Humanities in Class: Webinar Series

Teaching Poe’s “The Raven”

Lead Scholar: Eliza Richards (Fellow, 2010–11)

November 1, 2012

Edgar Allan Poe is a perennial classroom favorite. His heavy reliance on rhyme, for which his contemporaries labeled him “the jingle man,” makes his poems appealing curiosities to students, and his tales, with their demented narrators, are an endless source of cheap thrills. But is there more to Poe than sound and fright? What can he tell us about nineteenth century American culture, and how can the context in which he wrote illuminate his art? This seminar addresses these questions through close reading of his widely taught poem “The Raven.” Explore the culture of sentiment and mourning that gave us both the talking bird and the lost Lenore.

Subjects: Literary Criticism; Education Studies; Pedagogy; American Literature; Writing Style