Professor Karen Oakes
What is American literature? What constitutes a "major American writer"? Who decides these issues? Our journey this semester will repeatedly invoke these questions as we respond to the concepts which our country's writers raise again and again: our relationship to the land; the permutations of gender, race, and class; the nature of power; our relationship to the "ideal."
One medium-length and one longer paper; possibly one group presentation; a reading journal; regular attendance and contributions to discussion.
The Heath Anthology of American Literature, Volume 2
Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God
Selected reserve readings
2/7: "To the Reader"; "Late Nineteenth Century: 1865-1910"; "The Devel- opment of Women's Narratives"; Jewett, "A White Heron"; Freeman, "The Revolt of `Mother'"
2/12: "Regional Voices, National Voices"; African-American Folktales
2/14: Dunbar-Nelson, all; Chopin, "The Story of an Hour"
2/19: "Issues and Visions in Post-Civil War America"; Standing Bear, all; Ghost Dance songs, all; Eastman, all; Holley, all
2/21: Gilman, all
2/26: Corridos; "New Explorations of an `American' Self"; Washington
2/28: Eaton, all; Bonnin, all
3/5: "Modern Period: 1910-1945"; "Toward Modernism"; Wharton, "The Other Two"; Glaspell, all
3/7: Frost, "The Pasture," "The Fear," "Out, Out_ ," "Design"
3/12: "Alienation and Literary Experi- mentation"; Hemingway, "Indian Camp," "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber" (reserve)
3/14: Faulkner, "Barn Burning"
3/16: Paper #1 due. Pound, "A Pact"; Moore, "Poetry,"; Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"; Bogan, "Women"
3/19: "The Harlem Renaissance"; Hurston, TBA
English 252 Student Evaluations
"I think that the anthology we are using is a good text. . . and I am glad that we are delving into some of the lesser-known literary
figures. . ."
"I've really enjoyed the class so far, mostly because we've been reading authors that I've never been exposed to. The difference between this course and the Major British Writers course I took first semester is like night and day."
"I've enjoyed the reading selections very much."
"I like the theme of this class: what constitutes American literature. In many English classes I've had, we've studied the same prominent figures and while they are worth reading, I like that we've read many works by not-so-famous writers--many of them being minorities."