Colonial Literature

Civil War & Realism


European Romanticim


Harlem Renaissance

American Romanticism

19th century Naturalism

Beat Generation/Whitman

New England Renaissance

American Realism & Regionalism



Anxiety of Influence




Feminism: who can find a good working definition for us this year? Email Mr. Sullivan if you have one. Below, click on periods inside the table of each period in American literary history.

Colonial literature Romanticism Realism
Modernism Beat Generation Today


Feminism: analyzing the roles of women in colonial America:

NB: Compared to European cultural precept ions where women were seen as "Eve" figures of sin, women in colonial America were viewed as spiritual equals, inviduals with a relationship with God yet Little Commonwealth viewpoints adn the Salem Witch Trials show how women are still a lower political cultural status.

Republican Motherhood: a trend in the late 18th century (late 1700s) which believed women to be morally strong (yet still without political, economic rights). Idea was formed by Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams.When women were left out of the new nation (in the writing of the Constitution, etc), they needed a role for themselves. The basis of Republican Motherhood is that women were essential to the success of the new nation because they gave birth to and formed citizens of the Republic. Women, therefore, needed education and property rights that would ensure that they brought up their children to be excellent citizens.

Anne Bradstreet: we can make some connections here to A. Rich and A. Sexton.