Larry Zwier is offering a new IAH course in FS20. His course, IAH 207 Literatures, Cultures, Identities focuses on “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” in new ways. Is it America’s first ghost story?
This incredible course considers the tale by Washington Irving from several perspectives in this, the 200th anniversary of its initial publication. We read the tale and explore it thoroughly, but we also stretch backward and forward in time. Some influences on Irving as he wrote were 200 years of Hudson Valley Dutch culture, the American Revolutionary War, and even a yellow fever epidemic in 1798. We also see how “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow has shaped American culture, in some ways defining Halloween (even though the tale never explicitly mentions the holiday). We will see how movie directors, cartoonists, and countless other artists have played with the story and its characters since 1820, finding sly humor and horror together on a dark night in a secluded glen.