English 362: American Literature Since 1865
Professor Jane Frick
Lauter, Paul, ed. The Heath Anthology of American Literature, Second Edition, Vol. 2. Lexington, MA: D. C. Heath, 1994.
Holman, C. Hugh, and William Harmon. A Handbook to Literature, Sixth ed. New York: Macmillan, 1992.
Stevens, Bonnie Klomp and Larry L. Stewart. A Guide to Literary Criticism and Research, Second ed. FortWorth: Harcourt, 1992.
Recommended Texts and Supplies:
Ibrahim, Syra. Learning Microsoft Word 5.1 Missouri Western State College, 1993.
Three-ring, hard-cover notebook, wide-lined paper, and blue or black ink
Trimmer, Joseph. A Guide to MLA Documentation. Houghton Mifflin, 1994.
Required Computer Competencies:
Ability to use Microsoft Word word processing--enough so that on days when we write in the Macintosh teaching lab, you will be able to open, close, and save files without difficulty. This will necessitate your purchase of at least one disk for storing files in this class. If you are a novice, participate in one of the Microsoft Word workshops offered free of charge to Missouri Western students.
Email/Internet -- During the course of the semester, you will be required to participate in eight of the weekly Email discussion questions which will begin with the week of 2/1. I will write a question related to that week's assigned readings and post it on the class Email list. If you decide to respond to that week's question, you must read what others have already said and respond to their answers in addition to simply "answering" the question. You will have an entire week to decide if you want to write a response that week--from 10 a.m. Tuesday to 10 a.m. the following Tuesday. Each of your answers will be worth 20 possible points (20 x 8 = 160 possible points). You are welcome to join the discussion about the question every week, but your responses following your eighth response will not "credit" you any points. We will also use Email to post lecture notes, respond to each other's papers, exchange study guides, etc.
1. To become knowledgeable about and to understand the major periods and figures of American literature since 1865
Method of Implementation: through reading, discussion, and writing about these works--every class session will either begin or conclude with at least five minutes of writing. Example: write down a list of questions which you would like to discuss at the next session. Or, in Huckleberry Finn, the king goes to the religious camp meeting and works the crowd, convincing them to take up a collection for him to become a missionary to the sailors. Of course the king runs off with the money and has no intention to spend it on anything other than to buy booze for himself. Do any recent evangelical religious occurrences in the United States remind you of this incident? Why? Explain your reaction.
2. To develop a strong reading (writing about the cultural and literary ideologies) of two significant works of literature covered in the course
Method of Implementation: You will write a reader-response paper or complete an assigned writing project after reading significant works from two of the three periods covered in the course (1865-1910; 1910-1945; 1945-present) . These papers/projects will be published and used as the basis for class presentations and additional responses. Example: you might read Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Herland and respond to it as part of the literary genre of the Utopian novel while also examining the feminist viewpoint. You might also wish to compare/contrast this perspective with your own perspectives related to female-male relationships within a society.
3. To become acquainted with and to understand the cultural ideologies which are the underpinnings of the writings of women and ethnic minorities of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries
Method of Implementation: we will read, discuss and write about works by ethnic minorities and/or women writers. Experiencing these works leads to understanding and enlightenment. Example: Booker T. Washington is the classic Uncle Tom. Why? Explain why W. E. Dubois and other black intellectuals find his easy accommodation with whites so disturbing. Or: Norman Mailer once wrote that in order to be a great writer it is important to "have balls" (i.e. it is impossible to be a great writer if one happens to be female). You have read Tillie Olsen's Silences and "I Stand Here Ironing." What kind of response could Olsen give to Mailer? What kind of response would you give to Mailer? Or: In Impressions of an Indian Childhood, Zitkala-Sa describes how well-intentioned Quaker missionaries forever separated her from her Indian heritage by educating her in a school in Indiana. Today, we view this acculturation process as cruel and inhumane. Is it possible to mainstream minorities into American ideologies without denigrating their original culture? NOTE: Our textbook was compiled in an effort to broaden and expand the canon of American literature to include the writings of women and ethnic minorities.
4. To develop one's own appreciation and critical perspective of American literature since 1865
Method of Implementation: In all class assignments there will be an attempt to develop multiple understandings of the writing (cultural period, literary and historical perspectives). Your interpretation and understanding of text is based upon your own informed and developed response. There is no one right way to interpret and to present ideas. You will be asked to present your viewpoints many times through writings and discussion, and you will be given ample opportunities to test tentative ideas and arguments. All major written assignments will involve the writing process whereby you will have input in the structuring of the paper requirements and the grading criteria. There will be a great deal of sharing and critiquing of each other's works.
5. To acquire computer literacy skills appropriate to the discipline of English
Method of Implementation: Course assignments will require you to become proficient in writing and editing via word processor, in the use of Email and Internet, and in electronic bibliographic searches. After completing this class, you will understand the equity, ethical, legal, and human issues involved in using computer technology in English, and you will have used computer technologies to enhance your productivity in this class.
Reading assignments for Late Nineteenth Century: 1865-1910 (Unless otherwise noted, reading assignments are from The Heath Anthology.)
1/11: Class introduction
1/13: "Late Nineteenth Century: 1865-1910" 3-33
Bring completed questions over period
Major projects for unit will be distributed.
Presentation regarding the World's Fair - Dr. Irv Parmenter
Celebrating the birth and life of Martin Luther King, Jr.: M 1/17, 6 p.m. FA Theatre
1/18: Questions about Slavery and Race; Samuel Langhorne Clemens, 214-217
1/20: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, 243-429 "The Insight of Literature" 11-33, and "Ethnic and Minority Studies" 93-97 in Guide to Literary Criticism and Research
Due: A Letter of Introduction - Tuesday, 1/18
Write a two-five page word-processed or typed letter to me which you don't mind sharing with other members of the class. Include the following information. (l) Describe how you usually behave in English classes and how you like to be treated. What behavior in a teacher really bothers you? (2) Tell me about yourself as a reader, particularly your likes/dislikes in serious and entertainment fiction and poetry. How do you feel about reading aloud in class or doing a presentation in front of others? (3) Describe your writing/composing abilities. What kinds of things do you like/hate to write about? What are your strongest and weakest skills in writing? (4) Think back to the last few years in English classes. Describe assignments or activities you loved and those that you hated. (5) What would you like to accomplish in this class? What do you like/hate to be evaluated on in an English classroom? (6) What are your interests/talents/skills/hobbies? What are you proudest of that you have accomplished in school or outside of school? (7) As a teacher in this course, what can I do that will be most interesting or helpful to you? Is there any advice you'd like to give me or any questions you'd like to ask me? Is there anything else you feel I should know about you?
1/25: "Regional Voices, National Voices," 191-193
Afro-American Folktales," 193
"When Brer Deer and Brer Terrapin Runned a Race," 194-196
"The Signifying Monkey," 201
Conjure Stories and "John and Old Master" Tales 205-214
Sampling of tales recorded by St. Joseph's Mary Alicia Owen--handout
Email training - meet in the Mac Teaching Lab in the LRC
1/27: The Roles of Women in the Late Nineteenth Century
"Development of Women's Narratives" 34-35
Foote, from A Brand Plucked from the Fire, 37-41
Davis, Life in the Iron-Mills, 43-68
"Feminist Studies" 84-93 in A Guide to Literary Criticism and Research
2/1: Alcott, from Work: A Story of Experience, 71-81
Phelps, from The Story of Avis, 92-110
2/3: Jewett, "A White Heron," 110-118
Freeman, "A Church Mouse," 135-148, "The Revolt of `Mother,'" 149-159
Meet in LRC 102: Film "A Church Mouse" guest lecturer - Sandra Stubblefield
2/8: Henry James, 557-561, Daisy Miller: A Study, 561-600
Kate Chopin, 635-637 "Desirée's Baby," 637-641
2/10: Perkins, "The Yellow Wall-Paper," 799-812
Bannin (Zitkala-Sa), all selections, 925-940
Antin, from The Promised Land, 940-949
Black Film Festival 1994, Sunday - Wednesday, 7 p.m. LRC 102
You should make arrangements to attend ONE of these showings at Missouri Western. Due Thursday, February 17: A one-page, word-processed review of the film, along with an analysis of the audience and the audience's reaction to the film the night you watched it. For examples of film reviews, consult any issue of a weekly news magazine such as Newsweek. Regarding the audience and audience's reaction, describe the people who were present watching the film and their responses to it.
Issues and Visions in Post-Civil War America
2/ 15: "Issues and Visions in Post- Civil War America," 756-757
Paul Laurence Dunbar 486-501 (all works)
William Dean Howells, 520-523, Chapter XLV (525-539) from The Rise of Silas Lapham
Meet in Mac Teaching Lab - formatting for first major project
2/17: Stephen Crane, 706-709, "The Open Boat," 715-731
Eastman, "From the Deep Woods to Civilization," 763, 769-776
First draft of major project due NOTE: My reponses to this draft will be sent to you via Email.
2/22: Corridos, all selections, 828-845
Sinclair, from The Jungle, 855-870
Adams, all selections, 870-890
2/24: Examination: Late Nineteenth-Century: 1865-1910 (Study Guide available on Email)
Final Draft of major project due
Distribution of major projects, study guide for "Modern Period," Cather's "Paul's Case" NOTE: The major projects cover the Modern and Contemporary Periods. You will only complete one project.
In White America - Play about desegregation of public schools in Little Rock - 7 p.m. FA Theater
F 2/25: School Daze - Film showing of Spike Lee's comedy 8 p.m. Albrecht-Kemper Museum
Attend the play or film: You will receive 10 extra credit points for
attending one of them. The 3/1 Email discussion question will be related to
the play or the film.
Modern Period: 1910-1945
3/1: "Modern Period: 1910-1945" 933-961
"Toward the Modern Age" 981-982
Video: "Paul's Case"- Willa Cather
3/3: Glasgow "The Professional Instinct" 1066-1077
Wharton "Roman Fever" 1077-79, 1116-1125
Commitment for major projects
Completed study guide due
Distribute published Major Projects; each person will need to write an
Email response to five other students' Major Projects.
3/8: Meet in LRC Macintosh Teaching Lab
Angela Secrest, Technical Services/Automation Coordinator in the
library, will demonstrate on-line searches via Gopher/Internet. You must complete one on-line search in researching your second Major Project.
Sandburg "Chicago" handout
Edwin Arlington Robinson 1055-1057
"Aunt Imogen" 1057-1061
"Mr. Flood's Party" 1063-1065
Edgar Lee Masters 1125-1127
All "From Spoon River Anthology" 1127-1129
Film showing, Spoon River Anthology
3/ 10: Frost 1191-1210 All Poems
Video: "Robert Frost"
"Alienation and Literary Experimentation" 1163-1164
Pound"A Virginal" 1257-1260
"In a Station at the Metro" and "L'art, 1910," 1261-1262
H. D. "Helen" and "Oread" 1383, 1384
Home Town Poems à la Sandburg due: Single-spaced, Bookman 10 pt. These will be photocopied for all class members; I need hard copy and disk
3/15: Stein 1297-1310 O'Neill "The Hairy Ape," 1332-1363 Williams "Danse Russe," "Portrait of a Lady," "Spring and All," "The Pot of Flowers," "The Rose," 1310-1316 Stevens 1530 "Sunday Morning" 1531-1535 Cummings 1421-1422 [the Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls] 1423 [anyone lived in a pretty how town] 1428
3/17: T. S. Eliot 1435-1437
"The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" 1437-1441
"The Waste Land" 1312-1326
Videotape: T. S. Eliot
3/29: Porter "The Jilting of Granny Weatherall" 1485-1494
Hemingway "Hills Like White Elephants" 1527-1530
Faulkner "A Rose for Emily" 1547-1553
Fitzgerald "Babylon Revisited" 1469-1471
Email message due to me about Gopher/Internet search for Major Project
3/31: "The New Negro Renaissance" 1579-1585
Booker T. Washington 982-1009
W. E. B. DuBois 1009-1033
In-class debate: Washington vs. DuBois (30 minutes)
Hughes "Goodbye Christ," "Air Raid Over Harlem," 1402-1407
All Selections 1612 - 1644
Meet in LRC Macintosh Teaching Lab - Email read and response regarding major projects Hurston "Sweat" "The Gilded Six Bits" 1674-1689 McKay all selections, 1689-1696 "Issues and Visions in Modern America" 1729-1230 Gold, from Jews Without Money, 1758-1765 Le Sueur "Women on the Breadlines," 1807-1812 Yezierska "America and I" 1865-1872 Walker from Jubilee 1897-1907 Carved on the Walls: Poetry by Early Chinese Immigrants, 1956-1965
4/7: Major projects due: Modern and Contemporary Periods
"The Insight of Literary History," A Guide to Literary Criticism and
Major Project presentations: Cather, "St. Joseph Anthology," Stein
4/12: Unit test: "Modern Period, 1910-1945" (study guide available on Email)
Distribution of study guide, "Contemporary Period: 1945 to the Present"
4/14: "Contemporary Period: 1945 to the Present," 1965-1972
"Part I Literature of the Cold War: Orthodoxy and Resistance" 1977-1980
O'Connor "A Good Man is Hard to Find" 2145-2158
Oates "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been" 2160-2171
4/19: Olsen "Tell Me a Riddle" 2202-2230
Lowell "For the Union Dead" 2264-2266, 2270-2272 video
Brooks, all poems, 2273-2286
Plath, "Daddy," "Lady Lazarus," and "Fever 103" 2341-2348, 2350 video
Ferlinghetti and Ginsberg biographical material, 2370, 2377
"A Supermarket in California," 2379 from "Howl," 2380
4/21: "Part II New Communities, New Identities, New Energies, " 2389-2396
NOTE: Major Project Papers Due for those of you who must write them
Topic: An informed `response' to the work you have read. This DOES NOT have to be a formal-'literary critique' of the work where you analyze point of view, theme, character, use of irony, etc., but you certainly may write such a paper if you choose to do so. Somewhere in the introduction, you need to articulate the thesis/focus of your paper, along with the title of the work and the author. You have already provided all of us a plot summary and information about the author. You may assume that all of us have read this sheet. After a careful reading of this work, what intrigued you most? What do you want to prove, to investigate, to say about the novel? Margaret Stanton has shared a draft of her paper about He, She, and It with me in which she uses passages from the novel to suggest that one way to "read" the novel is to "see" that all plot elements lead to a female "sexual climax." There are certainly other ways of viewing this work, but based on the details Stanton presents from the work, she makes a convincing paper. She is careful to stick to "a reading of the novel", NOT to go on and on about events in the "real world" or her own personal life. This kind of paper is what I mean by a "reader response" paper to your novel. Of course, the paper should be carefully proofread, and you should document using MLA format.
Ellison "King of the Bingo Game" 2474-2482
King "I Have a Dream" 2482-2487 Malcolm X "The Ballot or the Bullet" 2496-2510 Walker "Nineteen Fifty-Five" 2510-2520 Knight "The Violent Space (or when your sister sleeps around for money)," "Ilu, the Talking Drum" 2675, 2678-80 Reed "I am a cowboy in the boat of Ra," "Flight to Canada," 2681-2686
4/26: Gaines "The Sky is Gray" 2592-2614
Piercy all selections 2714-2721
Silko "Lullaby" 2733-2739
Malamud "The Magic Barrel" 2539-2552
4/28: "Part III Postmodernity and Difference: Promises and Threats" 2819-2822
Morrison from Sula 2872-2893
Hong Kingston from The Woman Warrier 2893-2914
Erdrich from Love Medicine 2914-2925
5/3: Meet in LRC Macintosh Teaching Lab: in-class writing about how your understanding of the writings of women and ethnic minorities of the l9th and 20th centuries has changed as a result of this class; to be completed on Email class list. Tan from The Joy Luck Club 2925-2936, Cisneros from Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories 3116-3125, Ortiz from Sand Creek 3125-3132
5/10: Final Exam (Study guide available on E-mail by 5/3)
Late Nineteenth Century: 1865-1910
Complete one of the projects listed below. I will ask you to commit to one of them on Tuesday, January 25. We will enter the Fourth Annual D. C. Heath American Literature Student Essay Contest (See attached sheet). The final draft of the paper (sent to the essay contest) will be due in hard copy on your computer disk on 2/24. We will reformat these essays using desktop publishing and publish them for the class. Then, you will write a critique via Email for five of your colleagues' papers.
When we spend class time discussing the works you are researching for your essay, you will be responsible for a ten-minute presentation describing the progress of your research.
1. Sources: Elizabeth Cady Stanton's Women's Bible and Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wall-Paper." Examine the social circumstances surrounding the narrator's increasing insanity in "The Yellow Wall-Paper." Write a paper in which you project a scene where Stanton arrives toting her Bible in the narrator's household in "The Yellow Wall-Paper." Using Stanton and passages from her Bible, write a suffragist ending for "Wall-Paper."
2. Compare and contrast the maturation of Christie in Louisa May Alcott's "Work" with that of Huck in Huckleberry Finn.
3. Henry James has written a detailed psychological portrait of an American woman living around the turn of the century in "Daisy Miller." Drawing upon the portraits of working class women in Davis' Life in the Iron-Mills, and Freeman's "A Church Mouse," show the differences in standards, codes of behaviors, and/or mores that middle and upper-class women were expected to follow versus their working class counterparts. Which women had more freedom and independence? Justify your answers with references to the texts.
4. Phelps' from The Story of Avis describes the conflicts a l9th-century woman artist experienced. Read about Constance Fauntleroy Runcie (a l9th-century artist who lived in St. Joseph), and describe her struggles to be an artist. Write an essay in which you describe how both writers saw this conflict.
5. Bannin's writings describe the acculturation process for Indian children. Compare and contrast her compromises with "civilization" with that of Huck's in Huckleberry Finn.
6. In Howells' "The Rise of Silas Lapham," Lapham and the members of his family "are on the rise." How so? As the excerpt from the novel in our text progresses, whose values do you think are better (the Coreys and their friends or the Laphams)? A case could be made that several of the characters behave "badly" in the piece. Explain. Is Howells sympathetic toward Lapham? Does Howells endorse the values of the Coreys? Lapham's values?
7. After reading the excerpt from The Jungle in our text, investigate the meat packing industry in St. Joseph. Write an essay in which you compare and contrast the vision of the industry created in The Jungle with what you can find out about the work world at the recently-closed Monfort plant here.
8. Paul Lawrence Dunbar's poem "Frederick Douglass" is in our anthology. Write an explication of the poem. Prepare a summary of Douglass' life in which you explain why Dunbar would have written this elegy for Douglass.
9. Davis's Life in the Iron-Mills vividly portrays the lifestyles and mores of the working class. Compare Davis' vision of working class life with that portrayed in Sinclair's The Jungle almost fifty years later.
10. Write an essay in which you show how Crane's "The Open Boat" is a classic naturalistic piece.