EN231F01 American Literature I

MTWR 10:00-11:50, CASET 211

Dr. Gadzinski, Libr. 319, 635-2115, egadzinski@gw.lssu.edu; Office hrs. MTW 12:00-2:00

 

Texts:

 

·        The Norton Anthology of American Literature (Vol. A), Literature to 1820.

·        Handouts

·        The Norton Anthology of American Literature (Vol. B), 1820-1865 (on reserve) 

 

 

Schedule:

 

May     10  Introduction

Reading Day (no class): First Contact--Separatism: Literature to 1700 (Norton); Ojibwe Creation Stories (handout); Columbus, Letter to Louis de Santangel (Norton); DeVaca, The Relation (Norton);

 Discussion

Reading Day (no class): Champlain, Account of Etienne Brule (Norton); Smith, What Happened till the First Supply (Norton); Native Trickster Tales (Norton, and handout)

 

17    Discussion

18    Reading Day (no class): Bradford, The Separatist Interpretation, Of Their Voyage, How They Sought, Mayflower Compact (Norton).

19    Discussion

20    Reading Day (no class): Williams, A Key to the Language (Norton); Bradstreet, Old England and New, Before the Birth, Burning of our House (Norton); Taylor, Upon Wedlock (Norton); Mather, Wonders of the Invisible World (Norton).

 

            24  Discussion

25    Reading Day (no class): Nationhood--Enlightenment, Literature 1700-1820 (Norton); Edwards, The Beauty of the World, Images of Divine Things (Norton); Franklin, Information, Remarks Concerning the Savages (Norton); Crevecoeur, What is an American, Distresses of a Frontier Man (Norton)

26    Discussion. . . . . .Essay 1 due

27    Reading Day (no class): Paine, The Crisis, The Age of Reason (Norton); Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence(Norton); Freneau, On the Religion of Nature, To a New England Poet (Norton)

 


31  Memorial Day (no class)

1    Discussion

2        Reading Day (no class):  American Renaissance—Romanticism, Emerson, Nature, The Poet (handout); Thoreau, Walden Chapter 1(handout)

3        Discussion

 

           

 

7    Reading Day (no class):  Hawthorne, Young Goodman Brown (handout)

8        Discussion. . . Essay 2 due

9        Reading Day (no class):  Melville, Moby Dick, Loomings, Ahab, The Quarterdeck, The Whiteness of the Whale, the Masthead (handout)

10    Discussion

 

 

14   Reading Day (no class):  Whitman, Song of Myself (handout)

15   Discussion

16      Reading Day (no class): Dickinson, 185, 214, 241, 249, 258, 303, 341, 435, 441, 632, 732, 754, 986, 1129, 1078, 1732 (handout)

17      Discussion

 

21    Essay 3 due

 

Essay 1

First Contact (lit to 1700)

Choose one:

 

A.     A European text

  1. Identify the author and the years it was written
  2. Summarize the text.
  3. Discuss the author’s purpose for writing
  4. Discuss the cultural values/assumptions/perspectives demonstrated in the text
  5. Discuss what the text reveals about the experience of America

 

B   A Native text

  1. Identify the tribe and its geographical location
  2. Summarize the text
  3. Discuss the cultural values/assumptions/perspectives demonstrated in the text
  4. Compare and contrast features of Native culture demonstrated in the text with European culture.

 

Essay 2

Enlightenment

A.     Using the Norton introduction to the period, explain Enlightenment ideals and their role in the period’s ideals of America (see Norton: “Enlightenment Ideals,” and “Pursuing Happiness”).

B.     Using a text from the period, summarize the text, then discuss whether and how the text demonstrates those ideals/ideas.

 

Essay 3

Transcendentalism/Romanticism

A.     Using the Norton introduction to the period, define American Romanticicm/Transcendentalism (see Norton: “Orthodox Religion and Transcendentalism” and Emerson’s “Nature” and/or “The Poet”)

B.     Using a text from the period, summarize the text, then discuss whether and how the text demonstrates those ideals/ideas.

 

 

 

Essays should be about 5 double-spaced pages (more is fine, less is generally not).  Grading will be based on quality of thought/definitions, critical reflection on the chosen texts, and the usual curses of grammar, spelling, and punctuation.  Also, judicious use of quotations from the primary or secondary text, and proper citation and bibliographical format (e.g., MLA or APA) will be important to the grade.  Please feel free to see me during reading days, office hours, or schedule an appointment, to talk about your essays.