Early American

Working against nationalist models that have traditionally defined the field, early Americanists at Iowa draw on insights from critical theory and the new bibliography to explore colonial and post-colonial literary culture.

Acknowledging the transatlantic and cross-cultural dimensions of early American expression, we offer courses studying the conflicts and negotiations that constitute colonial and early national societies. With particular interest in ethics, epistemology, labor, multiculturalism, and book history, we examine the materiality, rhetoric, and aesthetics of an expansive and diverse pre-1800 canon. Students benefit as well from a strong core of early Americanists in Religious Studies, History, and American Studies.

Sample courses in the Early American specialty:

  • Graduate Readings in Early American Literature
  • Literature and Culture of America Before 1800
  • Literature and Culture of America Before 1800: Cultures of the Word in Early America

Faculty