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So I've already jumped on the 20th/21st Century Americanist thread, but like my screen name suggests, I have a lot of love for the previous century.

If what I really want to do at the PhD level should fall apart, I feel like I can always fall back on Hawthorne and Melville. I also like studying the history and significance of a lot of Reconstruction-era Southern writers. The works themselves are usually terrible, but the history is (sadly) still relevant.

One of these days, I'm going to be able to teach a pre-1865 American lit survey course, and I'll be the happiest man in the department.

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Hi! I am a 19th century Americanist. I work mostly with the Transcendentalist movement, particularly Thoreau. I'm broadening my scope a bit-- the work I was doing before getting accepted this round was very specific. 

Edited by E. Coronaria
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10 hours ago, CulturalCriminal said:

I’m a contemporary Americanist, but I do appreciate pre-civil war personal narrative (e.g. de Vaca, Rowlandson, Dana jr, Melville’s Typee and Whitejacket, Jacobs). Cooper and Irving are likewise of interest to me.

Whitejacket is the only Melville novel I haven't read. I had an absolutely amazing undergrad class that was a seminar on Herman Melville, and we read all of his novels except that one and Israel Potter, and I read IP as a side project for my Honors program. One of these days, I've gotta pick it up for completion's sake!

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  • 3 weeks later...

When I started my masters I felt pretty set on saying 20thc was my focus, knowing that I'd have to be comfortable with the lit preceding it from the 19thc.  I do love the 19thc!  But I'm a little picky.  I have very little interest in antibellum lit, at least in my own work.  I can get excited for others still :)  Not surprisingly, late 19thc is my main interest: Henry James, Edith Wharton, etc. etc. 

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3 minutes ago, Sandra Kruse said:

When I started my masters I felt pretty set on saying 20thc was my focus, knowing that I'd have to be comfortable with the lit preceding it from the 19thc.  I do love the 19thc!  But I'm a little picky.  I have very little interest in antibellum lit, at least in my own work.  I can get excited for others still :)  Not surprisingly, late 19thc is my main interest: Henry James, Edith Wharton, etc. etc. 

My advisors and mentors are still debating whether I can market myself as "turn of the century" or 1865-1945.  ["That's not real-- you need to say 1885-1935"-- one would say]  

Anyone else have a perspective on that transition, from 19th to 20th c lit?  and articulating that as your specialization?  

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58 minutes ago, Sandra Kruse said:

My advisors and mentors are still debating whether I can market myself as "turn of the century" or 1865-1945.  ["That's not real-- you need to say 1885-1935"-- one would say]  

Anyone else have a perspective on that transition, from 19th to 20th c lit?  and articulating that as your specialization?  

I don't necessarily have any answers, but I feel like I've been in the same boat! I typically refer to myself as a 19th c Americanist, even though my main period of research is roughly 1880-1920. But I have done a good deal of work in mid-20th c lit as well, so I often struggle to figure out how to brand myself. It was particularly difficult with PhD apps, as most of the options for field of specialization made you either choose 19th or 20th c American, which frustrated me as I am definitely both in a way.

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