American Fiction: Exploring the American Experience Through Literature

Sponsored by Gale, a Cengage company
Recorded on 07/20/2017

Posted in Primary Sources and Special Collections


How do American novels inform American history? How do the creative works of American writers help us explore the varieties of the American experience in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries? How do the classics of American fiction framed within the larger context of American publishing help present a truer picture of American social and cultural attitudes? And how does an exploration of Gale’s American Fiction, 1774-1920, in the context of Gale’s massive archives – and how does an exploration of Gale’s American Fiction, 1774-1920, in the context of broader archival content across the 18th and 19th centuries offer practitioners of the digital humanities countless opportunities for research? This webinar will demonstrate how even a simple search, for a string of words — “may be used against” — is much more useful in American Fiction than in Google Books. The exploration of trends, themes, topics, contexts — across multiple sources – requires state-of-the-art functionality.


Stephen Wasserstein
Associate Publisher and Senior Acquisitions Editor 
Gale, a Cengage company

Stephen develops print and digital resources for the academic library community. Digital archives he has published include modules in the Making of Modern Law series; Nineteenth Century Collections Online: Science, Technology and Medicine, 1780-1925; and American Fiction, 1774-1920. Stephen’s print titles include American History through Literature, 1820-1870, and American History through Literature, 1870-1920.

Marc Cormier 
Director of Product Management, Humanities
Gale, a Cengage company

Elizabeth West
Associate Professor of English
Drake University

Professor West holds a Ph.D. in American Literature from Stanford University. Her primary interests are in early American literary culture, and she has written about American women writers.

Simon Stern
Associate Professor, Faculty of Law and Department of English
University of Toronto

Professor Stern holds a Ph.D. in English from UC Berkeley and a J.D. from Yale. He teaches in the areas of civil procedure, law and literature, legal history, and criminal law. His research focuses on the evolution of legal doctrines and methods in relation to literary history.