American Literature: How I Threw Out the Chronology and Embraced the Themes |


early american literature syllabus

ENGLISH AMERICAN LITERATURE I SYLLABUS Instructor: Dr. Susan Copeland CRN: Students will be able to analyze major early American writers/works and their representations of the human major literary movements, figures, and works in American Literature. COURSE SCHEDULE On the schedule below are readings from our text or the. Early American Literature. 2. Students will learn how to apply the vocabulary of formal elements to articulate valid critical responses to Early American Literature. 3. Students will develop analytical skills that will facilitate critical reading from cultural/historical perspectives. 4. Sandhills Community College, Course Syllabus Guidelines and Template Analyzed the poetry, drama, and fiction of early American literature to the Civil War. Identified historical and cultural influences on American literature of the period from its beginnings to

English American Lit. ()

They are: What is American? How does Nature affect and early american literature syllabus the American? In turn how does the American affect and transform Nature? What ideals, such as that of a providential destiny, shape American experience?

Are these ideals realized? How did the mobility of American society--for example, during westward expansion--shape American identity? What is the center of American society? What institutions and traditions shape American national identity?

Is American culture one culture shaped from many-- e pluribus unum --or is it always an aggregate of cultures? When the center no longer holds, what forces break it up? How are tensions between chaos and order, liberty and structure, manifest in American culture, history, and society?

What are the characteristics and consequences of racism and other forms of discrimination in American life? Use these questions to focus your work in this class, and to integrate it with work for other courses in the American Studies Cluster. It is a "survey" course only in the sense that we shall read in chronological order a small selection of texts, early american literature syllabus, each of enduring significance, and representative of the changing literary forms, cultural values, and social tensions of the two and a half centuries under consideration.

Thoroughly "surveying" this period would be a major task of scholarship, for reasons we shall consider further, below. Your reading for this course will span three crucial periods of American history. The first half of the course will involve writings from two of those periods: A the extended era of colonization, from roughly through ; and B the era of intensifying dissatisfaction with British government, leading up to the Revolution and the early american literature syllabus of an American nation, itself codependent with the development of a distinctly American self, a period roughly from to The second half of this course will focus on a selection of texts from the era of nation-building, roughly towhen writers sought to give this new self a literary expression in American forms, forms which declared their cultural independence from European models.

This period, commonly known early american literature syllabus the American Renaissance, succeeded in the cultural task of defining the American, "this new man" as Crevecoeur put it, in his relationships with Nature and with his new Society. It is a rich period. Notwithstanding its richness, however, we shall also want to consider its anxieties. For example, early american literature syllabus, until slavery persisted and many writers viewed its continuation as a force which would bankrupt the young nation's spirit, early american literature syllabus.

The rise of industrial production and mass society were widely viewed as similar threats to America's new-found cultural security. Your readings for this course will be from an anthology, early american literature syllabus.

The word is from the Greek, anthologiameaning literally a bunch of "flowery words" gathered into a book; and the twin assumption about such a collection of literary "flowers" is that it should gather together not only the most beautiful, but also the most representative texts. In our time these assumptions about the literary anthology have become the subjects of heated dispute.

The evaluative assumption, that of "beauty," is especially problematic. Just whose standards of beauty should apply? For early American writers in particular this question involved European conventions for literary expression, but European aristocratic civilization was precisely what the American had, in one way or another, rejected.

Moreover, the development of an American self, and of conventions for democratic rather than aristocratic art, was a process encompassing the two and a half centuries under study in this course.

During that period, the interplay of old European forms with new American expressions was central to literary culture. Many of those new forms were first developed by women and African American writers: Mary Rowlandson's narrative of her captivity among the Wampanoag people of Massachusetts, or Frederick Douglass' autobiographical account of his life as a Maryland slave, are two good examples.

If judged by the Eurocentric conventions of writers such as Ann Bradstreet or Edward Taylor, whose poetry was deeply influenced by 17th century English writing, would these new American forms ever have been deemed worthy of anthologization? Perhaps these texts--the narratives, early american literature syllabus, autobiographies, early american literature syllabus, sermons, and letters--would only have been regarded as curious documents for use by professional historians.

If on the other hand we consider more distinctly American standards of evaluation--and in particular the importance in American culture of the individual who finds a literary voice by renouncing aristocratic oppression--then these seemingly curious and marginal texts will become central to our efforts at understanding American literature.

The student of it therefore needs to consider a range of texts that stretches early american literature syllabus common sense of the word "literature" well beyond the categories of fiction, early american literature syllabus, poetry, and drama we expect to see anthologized. This is why the second inclusive assumption behind any anthology, that of representation, becomes both important and equally problematic here.

In following the course of readings mapped out by this syllabus, you will be reading a range of different kinds of texts by a range of writers: men and women, whites and blacks. In that sense, the anthology succeeds in representing for our survey the variety of "flowers" in this field of study.

Yet what would a real survey of American literature entail? First, it would require us to acknowledge a geographical problem. For, if by "American" we mean all those territories of the northwestern hemisphere, then a survey of their literatures would necessarily include texts from what is now Mexico, the Caribbean basin, and Canada. Next we would have to acknowledge the multilingual nature of our task, for the European settlers of the New World territories included not only the English, but settlers who spoke Dutch, German, French, Portuguese and Spanish.

Clearly, if we were faithful to our task and added the orally transmitted literary culture of Native American peoples, the job would become a lifetime's profession. The point is just this: to represent "American Literature" for this course, early american literature syllabus have severely limited the field.

Our texts are, early american literature syllabus, in a nutshell, drawn from the literature of British America. All are therefore texts in English. They are not only representative of culture in those English territories that would eventually become part of the United States itself not a political entity untilbut are also drawn pretty exclusively from the New England region, because that was where the dominant culture of the New World flourished.

Having recognized such limits, we begin the course with a sense that our readings from the anthology are defined as much by what they exclude, as by what they include. It's an important caveat. Identify selected instances of classical American writing, and discuss, in general term, how they exemplify the historical period from which they derive. Demonstrate an ability to closely analyze selected passages of literary texts, early american literature syllabus an ability to use such analyses to both illuminate and complicate a reading of the texts in which they occur.

Write a short critical essay about a literary topic, an essay that develops and defends a critical claim or thesisand does so in a manner that is, in general, grammatically and rhetorically correct and effective. As and whenever possible, identify, find, and use basic secondary sources to further the reading and writing required in and beyond this course.

The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Fifth Edition. Volume 1. New York: Norton, All assignments refer to this text.

In addition, students should also keep handy, and frequently use, both a Bible especially either the King James edition or an English translation of the Geneva Bible and early american literature syllabus good dictionary such as Webster's Collegiate or The American Heritage Dictionary. The study of early American literature will put any student in somewhat unfamiliar verbal territory. Our writers will often use a puzzling, archaic, English vocabulary, for which a dictionary is essential.

Moreover, colonial American writers in particular made constant and specific reference to biblical scripture, and the student's understanding can be richly repaid by the work of tracing those biblical allusions.

The editors of your anthology have footnoted many of the biblical allusions and archaic words, and you should make good use of those footnotes. But the editors have also missed many others that will puzzle any student, and it will be necessary to do your own work on them. Many students will also benefit from using a handbook of literary terms, such as Holman's Handbook of Literary Terms or Thrall and Hibbard's Handbook to Literaturewidely available in bookstores.


Early American Literature Beginnings to


early american literature syllabus


Main Phone: Bucks County Community College offers certificate and associate degree programs at a fraction of the cost of a traditional four-year college. Bucks has campuses in Newtown, Perkasie, Bristol and offers Online Learning. Several associate degrees can be earned online, in person, or a combination of both. A variety of non-credit certificates, trainings and courses are. American literature has often been equated with the national literature of the new United States; everything beforehand was, at best, a precursor. In this course, we want to undermine or suspend such a teleology (the idea that something is relevant because of its culmination or end point) and look at early American literature and culture on its. English , American Literature: Beginnings through Civil War, is a survey of American literature from its origins through the Civil War period. English , American Literature: Civil War to the Present, is a survey of American literature from the Civil War period to the present.