Commonly referred to as the Evans Collection, this resource is comprised of a vast range of publications, including advertisements, almanacs, bibles, broadsides, catalogs, charters and by-laws, contracts, cookbooks, elegies, eulogies, laws, maps, narratives, novels, operas, pamphlets, plays, poems, primers, sermons, songs, speeches, textbooks, tracts, travelogues, treaties and more. The imprints in Series I are expertly indexed and may be browsed by genre, subjects, author, history of printing, place of publication and language.
Although often viewed as antagonistic, literature and politics sometimes overlap. The United States is frequently celebrated for having invented and sustained a “written” Constitution, so that there is a fundamental literary and textual constituting of American experience, in addition to its political and governmental structures. This course engages close reading and symbolic analyses of American political literature: Founding documents; SCOTUS decisions (Dred Scott, Brown v. Board of Education); and also asks how novels (e.g., Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Democracy, All the King’s Men, Lincoln, et al.) and other fictional depictions reflect American political discourse, issues, and values. (But we will not be further polarizing!)