EN317 Earlier American Literature

for F1J 2006

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EN 317 Earlier American Literature


F1J 2006 PV


Wittmeyer, Lisa K.


Senior Adjunct Instructor


B.A., M.A. English

Office Hours

Before & After Class; by Email & Telephone

Daytime Phone

to be announced in class



Web Page


Semester Dates

August 21 - October 15, 2006

Class Days


Class Time

5:30 - 9:50 PM



Credit Hours


The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Volumes A and B, sixth edition.. Nina Baym, editor. Student website: www.wwnorton.com/naal

Textbooks can be purchased though the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased though the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

We will discuss additional links and  resources available through our eCompanion website.

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email helpdesk@park.edu or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.


Course Description:
Study of significant American writers from the colonial period to the Civil War with attention to the historical and cultural contexts of their works. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:

Great literature, no matter when it was written and no matter how dated the language may seem, is worthwhile and often readily relates to our own lives. My goal is to encourage exploration of this relationship and to broaden your understanding of earlier American literature. I will endeavor to make the works as clear, interesting and inspiring as possible in an atmosphere of interactiveness based on readings, web explorations, writing and discussion.  


Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Articulate what is uniquely “American” about certain texts in literature
  2. Evaluate features of earlier American literature
  3. Identify and analyze American cultural issues presented in a variety of texts

  Instructor Learning Outcomes
  1. A.  Demonstrate thinking, listening and speaking skills to include formulating and responding to questions about the readings, identifying connections between the readings and sharing ideas related to the readings
Core Assessment:

All Park University courses will include a Core Assessment with rubric. This will include ¾ of the Core Learning Outcomes listed above. The Core Assessment in this course will be a major critical paper of no fewer than 5 pages, which will include research and MLA documentation. The project will be completed in the final quarter of the term.

 The rubric for this assignment is published so the student can see the expectations.

Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:

Since class combines discussion with interactive activities, the assessment will reflect this. In addition to a major paper requiring skills of interpretation modeled in class, students will take two exams and earn credit for participation to include sharing in classroom discussion and completing classroom activities such as web or library explorations and group work. Guidelines for how to write the essay, suggested topics and a supplement on American literature themes will be made available.



A=100%-90%; B=89%-80%; C=79%-70%; D=69%-60%; F=59%-0%
There are 1000 total possible points in this course.
Midterm = 250 points or 25%
Final = 250 points or 25%
Essay Project/Critical Paper = 250 points or 25%
Classroom = 250 points or 25%

Classroom activities emphasize discussion complimented by group work, library and web explorations, and, if time permits, illustrative video and short writings. Expect multiple essay questions on exams and both class discussion about this and review suggestions posted in our eCollege classroom to help guide your preparation.


Late Submission of Course Materials:
Late Work may be accepted based on instructor discretion  though penalties may apply. No make up for the final or missed classroom activities is permitted. The final paper must be completed by deadline. Midterm make up exams should be completed within one week.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Basic to succeeding in this class is reading the material assigned, completing assignments on the scheduled day, attending class, and dialoguing with the instructor if any clarification is needed. All formal written assignments should be in MLA style.  Students should also check their Park emails for class updates.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:
Based on student interest &/or time considerations, changes/ modifications may be made to the schedule and will be announced in class or emailed.

Week & Date--EN317


(Outcomes below relate both to class activities and submitted assignments)

Meeting - 1 on 8/24

Witness Literature: The Captivity Narrative & Colonial Literature

Bartolome de Las Casas   38;"The Very Brief Relation."
Cabeza De Vaca 61-70;
the Puritans:  Mary Rowlandson "A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration." 308-340; Anne Bradstreet poems 263 & 267-269

1, 2, 3, 1A

Meeting - 2 on 8/31

American Enlightenment---American Individualism and the American Dream

Benjamin Franklin:  "Autobiography": 538-554; 557-560; 565; 575; 588-599; "The Way to Wealth" 516-522;
"Remarks" 534 & Web Quest
Thomas Jefferson--The Declaration of Independence 728-732;
Crevecour "Letters from an American Farmer" selections  Letters III & IV & 674-675

1, 2, 3, 1A

Meeting - 3 on 9/7

Transcendentalism & the New American Revolution

Thoreau "Walden" selections tba & Emerson "Nature": 1106-1123; 1130-1134;  "Self-Reliance"; Margaret Fuller tba
William Apess "An Indian's..." 1079 *Review for Midterm Exam
*Essay Overview

1, 2, 3, 1A

Meeting - 4 on 9/14


Romanticism  & Puritan History Twice Told
Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter-- read the whole story, focusing on 1358-1385; 1402-1423; 1431-1432; 1437-1442; 1447-1452; 1467-1474 end

1, 2, 3, 1A

Metting - 5 on 9/21

Romanticism: The Growth of Fiction and Dark Romanticism
Discussion on Hawthorne (cont.)

Edgar Allen Poe: poems "The Raven" & "Annabel Lee" and "Sonnet To Science"
Stories: "The Cask of Amontillado"; & "Tell-Tale Heart"; "Liegia" &/or student choices as time permits

1, 2, 3, 1A

Meeting - 6 on 9/28

Romanticism & the Heroic Potential

The Literature of Social Reform & Abolition:  
Frederick Douglass 2029, "Narrative of the Life..." Read the entire narrative but focus especially on Chapters I  2039 -- VII  2059;
X 2064-2084
Harriet Jacobs(additional readings may be announced)

1, 2, 3, 1A

Meeting - 7 on 10/5

American Voices:
Poetry and Song
Whitman's "Song of Myself" stanzas: 1, 6, 13, 15 and additional stanzas from group work as time permits.

Spirituals and Slave Songs on Web Quest.
Melville tba
submit to lisa.wittmeyer@park.edu

1, 2, 3, 1A

Meeting 8 on 10/12

Earlier American Literature in Thematic and Historical Perspective --Wrap Up

1, 2, 3

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-89

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2005-2006 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87
Documentation guidelines will be made available with the essay guidelines. Students should carefully read this information and consult with this instructor in case of questions. Plagiarism on an assignment results in a zero with no opportunity for a redo.

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "WH".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89-90

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .


CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
1, 2, 3                                                                     
Offers clearly stated personal and critical insights to interpretation of readings throughout the essay. Makes occasional personal and critical statements, which are relevant and interpretive. Provides only plot summary, biographical information, or fails to retain focus on literature. Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 
1, 2, 3                                                                     
Incorporates primary and secondary sources using MLA documentation style perceptively and creatively in ways that provide new insights while still retaining personal voice. Incorporates primary and secondary sources using MLA documentation style adequately without particularly fresh insights, but still retains personal voice. Primary and secondary sources used rarely if at all and without adequate MLA documentation. Insights are predictable. Lacks an appropriate personal voice. Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 
Provides convincing and innovative connections between texts through careful close reading of poem(s). Provides connections between texts that are obvious but nonetheless plausible and interesting. Connections between texts remain vague and undeveloped. Critique not supported by close readings. Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 
Literary and critical terminology used appropriately and with ease throughout paper. Literary and critical terminology used adequately throughout much of the paper. Rarely employs appropriate literary and critical terminology, misuses it, or omits it altogether. Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 
Content of Communication                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
1, 2, 3                                                                     
Skillfully interweaves appropriate passages from literary and critical texts and makes strong personal statements that illustrate main point of essay. Adequately incorporates  passages from literary and critical texts as well as some personal statements to prove thesis. Rarely provides specific passages from literary or critical texts, or does so without making connections clear. Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 
Technical Skill in Communicating                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Employs conventions of Standard Written English with grace and style in a well organized, fully developed essay. Employs conventions of Standard Written English adequately in a reasonably well organized and developed essay. Writing shows persistent problems with the use of Standard Written English. Statements are often illogical, incomprehensible; organization and development of ideas do not support thesis. Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 
Interdisciplinary and Contemporary Components                                                                                                                                                                                                              
1, 3                                                                        
Analysis makes full use of historical, cultural, and/or other perspectives as interpretive tools. Analysis includes some consideration of historical, cultural, and/or other perspectives. Historical, cultural, and/or other perspectives are not used in any meaningful way. Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 
Multicultural Component                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
1, 3                                                                        
Analysis includes ample discussion of multicultural perspectives. Multicultural perspectives are mentioned appropriately but without depth. Multicultural perspectives are omitted from consideration. Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 


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Last Updated:7/26/2006 7:21:58 AM