In 1782, J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur confidently asserted, “We have no princes, for whom we toil, starve, and bleed; we are the most perfect society now existing in the world.” Published just one year after the end of the American Revolution, Letters from an American Farmer captures the hope and enthusiasm of a young republic, and inaugurates some of our most enduring American mythologies: America as a pastoral ideal, America as a classless society, America as a racial melting-pot, and America as a land of limitless opportunity.
American Literature Notes Pdf
And yet given the realities of the displacement of Native peoples, the systematic enslavement of Africans, and the indentured servitude of European immigrants in early America, Crevecoeur’s idealism appears at best naïve. In this survey course of American literature from its Puritan origins to the present, we will study how diverse writers represented, challenged, and helped to create the dominant cultural mythologies that remain powerfully influential in our nation today. During the semester we will read a wide array of American authors, such as Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson, Harriet Jacobs, Henry James, Charles Chesnutt, Ernest Hemingway, and Raymond Carver. Through guided discussion and independent research, we will strengthen our ability to read and write critically about literary texts, and we will gain a deeper appreciation of American literary history as a rich terrain of contested values that can help us to understand who we are today.
American Literature Introduction
1a. Attendance and Class Participation. Although I will provide background and context for our reading at the start of each class period, the course will rely upon your active participation, including your own analysis and exploration of our texts. Because our class discussions depend upon everyone’s thoughtful contributions, it is essential that you maintain regular attendance and that you come prepared to discuss the reading material each day. Each student is allowed four absences total in this skills course. I do not expect or require students to explain nor document these absences, and I do not distinguish between excused and unexcused absences. Students who have five absences will receive an automatic “0” for their class participation grade (10% of your final grade in the course). Students who have six or more total absences will receive an automatic F for the course. Finally, chronic tardiness and/or absenteeism will negatively affect your class participation grade, so please arrive promptly to class.
1b. Laptop and Cellphone Policy. Typing on a laptop or texting on a cellphone is distracting to me and to your peers. Therefore, unless you have a documented reason that permits the use of a laptop for note taking, you are not permitted to use a laptop during class. Cellphones, which can play a valuable role in the event of an emergency, should be set to vibrate at the beginning of class. Cellphone texting during class is strictly prohibited and will result in dismissal from the classroom and the loss of a full letter grade of class participation for each infraction following an initial warning. In the event of a personal emergency, please excuse yourself from the classroom to use your cellphone.
History Of American Literature 19th And 20th Century
2a. Essay Assignments. Over the course of the semester, you will write two essays in response to specific prompts. Each essay must develop a clear thesis statement and include appropriately documented evidence from the texts you are analyzing. Essays that are not turned in by the deadline will be docked one full letter grade for each class period that passes without submission; essays more than three class periods late will receive a “0.” Finally, as a condition for passing this course, both essays must be turned in no later than the start of our final exam.
2b. Electronic Submission. Essays will be submitted electronically on Western Online, and the assignment sheets will review how to submit your essays. If you are unsure about how to submit your essay, please speak with me well before the due date. Because you will submit essays electronically, you should save your work in several formats (on a hard drive, on a flash drive, by emailing the essay to yourself). Technology problems are not an excuse for submitting an essay late. You will submit your essays as Word files (.doc or .docx); essays submitted in any other file format or corrupted files will be returned to you and considered late until resubmitted as a Word file.
- Western Online Discussion Posts. Five times this semester, you will be asked to complete a short writing assignment related to that week’s reading and to post your response of 200-250 words to Western Online by the deadline. Each discussion post is worth 3% of your final course grade and must be submitted on time to receive credit. Each discussion post will be graded on a scale of 0-25, as per the rubric provided for you on our Western Online course space.
- Academic Integrity. Academic integrity is an important part of our intellectual community at Western Illinois University; therefore, acts of plagiarism and cheating will result in failure for the course and referral for academic discipline.