Dr. Perkins M3058, 322-0570
Fall 2004 Hours: M/W 12-1, R 5-6
AMERICAN LITERATURE II
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.
Lauter. The Heath Anthology of American Literature, Volume Two, Fourth Edition
Fitzgerald. The Great Gatsby.
Research paper 25%
Final exam 25%
--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.
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
Chopin: Desiree's Baby
James: Daisy Miller
Oskison: The Problem of Old Harjo (1907)
Sept 23 Naturalism
Crane: A Mystery of Heroism, The
Open Boat, poems
Sept 30 Modernism
Hemingway: Hills like White Elephants
Eliot: The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
Faulkner: Barn Burning
Oct 7 The Great Gatsby
Oct 14 Conferences
Oct 21 Midterm
Langston Hughes: The Negro Speaks of Rivers, Negro,
I, Too, The Weary Blues, Freedom Train,
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
Nov 11 Baraka: Dutchman
O'Connor: A Good Man is Hard to Find
O'Brien: In the Field
Dec 2 Morrison: Beloved
Dec 9 Research paper conferences
Dec 16 FINAL EXAM
RESEARCH PAPER DUE