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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.
Required TextNorton Anthology of American Literature, Shorter Fourth Edition,  
                        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.

Grading: paper, 30%; final exam, 35%; quizzes, group presentation, and class  
              participation, 35%
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 
Chap. I-VIII 
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  
Irving, "Rip Van Winkle" 
See Pictures from Washington Irving's Sketch Book

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
Study 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  
Chapter 9-24
11/16 Whitman, "Song of Myself," Paragraphs: 1-15; 24-32; 46-52  
Ginsberg, "A Supermarket in California" (2564) 
Douglass, Narrative of the Life of an American Slave, 885-888 
Pictures related to Walt Whitman
Study 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
Study 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
12/14 Modernism 
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"
click in here 
Paper Due 
12/21 Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby 
12/28 Cather, "Neighbour Rosicky" 
Sandburg, "Chicago" 
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   Hei! Look here!
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