English 212: American Literature II
Professor Myrna Goldenberg
American Literature II is a delightful and demanding class. It is delightful because we get the opportunity to read first-rate books on interesting and controversial issues. It is demanding for the same reasons: there's a great deal to read and even more to think about. So read ahead. You will also write a great deal. Begin your journal today...
Week 1: Jan. 22, 24
Introductions, Background, Text, and Context
Buy your textbook, The Heath Anthology of American Literature, Volume 2, 1990, today, and compare it to a traditional American lit. text. Jot down the points of similarities and differences. What inferences do you draw from your comparison? Bring your "jottings" to class on Thursday, Jan. 24. You will find other standard anthologies (e.g., the Norton Anthology, the Harper Anthology, or the Random House Anthology) in the bookstore (MC or any other college or university), the library (MC or any other college or university), the English Department office (too busy to use the first week of classes; by the time traffic slows down in the office, you will have finished this assignment), the Reserve Room (your best bet), or your friends' bookshelves.
Week 2: January 29, 31
Read Heath (all assignments are from Heath), 3-33. In your journal, identify the issues raised in this section. What impresses you about this period of American life, as described by Elaine Hedges, the author of this section? Bring your responses to class.
34-35; 41-68 Davis, Life in the Iron Mills
Week 3: Feb. 5,7
172-191 Hopkins, Contending Forces
214-217, 243-429 Clemens, Huck Finn; Consider the book as the education of a racist, the landscape of American values, and a touchstone to our era.
Week 4: Feb. 12, 14
510-512, 515-529 Howells, from Rise of Silas Lapham
Week 5: Feb. 19, 21
Realism, cont. 548-590, James, Daisy Miller
626-628, 632-637, Chopin, "A Respectable Woman," "The Story of an Hour," "The Storm."
Week 6: Feb. 26, 28
689-691, 697-714, Crane, "The Open Boat"
What connections do you find among Howells, James, Chopin, and Crane?
760-773, Gilman, "The Yellow Wallpaper"
Week 7: Mar. 5, 7
813-828, Sinclair, from The Jungle
782-798, du Bois, from The Souls of Black Folk; and 850-877, Booker T. Washington, from Up From Slavery
Week 8: Mar. 12, 14
877-884, Cahan, "Yekel"; and 884-895, Eaton, Leaves from the Mental Portfolio of an Eurasian"
Due: Identify an issue in "Sister Josepha" and discuss Dunbar-Wilson's treatment of that issue. Compare her treatment with that of two other authors you've read this semester.
Week 9: Mar. 26, 29
Topic due: Pick an issue that emerged in the 19th century and trace its treatment in three works that we have not studied in class-one from the 1865 to 1910 period, one from the Modern Period 1910-1945, and one from the Contemporary Period. 8-10 pp.
Modernism 934-961, 1587. Be ready to discuss the issues of the Modern Period and to compare this period with the 1965-1910 period.
962-972, E. A. Robinson; 1033-1039, Edgar Lee Masters; 1088-1098, Robinson Jeffers; 1099-1116, Frost (selected poems from each TBA)
Week 10: Apr. 2-4
1076-1087 Glaspell, Trifles; 1118-1127 Anderson, "Death in the Woods"
1163-1169, The Theme of Alienation; Pound; 1205-1224, William Carlos Williams; 1298-1304, T. S. Eliot (selected poems TBA)
Week 11: Apr. 9, 11
1333-1349, Fitzgerald, "Babylon Revisited"; 1387-1393, Hemingway, "Hills Like White Elephants"; 1406-1422, Faulkner, "Barn Burning"
1456-1459, Harlem Renaissance; 1487-1510, Langston Hughes; 1535-1545, Hurston
Week 12: Apr. 16-18
1764-1785 The Contemporary Period: the impact of diversity, technology, and communications on society, politics, and the arts.
1786-1796, Wright; 1843-1854, Ellison; 1957-1967, Martin Luther King, Jr.
Week 13: Apr. 23, 25
1812-1840, Olsen, Tell Me a Riddle
1888-1900, Mailer, from Armies of the Night;
1982-1993, Doctorow, from The Book of Daniel
Week 14: Apr. 30, May 2
1993-2006, Morrison, from The Bluest Eye
2201-2263, Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun
Week 15: May 7
Review and selected poetry TBA