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

Spring 2007

E 376L • Problems in American Literary History (Honors)

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
34745 MWF
1:00 PM-2:00 PM
CAL 200

Course Description

Restricted to students admitted to the English Honors Program!

This course will examine debates on defining the beginnings of American literature as well as some related critical conversations on periodization. We will approach the primary works in terms of their capacity to represent and illuminate problems in American literary history. We will make regular use of criticism to highlight the literary historical issues.

Grading Policy

Three essays (two of 5-6 pages each, one of 10-12 pages) will make up the bulk of the final grade. A prospectus will precede the longest of the papers, and that final research paper will include an annotated bibliography, built cumulatively during the semester. Grading of written work will be on a portfolio basis, to provide opportunity and incentive for revisions. Brief focused response writings will be a regular feature of the course, to be used as catalysts for discussion and research. Attendance is mandatory; class members will have the opportunity to take turns in initiating discussion.

Essays (with prospectus and bibliography) 75%
Attendance, response writings, participation 25%


Please note: course readings will include selections from the following:

Emerson, Nature, "The American Scholar," "Experience"; Melville, "Hawthorne and His Mosses"; Matthiessen, American Renaissance
Shakespeare, The Tempest; Fuller, Woman in the Nineteenth Century; Avallone, "What American Renaissance?"
Milton, Paradise Lost; Smith, True Relation; Spengemann, A New World of Words
Winthrop, Bradford, and Bercovitch, The Puritan Origins of the American Self
Defoe, Robinson Crusoe; Fliegelman, Prodigals and Pilgrims
Brown, Power of Sympathy; Davidson, Revolution and the Word
James, The American; Kenner, A Homemade World, The Pound Era
Silko, Ceremony; King, The Truth About Stories


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