EN318 Later American Literature

for SP 2009

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Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


EN 318 Later American Literature


SP 2009 HO


Wood, Jane


Chair of the English Department


Ph.D. University of Kansas
MA University of Kansas
BA University of Missouri

Office Location

310 Copley

Office Hours

MF 2--4, TR 1--3

Daytime Phone




Web Page


Semester Dates

Spring 2009

Class Days


Class Time

12:25 - 1:40 PM

Credit Hours



Twain, Huckleberry Finn. Bedford/St. Martins, eds. Graff and Phelan, 2004. ISBN: 0312400292Book
Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby. Penguin, ISBN: 0140620184 The Great Gatsby
Haley, The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Ballantine, ISBN: 0345376714
Robinson, Gilead. Picador, ISBN: 0312463715-X Gilead: A Novel
eds. Belasco/Johnson, The Bedford Anthology of American Literature, Vol. II 1865--present, ISBN: 0312463715

Additional Resources:

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Course Description:
EN318 Later American Literature (MLL): Study of significant American writers from the Civil War to the present with attention to the historical and cultural contexts of their works. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:
I will ask you to entertain the notion that reading and discussing literature matters. Indeed, I believe that who we choose to become as individuals and as a collective community springs directly from our ability to understand and make sense of the complexity of personal and collective life. Literature allows us to contemplate ways, as James Baldwin so eloquently writes, “to impose order on the void.” Read well, think and write wisely, discuss your interpretations as if the world depends upon your thoughts and ideas. For, indeed, I believe that it does.

Also consider these wise words from Kurt Vonnegut:
"Practicing an art not matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something." --from A Man Without a Country

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

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

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:
Reserach Paper, Mid-term, Weekly Quizzes (every Friday), Final


Research Paper--25%
Weekly Quizzes Over the Reading--25%
Final-- 25%

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Course work is due on the day and hour that is listed in the syllabus. Anytime that the work is turned in after I call for it (except in the cases of illness or prearranged absence) it will lose one letter grade per day that it is late.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

We will assume that we all enter the room in order to learn about and enjoy poetry. In order to enhance this opportunity for everyone, I will insist on a few conduct rules: 
  • No sleeping in class. If you fall asleep in class, I will ask you to leave and you will be marked absent for the day.
  • No texting on your cell phone in class. If you are texting in class, I will ask you to hand me your cell phone for the duration of the class. If you text during class a second time, I will ask you to leave the room and you will be marked absent. If there is a third time that you text, I will ask you to leave and file a disciplinary action with the Dean.
  • Please be on time to class. If you arrive at class more than five minutes after the class start, you will be counted as absent.
  • Bring your text to class. We will be reading from it at each class period. If you do not have your text, then you cannot participate. the first time that you do not bring your text I will ask you to read along with a classmate. The second time that you do not bring your text, I will ask you to leave the room and you will be marked as absent. The third time that you do not bring your text I will ask you to leave and I will file a disciplinary action with the Dean.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Daily Syllabus for EN 318 Later American Literature

Spring 2009 

Week 1 (January 12th)          M: Bedford, “Introduction” pp. 2—29.

                                                F: Bedford, pp. 31—39, Begin Huckleberry Finn

Week 2 (January 19th)           M: No class  

                                                F: Huckleberry Finn

Week 3 (January 26th)           M: Finish Huckleberry Finn

                                                F: “The Yellow Wallpaper”, “The Open Boat”

Week 4 (February 2nd)          M: Robinson (all selections), Dunbar

                                                F: Dreiser, Cather

Week 5 (February 9th)           M: Washington, DuBois

                                                F: Introduction to Modernism, pp. 500--537

Week 6 (February 16th)         M: No class

F: Frost (all)

Week 7 (February 23rd)         M: Stevens, Williams, Pound

                                                F:  T.S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”

Week 8 (March 2nd)              M: “The Waste Land”

F: Midterm, March 6th

Week 9 (March 9th)               Spring Break

Week 10 (March 16th)           M: The Great Gatsby

                                                F: The Great Gatsby

Week 11 (March 23rd)           M: e.e.cummings (all)

                                                F: Hughes (all)

Week 12th (March 30th)         M: Stein “Picasso”; Hemingway, “Big Two-Hearted River”

                                                                F: Faulkner, “That Evening Sun” and “Barn Burning”

Week 13 (April 6th)                M: Eyes on the Prize: The Time Has Come

                                                F: The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Week 14 (April 13th)              M: The Autobiography of Malcolm X

                                                F: The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Week 15 (April 20th)              M: O’Connor, “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”, Walker,

                                                            “Everyday Use”

                                                F: Gilead

Week 16 (April 27th)              M: Gilead

                                                F: Gilead

Finals Week                           Final    Monday, May 2nd, 12:15—1:40

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 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

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 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

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 "F".
  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 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89-90
I take attendance at the beginning of class. If you are not in your seat when I take attendance you will be counted absent. After three unexcused absences, you will drop one letter in the course grade (this includes times when you may have been in class, but missed the attendance call.)

After 10 absences, you will receive an "F" in the course.

Excused absences include: Death in the family, Emergency room visits, etc. Please do not schedule routine doctor's appointments, etc, during class hours. These are not excused absences. Additionally, work hours are not excused absences. If you have additional questions about what constitutes and excused absence, please let me know.

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 earlier American literary works. Makes adequate personal and critical statements, which are relevant and interpretive. Provides only plot summary, biographical information, or fails to retain focus on poem or poems. 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 into the literature. 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. Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 
Provides convincing and innovative connections between texts and identifies features of earlier American texts. Provides connections between texts that are obvious but nonetheless plausible, and identifies features of earlier American texts. Connections between texts remain vague and undeveloped. Critique does not clearly identify features of earlier American texts. Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 
Literary and critical terminology applied skillfully throughout paper that highlights American cultural issues. Literary and critical terminology used adequately throughout much of the paper that sometimes highlights American cultural texts. 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 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 and includes some personal statements to prove thesis. Rarely provides specific passages from poem(s) or critical theory for analysis, 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:12/18/2008 2:34:49 PM