course outline

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A Note About This Course Outline

About the Assigned Readings:

Unless otherwise described, all readings for this

class are available in the ninth edition of The

Norton Anthology of American Literature.  In

the outline below, the first page number for

each assigned reading is in parentheses.  (Please

do not take that to mean you are being asked to

read only that single page.)  "A" or "B"

indicates "Volume A" or "Volume B."  See the

Course Policies for further details about book

requirements.

About Possible Changes:

As the semester develops, alterations may need

to be made to the Course Outline to

accommodate topics of interest, literary

opportunities, and unforeseen interruptions.  If

changes are made, they will be announced in

advance and posted to this on-line version of

the course outline.

Week 1

August 18 - 20

WHAT'S AN "ORIGINAL" LITERATURE?

Monday:

Introduction to the course

Origins, history, identity, and common experience

Term Research Project

Wednesday:

Prepare a three-minute story that is either told repeatedly when your family

gets together, or which has been handed down generationally in your family.

“Family” can be defined as flexibly as you like. [Note:  This exercise will take

two classes periods to complete.]

Week 2

August 25 - 27

MAKING OUR LORE

Folklore and the epic intent

Continued discussion of the definition of “American Literature”

Etiological narrative

Week 3

September 03

THE "ORIGINS" OF OUR LITERATURE

native voices and oral literature

Iroquois Confederacy, "Creation Story" (A 21)

Cherokee, "How the World Was Made" (on-line)

Lakota, “Wohpe and the Gift Of the Pipe” (on-line)

Hupa, "The Boy Who Grew Up At Ta'k'imi Lding" (on-line)

Week 4

September 08 - 10

AN AMERICAN TALE

looking ahead, to how the class ends

Herman Melville, "Bartleby, the Scrivener"* (B 1483)

*This reading does not follow the usual chronology.

Week 5

September 15 - 17

CITY ON A HILL

a New World order

John Winthrop, “A Model of Christian Charity" (A 166)

Anne Bradstreet, complete selection of poems (A 207-235)

≤i≥

Quiz 1

Week 6

September 22 - 24

STRAYING FROM THE PATH

the challenges of being a Puritan

continued discussion of Anne Bradstreet

Edward Taylor, "Huswifery"; "A Fig For Thee, O Death" (A 305-306)

Mary Rowlandson, A Narrative of Captivity, read the first twelve "Removes" (A 257)

Week 7

September 29 - October 01

MORALITY AND REASON

The Great Awakening and Revolutionary thinking

Jonathan Edwards, "Sinners In the Hands of an Angry God" (A 430)

Benjamin Franklin, "The Way To Wealth" (A 457); "Information to Those Who Would Remove to

America" (A 471)

Week 8

October 06 - 08

GOOD, BAD AND UGLY AMERICANS

Federalism, Enlightenments, and the role of Nature

J. Hector St. Jean de Crèvecoeur, Letters from an American Farmer, "Letter III" (A 605) and

"Letter IX" (A 614)

Philip Freneau, “The Wild Honey Suckle,” “The Indian Burying Ground,” “On the Religion of Nature"

(A 757-758, 762)

≤ii≥

Quiz 2

Wednesday

|][|

Group Projects, Act I

Week 9

October 13 - 15

THE BLACK EXPERIENCE

Olaudah Equiano, from The Interesting Narrative Of the Life..., “Chapter II" (A 690)

Phillis Wheatley, in Norton Vol. A, “On Being Brought from Africa to America” (A 764); “To S.M., a

Young African Painter, on Seeing His Works” (A 771); “Letter To Samson Occom February

11 1774" (A 774)

Week 10

October 20 - 22

Naturism and Romanticism

William Cullen Bryant, “Thanotopsis”; “To a Waterfowl”; “The Prairies" (B 123)

James Fenimore Cooper, "Slaughter of the Pigeons" (B 72)

Week 11

October 27 - 29

ROARING INTO THE 19TH CENTURY

Washington Irving, "Rip Van Winkle" (B 29)

≤iii≥

Quiz 3

Week 12

November 03 - 05)

LETTERS OF LEARNING

Library Research Lesson in the LRC Classroom [confirmed]

"English 231 Library Research Guide" (compiled by Roxane BenVau, Librarian)

Midterm Project due

Wednesday

|][|

Group Projects, Act II

Week 13

November 10 - 12

CABIN IN THE WOODS, PART 1

Supernaturalism and American Gothicism

Nathaniel Hawthorne, "Young Goodman Brown" (B 386); "The Minister's Black Veil" (B 409)

Edgar Allan Poe, "Philosophy of Composition" (B 719); "The Fall Of the House of Usher" (B 640);

"Sonnet to Science" (B 633)

Week 14

November 17 - 19

CABIN IN THE WOODS, PART 2

Harriet Beecher Stowe, from Uncle Tom's Cabin, "Chapter VII:  A Mother's Struggle" (B 818)

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, "The Slave Mother" (B1646)

The Fugitive Slave Act (available on-line)

Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Experience" (B310); "The Snow-Storm” (B 342); "Letter to Walt Whitman"

(B 348)

Sojourner Truth, "Speech to a Women's Rights Convention" ("Ain't I a Woman") (B 801); "On the

Injustice Of Slavery" (on-line)

Week 15

November 24 - 26

REDEFINING INDEPENDENCE

Frederick Douglass, "What to the Slave is Fourth of July?" (B 1251)

Margaret Fuller, "Fourth Of July" (B 780)

≤iv≥

Quiz 4

Week 16

December 01 - 03

A FORMAL FEELING COMES

Walt Whitman, "Song of Myself" (B 1330); "One's Self I Sing," "Shut Not Your Doors" (B 1329);

"When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer" (B 1394)

Emily Dickinson:

#185 (B 1666)

#199 (B 1667)

#280 (B 1673)

#324 (B 1668)

#341 (B 1677)

#465 (B 1685)

#501 (B 1678)

#709 (B 1692)

#712 (B 1683)

#1129 (B 1696)

#1732 (B 1700)

Herman Melville, redux of "Bartleby, the Scrivener" (B 1483)

Week 16+

December 08

THE TALE END OF THINGS

Wednesday

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Group Projects, Act III

Finals Week

Monday, December 15

FINAL EXAMINATION

Fall 2014 Final Examination Schedule

11:35 p.m. - 1:35 p.m. [Note the later examination date and the unusual start time.]

Bring loose-leaf writing paper, your anthology, and any print-outs of assigned readings.  Notes,

outlines, charts and study guides are not permitted.  Final Term Papers are due at the start

of the exam.  Submit them in a plain Manila folder (please, not a Manila envelope).

Poor Richard says,

«If you would have your business done, go; if not, send.»

Little Richard says,

«I did what I felt, and I felt what I did, at all costs.»

Teacher says,

«Thanks for all your hard work.  Have a great break and see you in spring!»

Ω

Created With...  
 

Poor Sherlock says,

"A wise student boasts not what works for him, but

instead what he works for."

This is a transfer-level college literature course, not a

reader's club or Meetup group.  This means, the

grade you receive in this class will be on your

transcript and indicate your readiness for a four-year

institution.   However, this is also just the first half of

American Literature, and your successful completion

of this course is supposed to prepare you for

American Literature II (if you choose to take it). 

Consequently, as the American Literature I instructor

I have a responsibility to take seriously the subject

matter and you, and you have a responsibility to take

just as seriously the demands of the course.  You're

responsible for completing, preparing, and bringing

the assigned readings to class.  If you're not willing

to do this, you probably shouldn't register for the

course.  It's really that simple and straightforward. 

Pretending you can get by in this class without

reading or even acquiring the texts, and just coming

to class to talk about writers and works you haven't

read (or, worse, not coming to class at all!), isn't a

workable strategy, even if this may have "worked"

for you in other courses.  If that worries you, I can

only advise you to buck up and be adult about it: 

budget a minimum of one hour each week for

thoughtfully undertaking the assigned readings, or,

quite honestly, prepare yourself for failure in the

class.  I will periodically assign quizzes to test

whether you're keeping up with the readings; these

quizzes will pose questions about key features of

literary periods, literary terms, the background and

contributions of the writers we're discussing, and

details about their writing.