E f316K • Masterworks of Literature: American
10:00 AM-11:30 AM
To ask the question "why study literature," one must first ask the question "why study language." In all cultures, poetry is the oldest aesthetic medium that language takes. It precedes other literary genres and is, in some sense, their origin and source as well, for poetry is a flexible instrument. Often lyrical, as befits its own grounding in music and the dance, poetry can also take narrative and dramatic forms. This course will study the 400-year history of American literature principally (though by no means exclusively) through a single genre, poetry. Although this approach is aesthetic, one cannot understand the history of American literary production without studying both its social and cultural contexts and that peculiarly American fascination with constructing a new sense of selfhood.
Weekly quizzes 35%
Midterm exam 20%
Final exam 45%
Attendance (No more than two absences to receive a grade of C or higher)
The Concise Anthology of American Literature, ed. McMichael and Leonard (6th edition), Pearson/Prentice-Hall Publishers