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Fiche de cours

Explication de textes : Whitman and Dickinson

Faculté de gestion: Faculté des lettres

Responsable(s): Agnieszka Soltysik Monnet
Intervenant(s): -

Période de validité: 2018 -> 2018

Pas d'horaire défini.


Semestre de printemps
2 heures par semaine
28 heures par semestre

Langue(s) d'enseignement: anglais
Public: Oui
Crédits: 0


This course will allow you to explore the work of these foundational American poets in some depth while consolidating the close reading and analysis skills you began to learn in the 1st year.


Course Description and Objectives:

This course examines a selection of the work of two giants of American poetry and two major influences on 20th century American literature. We will first look at the cryptic and witty poems of enigmatic Emily Dickinson, especially the poems that focus on poetry-writing itself as well as those that reflect on the ambivalent position of women in 19th century U.S. culture. Then we will shift to Walt Whitman and read the 'Calamus' section of Leaves of Grass, poems that engage pointedly with the issue of same-sex love making Whitman among the very first modern writers to write of such feelings and experiences at a time when no public language yet existed for them. The main focus of the class, as in all ET courses, is to learn the tools and strategies of close reading and textual analysis, here in particular the specific skills linked to reading poetry. We will privilege depth over breadth, and focus on a small set of poems that we will read together carefully.


1. Regular attendance in class, preparation of questions to raise and discuss, and participation in class discussions. This will include the requirement to lead one group discussion.

2. A mid-term essay, approximately 3 pages in length, which closely analyses the form, structure, genre, and language of a single poem.

3. A final essay which closely analyses one or more poems in relation to a topic discussed in class. This essay should be approximately 6-8 pages long. Suggestions of final essay topics will be handed out by the end of April.

Students wishing to validate the class as 'Enseignement complémentaire' for 4 ECTS will be required to write a longer final essay of 10-12 pages.


The Dickinson poems will be on Moodle, and Whitman's Leaves of Grass is already available at Basta!

Exigences du cursus d'études

Niveau B2 (cadre européen commun de référence)

Informations supplémentaires


Canton de Vaud
Swiss University
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