Spring 2013


Changes or additions to the readings may occur throughout the semester.

These will be announced in class and/or through email.


Note: All assignments, including readings, are to be completed for the date listed in the schedule. Unless otherwise indicated, all readings listed below are from The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Shorter Eighth Edition. 


For each assigned author, the respective biographical introduction in the anthology is always required reading, even though the page numbers below may not include the introduction. Note: material from author introductions might be tested in quizzes and/or exams.



Readings and Assignments

T 01/08

Introductions and syllabus; what is an American identity?

R 01/10

Literature to 1700; American Puritanism; Anne Bradstreet: bio (110), “The Prologue” (111-112), “The Author to Her Book” (119), “To My Dear…” (120), and “Here Follows…” (122-123); discussion questions on Bradstreet

T 01/15

Age of Enlightenment; basics of autobiographies; Benjamin Franklin: bio (234-236) and Autobiography, part I (248-292); notes on Franklin; discussion questions on Franklin (part I)

R 01/17

Autobiography, part II (293-308); sign for analysis: the Franklinian Dream as a cultural phenomenon (in-class); assign short writing response #1; discussion questions on Franklin (part II)

F 01/18

Drop period (with refund) ENDS at noon today. No adding or reinstatement of classes after 01/18/13. No dropping classes with refund after 01/18/13.

T 01/22

Slave narratives and other writings; Phyllis Wheatley: bio (401-403), “On Being Brought…” (403), “To S.M…” (409-410), and “To His Excellency” (410-411); notes on Wheatley; discussion questions on Wheatley

R 01/24

American Romanticism; Ralph Waldo Emerson: bio (505-508) and Self-Reliance (549-566); assign prompt for Response Essay #1

T 01/29

American Transcendentalism; Walt Whitman: bio (1005-1009) and excerpts from “Song of Myself” (within 1024-1067), stanzas 1, 48, 51, & 52; notes on Whitman (with discussion questions); short writing response (on Franklin) due

R 01/31

William Apess: bio (498-499) and “An Indian’s Looking-Glass for the White Man” (499-504); Fredrick Douglass: bio (934-938) and “What to the Slave is Fourth of July?” (1002-1005); notes on Apess; notes on Douglass; Apess and Douglass DQs

T 02/05

Edgar Allan Poe: bio (683-687), “The Raven” (688-691), and “The Tell-Tale Heart” (714-718); notes on Poe (with DQs)

R 02/07

Emily Dickinson: bio (1189-1193), 236 (1196), 260 (1197), 340 (1199-1200), 359 (1203), 373 (1204-1205), 519 (1207), 598 (1208), & 1263 (1213); notes on Dickinson (with DQs)

T 02/12

Response Essay #1 due

R 02/14

The Rise of American Realism: Mark Twain: bio (1282-1285) and “The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” (1285-1289); notes on Twain

T 02/19

Kate Chopin: bio (1604-1605) and “The Story of an Hour” (1609-1611); notes on Chopin with DQs

R 02/21

Charlotte Perkins Gilman: bio (1668-1669) and “The Yellow Wall-paper” (1669-1681); notes on Gilman with DQs; assign short writing response #2

T 02/26

Prep. for mid-term exam (use your class notes, the posted notes, and NAAL notes as study guides)

R 02/28

Mid-Term Exam (bring a large-sized Blue Book with you).

M 03/04

Last day to withdraw with a W

T 03/05

American Modernism and the Jazz Age; E. E. Cummings: bio (2135-2136), “Buffalo Bill ’s” (2138), and “'next to of course god america i” (2138-2139); notes on Cummings with DQs; short writing response #2 due

R 03/07

Tennessee Williams: bio (2297-2300) and A Streetcar Named Desire, scenes 1-5 (2300-2333)

T 03/12

Conclude A Streetcar Named Desire, scenes 6-11 (2333-2361); notes on Williams with DQs

R 03/14

Discussion of A Streetcar Named Desire (cont.); assign topics for Response Essay #2

T 03/19

Spring Break; no classes

R 03/21

Spring Break; no classes

T 03/26

The Harlem Renaissance; Langston Hughes: bio (2221-2222), “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” (2222-2223), “I, Too” (2223-2224), “Salvation” (PDF in CourseDen), and “Harlem” (PDF in CourseDen); notes on Hughes (with DQs)

R 03/28

American Postmodernism; N. Scott Momaday: bio (2647-2648) and excerpt from The Way to Rainy Mountain (2648-2657); notes on Momaday (with DQs)

T 04/02

Art Spiegelman: bio (2734-2736) and excerpt from Maus (2736-2752); notes on Spiegelman (with DQs)

R 04/04

Yusef Komunyakaa: bio (2721-2722), “Facing It” (2722-2723), “Grenade” (PDF in CourseDen), and “Thanks” (PDF in CourseDen); notes on Komunyakaa; critical film viewing techniques (PDF in CourseDen); preparatory notes for Response Essay #2 (if needed): Claims vs. ObservationsThesis ConstructionThesis ReviewParagraph ConstructionContent Characteristics

T 04/09

Response Essay #2 due (NOTE: THIS IS A REVISED DUE DATE); No class in lieu of Honors Convocation

R 04/11

Watch Fight Club by today’s class; discussion of Fight Club

T 04/16

Discussion of Fight Club (cont.)

R 04/18

Last day of class; student evaluations; distribute/discuss topic for final exam (REVISED); mini conferences

R 04/25

Final exam: scheduled for 2130-03: 11:00-1:30 p.m.