Literary Philadelphia: A Study Tour
MCLAUGHLIN, DONALD JAMES
Literary Philadelphia: A Study Tour looks at the importance of place in the writer’s imagination. With special emphasis on Philadelphia writers from the American Revolution onward, the course will involve field trips throughout Philadelphia and the surrounding region. As we read writers as diverse as Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Rush, Thomas Paine, Edgar Allen Poe, Walt Whitman, W.E.B. Dubois, screenwriter M. Night Shyamalan, and Tina Fey, we will make an effort to walk the steps they walked and travel through the haunts they frequented. Destinations will include President’s House: Freedom and Slavery in the Making of a New Nation, erected in honor of the nine slaves of George Washington; The Mütter Museum; Eastern State Penitentiary; the Walt Whitman House in Camden, NJ; and the Rosenbach Museum and Library, to name just a few. The goals of the course will be threefold: (1) to explore the way city space gets registered in the literature of Philadelphia, (2) to highlight the politics of remembering historic and national-historic sites, and (3) to study the way a city is multiplied in its representation along the lines of race, class, gender, and sexuality.