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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Spring 2007

E 372M • American Realism

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
34715 TTh
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
PAR 208

Course Description

This course will trace the origins and development of Realism as a literary movement and representational strategy in the United States from the 1880s through the turn-of-the-century. Given the radical social changes during this period in gender, racial, and class terms, how did Realism emerge as both symptom and critique of these conditions? The course will examine the features of this new literary aesthetic, and explore the variety of "realisms"--such as psychological realism, regionalism, and naturalism. Situating these texts within their historical contexts will be a major feature of this course.

Grading Policy

The course grade will consist of five elements. 1) Two major analytical essays of 6-8 pages apiece will count for 50% (20%/30%). Each essay will require a thorough revision. Associated with this grade, but figured separately, will be 2) a one-page review of each essay (total 10%). 3) Participation/attendance will count for 10%. 4) A 30-minute class presentation as part of a team will count for 20%. 5) A brief writing assignment at the beginning of each and every class will count for 10%.

All work must be completed in a timely fashion; assignments are due at the beginning of class on the given date. Late papers will lose half a grade per day (e.g., B to B-). NB: Extensions must be requested at least 24 hours before the specific deadline, and will only be granted in truly extenuating circumstances. I will reconsider grade assignments for only one week after the return of a particular item.

Note that punctual attendance and prepared participation are essential; anyone arriving more than five (5) minutes after the official class start time will be counted as absent.


Kate Chopin, The Awakening
Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage
Paul Laurence Dunbar, The Sport of the Gods
Rebecca Harding Davis, Life in the Iron Mills
Henry James, Daisy Miller
Sarah Orne Jewett, The Country of the Pointed Firs
Jack London, The Call of the Wild
Charles Chesnutt, Tales of Conjure and the Color Line


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