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Incredibly comprehensive resource from T.V. Reed, the Lewis E. and Stella G. Buchanan Distinguished Professor of English and American Studies at Washington State University. Just one page of his incredible site covering, "19th Century American Literary, Historical, and Cultural Studies".
"The Outline of American literature, newly revised, traces the paths of American narrative, fiction, poetry and drama as they move from pre-colonial times into the present, through such literary movements as romanticism, realism and experimentation." Freely available in its entirety for viewing online, just click on the "View PDF" option to begin. You can also view excerpts from chapters via the "Inside This Publication" category.
"An Encyclopedia in Eighteen Volumes" freely available from Bartleby.com, this work is "considered the most important work of literary history and criticism ever published,...contain[ing] over 303 chapters and 11,000 pages, with essay topics ranging from poetry, fiction, drama and essays to history, theology and political writing."
Dino Franco Felluga's (Associate Professor in the English Department at Purdue University, West Lafayette) "Introductory Guide to Critical Theory" is an excellent resource applicable to a variety of disciplines, including literature, "for both undergraduate and graduate students who are beginning to learn critical theory, including guides to terms.... The site includes sample applications, annotated links to existing web sites, and also more-in-depth modules on specific authors." Click on the "Intro" link to the top left of the page for a quick introduction to how best to use the site's features.
California State University (Stanislaus), English Professor Emeritus, Dr. Paul Reuben's comprehensive guide, which was "first published as a book", is meant to be used as "a research and reference tool". "The ten chapters represent the major literary and historical perspectives, cycles, or movements in American literature; each chapter has an Introduction, a Selected Bibliography, and a list of representative authors. The twenty-two appendices cover a range of helpful and specialized topics in genre studies, writing assignments, research topics, and perspectives related to American studies." It also appears that many of the "Introductions" for authors were written by California University students (individual names are listed) and then approved by Reuben for inclusion (all entries include detailed "Works Cited" crediting their information).
Dr. Donna Campbell's (Washington State University, English Professor of "nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American literature") amazingly comprehensive site for American literature. Organized by four major categories, "American Authors", "Timeline", "Literary Movements" and "American Literature Sites", this site is a wealth of information!
Michael Quinion, a British dictionary editor (for the Oxford English Dictionary) and "word specialist" (including author of several books on words and their evolution) has created an amazing site dedicated to the ever-evolving words of the English language. "World Wide Words tries to record at least some part of this shifting wordscape by featuring new words, word histories, the background to words in the news, and the curiosities of native English speech."
Look for resources for many of the major American poets arranged in their appropriate movement category on this page. For example, look for Langston Hughes in the "Harlem Renaissance (1920s)" box. Be sure to also check out the "Modern American Poetry" site found in the "Modern Age (1915 - 1946) " category.
"Each guide will link to Library of Congress Web pages that include information on the poet laureate's life and work, as well as to external Web sites that feature biographical information, interviews, poems, audio, video, and other materials that highlight the activities of each poet." A project still in progress, "guides currently available are linked below" while guides requiring more work, are not yet hyperlinked.
The goal of this site is "to provide the largest free archive of classical poetry available on the internet with a simple user interface." Click on the "Classic Poets" link to begin searching for a particular poet. The site is run by eMule, an "educational archiving entity whose goal is to bring content to the internet which otherwise would not be provided in mass."
"The Academy of American Poets was founded in 1934 to support American poets at all stages of their careers and to foster the appreciation of contemporary poetry." The Poetry Audio Archive, a collection of over 700 recordings dating back to the 1960s.
As "the author of the first book of poetry by an African American", Phillis Wheatley holds an important place in U.S. literary history. A brief biography, and links to many of her poems and letters can be found here.
"The Early American Novel", of course, had its beginnings before the Romantic period as this entry explicates, but as many consider James Fenimore Cooper, the "Father of the American Novel", and he was one of the major writers of the Romantic period, this discussion was placed here. From Dr. Donna Campbell's (Washington State University, English Professor of "nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American literature") amazingly comprehensive site for American literature.
Editors, Ed Folsom & Kenneth M. Price have put together an amazing compendium of resources on Walt Whitman, including "Published Works", "In Whitman's Hand" ("Manuscripts", "Notebooks", "Scribal Documents"), "Life & Letters", "Commentary", "Pictures & Sound" and "Resources".
"Created in Spring 1999 at Virginia Commonwealth University for Professor Ann Woodlief's graduate class in Studies in American Transcendentalism" and with the continuing contribution of Dr. Amy Earhart from Texas A&M University, this site is an update of a previous one with the migration still in progress, but already contains an amazing array of resources discussing the major and minor authors, philosophy and far-reaching influence of Transcendentalism.
In addition to being an important member and contributor to the Transcendentalist school of thought, Fuller is also often considered one of America's earliest feminists. This page includes many links to more in-depth biographies and explorations of her writings.
"The Ralph Waldo Emerson Society, Inc. is dedicated to fostering scholarship on and appreciation of the life and writings of one of America's greatest authors." In particular, the "Writings" and "Related Sites" tabs provide links to valuable information.
The Thoreau Society "engage[s] in outreach, education, and advocacy on the web and on the ground to promote public understanding of Thoreau and his work in his time and in ours". In particular, check out the "Life and Legacy", "Research and Resources" and the "Thoreau Country" tabs to learn more about Thoreau, his writings, philosophy and expansive influence.
Realism (1865 - 1915)
Please Note: There is not a general consensus about start and end dates for various literary movements, so you will see discrepancies from site to site.
Part of "Documenting the American South" from the The University Library of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the collection consists mainly of nineteenth and early twentieth century texts. Browse by subject, author, and title.
The result "of a partnership between the Archives and Special Collections, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, University of Nebraska–Lincoln Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, The University of Nebraska Press, and the Cather Project at the University of Nebraska", "The Willa Cather Archive is an ambitious endeavor to create a rich, useful, and widely-accessible site for the study of Willa Cather's life and writings." One can find "digital editions of Cather texts and scholarship...[freely available] as well as...a large amount of unique, born-digital scholarly content." Although it is difficult to classify Cather into a specific movement, many consider her to be a regional writer (capturing the essence of several different U.S. and Canadian regions throughout her literary career), especially for her depiction of frontier life in the Great Plains area, including Nebraska and Colorado, in her famous works, O Pioneers!, My Ántonia and The Song of the Lark.
From the University of Pennsylvania's Rare Book & Manuscript Library, this resource "provides access to correspondence, manuscripts, notes, and photographs, 1890-1965 (bulk 1897-1955), regarding Dreiser's personal life and his careers as journalist, novelist, essayist, and political activist. In addition to these resources... the site includes scholarly essays and links to the International Theodore Dreiser Society and to the newly updated Theodore Dreiser: A Primary Bibliography & Reference Guide."
An amazingly comprehensive and well-organized resource from the Jean and Charles Schulz Information Center of Sonoma State University with biographical information about London's life, as well as key family members and friends, photographs, documents, links to his writings, most of which can be read in their entirety online, images, resources for students and teachers, as well as links to organizations, publications and other credible websites.
From Dr. Paul Reuben's PAL: Perspectives in American Literature - A Research and Reference Guide site, this chapter on The Harlem Renaissance provides a great overview of the movement via the "Introduction" tab and links to major writers of the period.
This section is part of "The African American Odyssey: A Quest for Full Citizenship" Exhibit from The Library of Congress: American Memory Collection and includes brief biographies of many of the poets and musicians who helped define the movement.
This page includes links to major poets of the Harlem Renaissance including Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, Claude McKay, Arna Bontemps and Jean Toomer, just to name a few. Click on each poet's linked name to be taken to a detailed biography, bibliography of their works, options for further reading and links to many of their poems and critical articles.
A project from Rollins College under Project Coordinator and Professor, Julian C. Chambliss' (Department of History) direction, the goal is as follows: "Using the work of Zora Neale Hurston as a central theme, Project Mosaic infuses African-American subject matter into a wide array of academic disciplines from art and education to anthropology and history. In so doing, the project links a local minority subject to the wider socio-cultural experience, enhances awareness of Africa and African-American culture, and stimulates learning within the context of a liberal arts education." In particular, click on the post to the right of the page, "Zora Neale Hurston and the Harlem Renaissance: Searching for Identity" to get an idea of her extensive impact on this movement.
Incredible archive with detailed biographical information, links to "Manuscript Collections" (including a link to "The Zora Neale Hurston Plays at the Library of Congress Library" which are available for viewing online), criticism, media and teaching resources.
"The Modern American Poetry Site is a comprehensive learning environment and scholarly forum for the study of modern and contemporary American poetry" which includes "more than 30,000 pages of biographies, critical essays, syllabi and images relating to 161 poets."
"Ernest Miller Hemingway was 18 years old when he walked into the newsroom of The Kansas City Star and began his writing career....In these Web pages The Star preserves Hemingway's Kansas City legacy. Included are stories he wrote, stories written about him and other ways to appreciate his place in the history of Kansas City and American literature."
"Originally conceived as a 'fan site,' Timeless Hemingway has grown to become one of the premiere web sites dedicated to the life and works of Ernest Hemingway. Part of its appeal stems from the fact that its content caters to a wide and diverse audience from those generally interested in Hemingway, to students researching Hemingway, to professional scholars with more advanced needs."
"The only university research archive in the world dedicated solely to John Steinbeck's life and work, the Center promotes Steinbeck's goals of empathy and understanding by supporting education, inquiry, and the literary arts." Housed at San Jose State University's Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, the Center's online presence offers an excellent biography of Steinbeck (once you click on the "Biography" tab at the top, see the links to the left of the page for more detailed information) as well as important links to his "Works" and additional "Resources" that continue to evolve.
Although critics continue to argue about Frost's role in the Modernist poetry movement with many considering him to be more of a traditionalist, his enduring place as one of the great poets of not only this time period, but the 20th century in general, remains. Find a "Biography" "Poems, Articles & More" here, including a special bonus: a video of Frost, himself, reading his famous poem, "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening".
Links to "Readings in the American 1950s". Created and maintained by Professor Al Filreis, who is Faculty Director of the Kelly Writers House and Director of the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing at the University of Pennsylvania.
"These articles are part of a collection of writings celebrating the rich and diverse cultures of Indigenous Peoples' that thoughtfully assert the sovereign rights of the Peoples' of North and South America. This body of work was researched and cataloged by Glenn Welker...."
"This website provides information on Native North American authors with bibliographies of their published works, biographical information, and links to online resources including interviews, online texts and tribal websites. Currently the website primarily contains information on contemporary Native American authors, although some historical authors are represented."
"An essential collection of 41 full length books representing several genres such as autobiographies, poetry, novels, compilation of slave testimonies, and memoirs. Authors range from the famous like Phillis Wheatley, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Jacobs, Elizabeth Keckley, Alice Dunbar-Nelson, and Mary Prince, to the anonymous 'Old Elizabeth.'"
"Presents the papers of the nineteenth-century African-American abolitionist who escaped from slavery and then risked his own freedom by becoming an outspoken antislavery lecturer, writer, and publisher."
"Presents 396 pamphlets from the Rare Book and Special Collections Division, published from 1822 through 1909, by African-American authors and others who wrote about slavery, African colonization, Emancipation, Reconstruction, and related topics."
"Project Gutenberg offers over 42,000 free ebooks." This Bookshelf includes links to W.E.B. Dubois' "The Souls of Black Folk" and Frederick Douglass' "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass" and "My Bondage and My Freedom".
A collection of links to Asian Pacific American resources from general literary websites to individual writers organized by specific ethnic/racial background including "Burmese American", "Chinese American", "Filipina American", "Indian American', "Japanese American", "Korean American", "Pakistani American", "Vietnamese American". While some links on this page require updating, most of the author links are working and the index of listed authors provides a great resource for an introduction to new writers. "Voice of the Shuttle" is a project created and maintained by Alan Liu and a development team in the [University of] U.California, Santa Barbara, English Department".