Listed in: American Studies, as AMST-364 | English, as ENGL-355
Karen J. Sanchez-Eppler (Section 01)
(Offered as ENGL 355 and AMST 364) Emily Dickinson’s poetry is rich in what she called “illocality.” Her writing characteristically dissolves images and refuses specificity of place or event, and yet no writer is more intimately connected to a particular place. Dickinson wrote almost all of her poems in this one house on Main Street, in Amherst. Coursework will include a project done in conjunction with The Emily Dickinson Museum, newly opened and significantly restored after two years of pandemic closure. In this course we will have the extraordinary opportunity to read these poems in Amherst, to study both her individual life and her practices of literary expression in the place where she lived and wrote and with access to her manuscripts and to many of the spaces, artifacts, and records of family and local history. It is a complicated history, and starting with new scholarship on the roles the Dickinson family played in the white settlement of the Connecticut River Valley, this class will be particularly attuned to the inequalities of race, class, and gender that structure Dickinson's poetic practice and legacy.
Preference given to juniors and seniors. Limited to 12 students. Fall semester. Professor K. Sánchez-Eppler.
How to handle overenrollment: Preference given to junior and senior English majors.
Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Close reading of poetry, literary criticism, and historical materials, independent research including archival research and work with material culture objects. Local field trips. Collaborative work on group projects for the Dickinson Museum.