Dr. Randy Hendricks
Meetings by appointment.
Contact Jonette Larrew
course description, learning outcomes, and links to program goals
for all sections of 4180
Organizing texts in pairs or clusters, we’ll examine the literary side of the long and contentious debate over Southern history and culture in the wake of the American Civil War. For example, largely through lectures during our first class meetings, we’ll contrast the Old Dominion romance of Thomas Nelson Page’s “Marse Chan” with the stories of African-American writer Charles Chesnutt for the issues they raise about the ownership and authorship of Southern history (as well as the diversity of tone and genre they provide as we move from romance to folk material). We’ll follow the twisting extension of this debate through such framing concepts as The New South, The New Negro, Progressivism, and Agrarian conservatism, reading and/or referring to works by Sidney Lanier, H. L. Menken, John Crowe Ransom, Allen Tate, Alain Locke, and Richard Wright.
For the era of desegregation and the Civil Rights Movement, we will pair the writing of two major social and literary figures of the twentieth century--Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert Penn Warren—using selected writings by King, an interview Warren conducted with King for his book Who Speaks for the Negro? and Warren’s 1964 novel, Flood: A Romance of Our Time.
We'll examine literary representations of the rural south through fiction by Erskine Caldwell, Lee Smith, and Alice Walker. In our final cluster, we'll study issues of Southern family and community through Tennessee William’s play The Glass Menagerie, Eudora Welty’s novel The Optimist’s Daughter, and Gail Godwin’s novel Father Melancholy’s Daughter. The pairings and clusters will provide focus and, one trusts, coherence to the course, but they are not finally to be taken as solid divisions of knowledge. Lectures and discussions will range over the entire scope of our subject throughout the semester. In fact, we’ll use another pair of texts to bookend the course, beginning with Margaret Mitchell’s 1936 romance, Gone with the Wind, and ending with William Faulkner’s 1936 romance of a different color, Absalom, Absalom!
Texts: Mitchell, Gone with the Wind; Welty, The Optimist’s Daughter; Godwin, Father Melancholy’s Daughter; Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!; Caldwell, Tobacco Road; Smith, Oral History; Warren, Flood: A Romance of Our Time; Christian/Walker “Everyday Use” (Note: Students must have this edition). A copy of Tennessee William's The Glass Menagerie, not ordered through the book store, may be obtained easily online or at any chain book store.
Requirements: Rigorous preparation for class and
in discussions (including preparation of short discussion points 10%) ,
two analytical papers of 3-4 typed pages (30%), a midterm (10%); a
paper of 10-12 pages (30%); final exam (20%).
Some useful online resources:
Robert Penn Warren Web Site
William Faulkner on the Web
|First Essay Assignment||Second Essay Assignment|
|Research Paper Assignment|
|Discussion Points: Students will lead discussion
brief informal responses to assignments to present to the class.
The responses may take the
form of questions or observations. You'll present them orally and turn in a written version, which might be a short paragraph and should not exceed a half page in length. In fact, two or three sentences will usually be adequate. Each student will present a point for discussion at every third meeting. I'll divide you into groups for these assignment, but note that these are individual, not group/collaborative assignments.
When we have multiple texts, choose to comment on what interests you most. Those who are not presenting will have the primary responsibility for responding to presenters. 10% of grade
|Discussion Point Groups:
WAC Elements: The W designation for this course indicates that it is a Writing Across the Curriculum Course. This means that undergraduates may take it to satisfy one of their W requirements. A W course incorporates both Writing to Learn and Writing to Communicate activities into its design. Specific Writing to Learn activities in this course will include:
1. Responding to warm-up questions at the beginning of class in
2. Summarizing class discussions at the end of class
3. Discussion points prepared before class.
The Writing to Communicate activities will include<>1. a take-home mid-term
Some Policies, Expectations, and Other Important Information
Exams: The midterm exam will be a take-home exam. The final exam will be a timed exam. The final will be comprehensive. The topics for exam essays will grow directly out of our class meetings, making attendance and participation all the more important. In-class or out-of-class response writings will often be warm ups for exam questions. All students will take the midterm. Only undergraduates will take the final.
Papers: Undergraduates will write a 10-12 page documented paper on one of the works studied in class or on another approved topic appropriate for the course topic. Be sure to get my approval for papers on topics others than texts we are reading. A minimum of three secondary critical sources should be cited in the paper. Use MLA style documentation. Graduate students will write a 12-15 page paper, citing 5-7 secondary critical sources.
Click below for a link to criteria for all graded writing
Letter grades will be assigned to each graded assignment. The
numerical equivalents below will be used to determine the final
Schedule<>August 13 Introductions