing on over two centuries of American writing, so there will necessarily be some lecture. But the heart of the class will be your ideas, questions, opinions, and discoveries, so come prepared every day with things you want to talk about and be prepared to be called on to share them. In addition to discussion in class, we can take advantage of threaded discussion forums on Carmen. Active participation in discussions on Carmen forums will have a positive impact on your final grade.

        More than four absences will negatively affect your final grade, with a lowering of your participation/attendance grade by a half-letter grade for each absence over 4.  (Except in extreme, blood-curdling cases I make no distinction between “excused” and “un-excused” absences, so please don’t bring me excuse notes).


This class has a Carmen component.  This will be the space where announcements, links, resources, and discussion forums will be found. Participation in the informal discussion forum on Carmen will count toward your participation grade.

Discussion on Carmen will be governed by the same rules of respect that would apply to our in-class discussions. I reserve the right to censor any posts that I deem insulting, demeaning, or abusive.


The rough grading formula for this class is 20%=quizzes; 15%=paper 1; 15%=periodical project; 20% final paper; 1 20%=final exam; 10%=participation/attendance

Academic honesty.

Plagiarism is the representation of another's works or ideas as one's own:  it includes the unacknowledged word for word use and/or paraphrasing of another person's work, and/or the inappropriate unacknowledged use of another person's ideas.  All cases of suspected plagiarism, in accordance with university rules, will be reported to the Committee on Academic Misconduct (Faculty Rule 3335-5-487). For additional information, see the Code of Student Conduct at http://studentconduct.osu.edu.

Students with disabilities.

Any student who feels s/he may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the Office for Disability Services located in 150 Pomerene Hall, 1760 Neil Avenue; telephone 292-3307, TDD 292-0901; http://www.ods.ohio-state.edu/.  Students with disabilities that have been certified by the Office for Disability Services will be appropriately accommodated and should inform the instructor as soon as possible of their needs.