|In this course we will read some short representative works of American literature from the seventeenth century to the present. Our discussions will focus on close analysis of texts (fiction, poetry, essays, autobiography, oratory), while lectures will introduce individual authors and survey relevant historical issues (for example, the American Revolution, Western expansion, slavery, immigration, industrialization) and cultural movements (like Puritanism, Transcendentalism, realism, and modernism). The course offers students a deeper understanding of American culture and identity, a good knowledge of some important literature, skills in literary analysis, and a framework for future reading.|
Text: Norton Anthology of American Literature, Shorter
Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter (Oxford UP)
Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (Oxford UP)
|There will be several video presentations, to be announced. This course is complemented by a web site accessible through the English Department home page. There you will find the syllabus, study questions, and (gradually) paintings and photographs related to the literature. The site will also contain a bulletin board for discussion. After this week, the web site will be the place to get the study questions for the upcoming class.|
Paper: This 3-4 paper should analyze some specific aspect of a literary work or works covered through 11/30. A list of possible topics will be distributed, but students may form a topic of their own in consultation with the professor.
Final: As scheduled; comprehensive.
Quizzes: There will be frequent short quizzes to check up on your reading.
Group presentations: The class will form six groups (of approximately five students each) that will be responsible for a 30-40 minute presentation on one or more of the readings. (I'll be distributing a sign-up sheet.) Presentations should be based on an organized series of questions (which can include questions I distribute: see below) and offer some answers making specific reference to the text. These presentations should include equal participation from all group members.
Class Participation: Study questions will be distributed (or posted on our web page) before each class meeting. Come to class prepared to respond to these questions. I'll be calling on you.
paper, 30%; final exam, 35%; quizzes, group presentation, and class
|9/21||Introduction to course
Winthrop, "A Model of Christian Charity," 111-12
Taylor, "Upon Wedlock, and Death of Children"
Bradstreet, "Upon the Burning of Our House"
|9/28||No Class||Reading Assignment: Hawthorne, The Scarlet
Letter, Ch. 1-14
Study questions for The Scarlet Letter
|10/5||No Class||Reading Assignment: Hawthorne, The Scarlet
Letter, Ch. 5-8
|10/12||No Class||Reading Assignment: Hawthorne, The Scarlet
Letter, Ch. 9-12
|10/19||The Great Awakening and the Enlightenment
Edwards, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God"
Franklin, "To Ezra Stiles" (224-25); The Autobiography, 278-286 Bishop, "In the Waiting Room" (2459)
See map of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1682
Early National Literature
|Study questions for Irving, "Rip Van Winkle"|
|10/26||Transcendentalism and the American Renaissance
Emerson, Nature, 440-42; "The American Scholar"
Thoreau, Walden, 788-91; 835; 845-859
Pictures related to Walden
questions for Emerson, Nature
Study questions for Thoreau, Walden
|11/2||Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter, Ch. 1-12|
|11/9||Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter, Ch. 13-24||Study
questions for The Scarlet Letter
|11/16||Whitman, "Song of Myself," Paragraphs: 1-15;
Ginsberg, "A Supermarket in California" (2564)
Douglass, Narrative of the Life of an American Slave, 885-888
Pictures related to Walt Whitman
questions for Whitman
Study question for Ginsberg
Study questions for Douglass
|11/23||Dickinson, poems #216, 249, 258, 328, 341, 448,
465, 632, 640, 712, 754
Douglass, Narrative of the Life of an American Slave, 897-905
questions for Dickinson
|11/30||Realism and Regionalism
Twain, "The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County"
Freeman, "A New England Nun"
Crane, "The Open Boat"
|Study questions for Crane|
|12/5||James, "The Beast in the Jungle"||Study questions for James|
Hemingway, "The Snows of Kilimanjaro"
Stevens, "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird"; "The Idea of Order at Key West"
Pound, "In a Station of the Metro"
Lowel, "Skunk Hour"
|12/21||Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby|
|12/28||Cather, "Neighbour Rosicky"
Frost, "Mending Wall"; "After Apple-Picking"; "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"
|1/4||Faulkner, "A Rose for Emily"
O'Connor, "Good Country People"
|1/11||Kingston, "No Name Woman"
Walker, "Everyday Use"
Rich, "Dividing into the Wreck"
|1/18||Final Exam||Study questions for Final|