Dr. Perkins                                                                                                     M3058, 322-0570

Fall 2004                                                                                                         Hours: M/W 12-1, R 5-6






Our objective is to understand the evolution of American literature from 1865 to the present through the study of the following literary periods: Realism, Naturalism, Modernism, the Harlem Renaissance, and contemporary literature. We will be examining a variety of literary voices that explore philosophical, historical, and cultural aspects of American experience. Several questions will guide our study:

--How does American literature represent how we establish a personal and social identity? Is our sense of ourselves inextricably linked to our historical moment? To what degree are we governed by historical, cultural, and biological realities?

--How and why do characters' experiences and responses change as we move from 1865 to the present? Is there any continuity that allows us to feel some bond with these figures from the past?

As we examine how novels, plays, and poetry define American experience, we will explore the techniques authors employ to effectively recreate reality.

The Heath Anthology of American Literature, Volume Two, Fourth Edition
The Great Gatsby.
Morrison. Beloved

Responses 25%
Midterm 25%
Research paper 25%
Final exam 25%
Student Responsibilities

--Please come to class on time.  If you are late more than fifteen minutes on two occasions, they   

   will be counted as one absence.

--Only 1 absence is allowed.  If you miss more than      this, your grade will be lowered 5% of your total grade for each class missed. 

--You will often be assigned writings at the beginning of each class period.  No extra time will be   

   allowed for lateness.  Work done in class cannot be made up.

--If you have a documented disability, please see me at the beginning of the semester so that we can make appropriate accommodations.

Expected Course Outcomes
Students successfully completing the course will be able to:

   1. Identify major authors and works of the period from 1880 to the present and explain their   


   2. Identify and describe important literary movements and place specific works in their contexts.

   3. Explain how the social and intellectual climate has influenced the themes of recent American   


   4. Explain how literature reflects basic themes in American cultural history.

   5. Apply at least one critical approach to reading and analyzing a text with documented sources.

   6. Identify important literary forms in American literature.

Academic Integrity
Any work that you submit to me, including weekly conference responses, must be your own; any words, ideas, or data that you borrow from another source and include in your work must be properly documented. Plagiarism is not difficult to detect. Any student who plagiarizes will fail the course.



Sept 2             Introduction


Sept 9              Realism

Twain: Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog, The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg, A True Story, The War Prayer (1905)

Sept 16            Washington: Up From Slavery, Chapter 1

                        Chopin: Desiree's Baby

                        James: Daisy Miller

                        Oskison: The Problem of Old Harjo (1907)

                        Glaspell: Trifles

Sept 23            Naturalism

Crane: A Mystery of Heroism, The Open Boat, poems
London:  South of the Slot


Sept 30            Modernism

Hemingway: Hills like White Elephants

Eliot: The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Faulkner: Barn Burning

e.e. cummings: Buffalo Bill's, the Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls, i like my body when it is with yours, pity this busy monster, manunkind


Oct 7               The Great Gatsby


Oct 14             Conferences


Oct 21             Midterm


Oct 28             Harlem Renaissance

Langston Hughes: The Negro Speaks of Rivers, Negro, I, Too, The Weary Blues, Freedom Train, Harlem
Cullen: Incident, Heritage, Yet Do I Marvel
Hurston: The Gilded Six-Bits, Sweat


Nov 4              Frost: "Out, Out--", Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Desert Places, Design

                        Hayden: Those Winter Sundays

                        Brooks: The Mother

                        Plath: Daddy


Nov 11                        Baraka: Dutchman


Nov 18                        Baldwin: Sonny's Blues

                        O'Connor:  A Good Man is Hard to Find

                        O'Brien: In the Field

                        Updike: Separating


Dec 2               Morrison: Beloved


Dec 9               Research paper conferences


Dec 16             FINAL EXAM