Suggested Topics for Reading and Research


Last of the Mohicans

European v. Indian rules of warfare

The Noble Savage in the Englightenment and Romanticism

Social class vs technology as wilderness authority

Cooper as social critic

Mark Twain's ridicule

Cooper's use of Indian sources

D. H. Lawrence's appreciation of Cooper's symbolism

Billy Budd(* in Norton edition)

The intellectual climate of the 1790s

The Nore mutiny

The Somers Affair and Guert Gansevoort

The intellectual climate of the 1880s

* Carolyn Karcher, Melville and Revolution

* Gordon Teskey, The Bible in Billy Budd

Benito Cereno:

The Fugitive Slave Law and Lemuel Shaw

The Santo Domingo and other slave uprisings

Military force and the international slave trade

Melville’s use of ship names, descriptions, and ornaments

Slaves as property in Benito Cereno

The Red Badge of Courage

Images vs. reality of war

Rookie v. vetern perspectives

Depersonalization of "character"

New mass warfare of the machine

Naturalism and Darwinism

Impresionism and painting


Journalistic sources

Militarism of 1890s

Life of Stephen Crane

Male bonding

Editing for publication of

Is the message at the end of optimistic or pessimistic?