EN318 Later American Literature

for SP 2008

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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 2008 HO


Wood, Jane


Chair of the English Department


Ph.D. English, University of Kansas
MA English, University of Kansas

Office Location

310 Copley

Office Hours

MWF 10:00--11:30 and TR 2:30--3:30 and by appointment

Daytime Phone




Class Days


Class Time

1:00 - 2:15 PM

Credit Hours



Morrison, Toni. Beloved.
Allison, Dorothy. Bastard Out of Carolina.
Hemingway, Ernest. A Farewell to Arms.
The American Tradition in Literature. eds. George and Barbara Perkins. Shorter Edition in One Volume: 11th edition, 2007.
Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 6th edition. New York: the Modern Language
      Association of America, 2003.

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

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.
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Course Description:
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

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:

There will be one class paper/project that will be presented to the class, a midterm, a final, and ocassional quizzes.


Paper/Project 1--30%
Final-- 30%

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:

  • Please leave your cell phones/blackberries/raspberries,e tc. at home
  • Bring your textbook to class each day. If you do not have your text with you, you will be asked to leave the room and you will be recorded as absent.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:


EN 318: Later American Literature—Spring 2008



January           T          15        Introduction to the course

                        R         17        A brief but nonetheless stimulating look at literary



T          22        “The Humanitarian Sensibility and the Inevitable

 Conflict” 779—784; “Address at the Dedication of the  

                         Gettysburg National Cemetery” 847--848.

                        R         24        “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl” 860—872

                                                “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass” 874--880


T         29         “An Age of Expansion” 889—897; Whitman 898--901; “Song of Myself” 915—955.

                        R         31        Dickinson 986—1014.


February         T          5          Twain: 1021--1051

                        R         7          “The Turn of the Century” 1193—1198;

                                                Washington “Up From Slavery” 1061—1064. Du

                                                Bois: “The Souls of Black Folk” 1337—1339.


                        T          12        “The Turn of the Century” 1193—1198. Crane: “The

Open Boat” 1371—1386; London: “To Build a Fire” 1401—1412.

R         14        “Literary Renaissance” 1413—1418. Robinson and

                        Frost: “Mr. Flood’s Party”; “Richard Cory”; “Mending

                        Wall”; “Home Burial”; “Fire and Ice”; “Stopping By

                                                the Woods on a Snowy Evening”


T          19        Pound and Eliot: “In a Station at the Metro”; “The

                        Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”

                        R         21        “The Waste Land” 1531—1546.


T          26        Stevens: “The Emperor of Ice-Cream”; “The Idea of

                        Order at Key West”; Williams: “The Red

                        Wheelbarrow”; “This is Just to Say”

                        R         28        e.e.cummings: “In Just-“; “Buffalo

Bill’s”; “Anyone Lived in a Pretty How Town”; “I thank You God”;  “The Harlem Renaissance” 1670—1678. Hughes: “the Negro Speaks of Rivers”; “the Weary Blues”; “Harlem”; “Feet Live Their Own Life”


March             T          4          A Farewell to Arms

                        R         6          A Farwell to Arms


                        T          11        Spring Break

                        R         13        Spring Break



T          18        Faulkner, “That Evening Sun” and “Barnburning.”

R         20        Midterm


                        T          25        “The Second World War and Its Aftermath” 1773—

                                                1783. Baldwin: “Sonny’s Blues”

                        R         27        O’Connor: “Good Country People”; “Revelation” (not

                                                in text)


April                T          1          “The Problem That Has No Name” 231—238;

                                                Rich: “Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers”; “Diving Into the

                                                Wreck”; Plath: “Morning Song”; Oliver: “In

                                                Blackwater Woods”; “The Ponds”

                        R         3          Beloved “ Interview with Toni Morrison


                        T          8          Beloved

                        R         10        Beloved


T         15         Carver: “A Small, Good Thing”; “Cathedral” (handout)

                        R         17        Bastard Out of Carolina


                        T          22        Bastard Out of Carolina

                        R         24        Bastard Out of Carolina


May                T          29        Paper/Project Presentations

                        R          1        Paper/Project Presentations


Final                T          6          1:00—3:00 p.m. in the classroom

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 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-86

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 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85

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.
  3. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  4. 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".
  5. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-88

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:1/2/2008 3:34:23 PM