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Department of Cultural Studies
American Studies

Songs of Ourselves: America’s Epic Poems

Course Information

Nr. Name Type Time Room Lecturer
154667 Songs of Ourselves: America's Epic Poems 2 HS We 10:15 - 11:45 R. 0.420 Sattler

While Greece has the Iliad and Germany the Nibelungenlied, what could be an epic poem in the American context? This class engages with a variety of “epic” American poems, with “epic” broadly defined as a lengthy, narrative work of poetry connecting different layers of time and space giving the poet and the audience insights into the nation and its characteristics. By that token, these kinds of poems can be read as praise and as social criticisms of the current state of the nation. Starting in the Mid-19th century, our readings include well-known poems as Whitman’s “Song of Myself”, Modernist renditions of this kind of poem, as well as late 20th and 21st century “epics” addressing issues such as racial oppression or threats to the environment.

A reader with material will be made available at the start of the semester.



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2016 602, 703, 704 602, 1002, 1004 602, 701, 702, 1002, 1004 703

Angewandte Sprachwissenschaften &
Angewandte Literatur-/Kulturwissenschaften:

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