Introduction to American Literature
Prof. Philip F. Gura firstname.lastname@example.org
Greenlaw 426 962-4033
Text: Nina Baym et al., The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Shorter 8th ed. (2 vols.)
Course Description and Requirements: Representative authors from the time of European colonization of the New World through the mid-twentieth century. Emphasis on close reading of some of the most seminal and representative texts in the American experience.
There will be three-in-class examinations (September 19, October 15, November 7), and a final examination. Attendance and class participation are expected. After your third unexcused absence, I will start deducting from your final grade.
Plagiarism: The Honor Code is in effect in this class and all others at the University. I am committed to treating Honor Code violations seriously and urge all students to become familiar with its terms (http://instrument.unc.edu). If you have questions, it is your responsibility to ask me about the code’s application. All exams and other written work must be submitted with a statement that you have complied with the requirements of the Honor Code.
August 20, 22: Introduction, and introduction to Puritan writings. Vol. 1, pp. 74-101.
August 27, 29: Puritan Poetry, Vol. 1, pp. 110-125. Mary Rowlandson’s Captivity, Vol. 1, pp. 126-142.
September 3, 5: Edwards and Franklin, Vol. 1, pp. 179-189; 248-308.
September 10, 12: Crevecoeur, Equiano, and Wheatley. Vol. 1, pp. 309-322, 354-386; 401-411.
September 17, Washington Irving, Vol. 1, pp. 470-482. September 19: Exam.
September 24, 26: Poe and Hawthorne, Vol. 1, pp. 692-723; 603-643.
October 1, 2: Emerson and Thoreau, Vol. 1, 508-535, 566-580; 858-909, 916-933.
October 8, 10: Douglass, and catch-up. Vol. 1, 934-1004
October 15th EXAM. No class October 17th: Fall Break.
October 22, 25: Whitman and Dickinson 1009-1066; 1189-1218.
October 29, 31: Howells and James, Vol. 2, 305-316; 327-365, 383-411.
November 5. DuBois, Vol. 2, 531-547. November 7th Exam.
November 12, 14: Robert Frost and Sherwood Anderson, Vol. 2, 727-741, 753-762.
November 19, 21: Williams and Eliot, Vol. 2, 777-785, 822-824.
November 26: Cummings, Vol. 2, pp. 951-957. No class November 28th
December 3.Hemingway and Faulkner, Vol. 2, 1019-1031, 994-1015.
English 347: The American Novel
Prof. Philip F. Gura Greenlaw 426
Charles Brockden Brown, Wieland
Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance
Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Elizabeth Stoddard, The Morgesons
Herman Melville Moby-Dick
William Faulkner, Light in August
Harold Frederic, The Damnation of Theron Ware
This course is meant to introduce you to the variety of the American novel, from the late eighteenth through the early twentieth century. Beginning with one of the earliest American novels, Brown’s Wieland (1798), we will move on to Hawthorne’s account of a Transcendentalist utopia, The Blithedale Romance (1852); Moby-Dick (1851), Melville’s masterpiece; and Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852), instrumental in galvanizing opposition to slavery. We then will turn to Elizabeth Stoddard’s newly recovered psychological novel, The Morgesons (1862), and Harold Frederic’s scathing realist portrait of a fallen minister, The Damnation of Theron Ware (1896). We will end with William Faulkner’s modernist experiment, Light in August (1932).
In no way is the course meant to be inclusive. If anything, it is minimal, with the titles chosen to suggest the different ways that authors have thought about the project of fiction, and about how fiction related to the United States of America at different points in time. In lecture I will try to suggest more about the great range of novels which we simply do not have time to sample and as well to provide some cultural and historical background to each of the works. The reading assignments at times will be lengthy, so when you have spare time, read ahead.
There will be essays due on September 19th and November 15th, with the questions handed out in the previous class. There also will be a mid-term exam on October 15th, and a final at the assigned time. You also may expect occasional pop quizzes, to make sure that you keep up with the reading assignments. Attendance and class participation is expected. After your third unexcused absence, I will start deducting from your final grade. Your approximate final grade will be based on the two essays (25% each), the mid-term, (25%), and the final (25%), which will not be cumulative. I also will consider attendance, participation, and your performance on the quizzes in the final grade.
Please note that Frederic’s Damnation of Theron Ware will not be discussed in class. You are to read it during the semester and will write on it in the final exam.
Honor Code: Students are required to familiarize themselves with the Student Honor Code regarding plagiarism. Refer to http://instrument.unc.edu/
August 20, 22: Introduction to course, Brown’s Wieland
August 27, 29: Brown’s Wieland.
September 3, 5: Finish Wieland; start Hawthorne, Blithedale.
September 10, 13: Blithedale.
September 17, 19: Blithedale, start Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Essay due September 19.
September 24, 26: Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin..
October 1, 3: Uncle Tom’s Cabin
October 8, 11: Melville, Moby-Dick
October 15 In-CLASS EXAM; October 17, NO CLASS: FALL BREAK
October 22, 24: Melville, Moby-Dick
October 29, 31: Moby-Dick
November 5, 7: The Morgesons
November 12, 15: The Morgesons; start Faulkner Light in August. Essay due November 15.
November 18, 21: Faulkner, Light in August
November 26, Faulkner, Light in August. No Class November 28.
December 3: Faulkner, Light in August