EN 142.01                                                                                                                     Spring 2005

American Literary History II                                                                    Prof. Jim Smith

Campion 231                                                                                                              T, Th 1:30-2:45

 

Course Description:

This course introduces students to American literature from the Civil War to World War I.  Long considered the era of American Realism and Naturalism, this section will focus on a number of key literary figures, including Howells, Twain, and Crane, but it will also include regional writers (e.g. Chopin and Cather), ethnic writers (Cahan) and African American writers (Washington, DuBois and Chestnut).  The primary focus of our reading will be to investigate American Voices.  In particular, we will attempt to define what voices have the authority to represent Americans.  Moreover, we will seek to understand how this authority changes in relation to literary and social developments, e.g., the determining role of capital, ethnicity and the transformation of urban space, the advent of regional identity, and ongoing struggles relating to race, class and gender.  This course is introductory and no prior knowledge of the literature and/or the context is assumed.

 

Course Materials:

Boston College Bookstore

Abraham Cahan, Yekl & The Imported Bridegroom, and Other Stories (Dover, 1990)

Willa Cather, My Antonia (Mariner Books, 1995))

Kate Chopin, The Awakening (Bedford, 2000)

Charles Chestnut, Selected Writings (New Riverside/Houghton Mifflin, 2001)

Stephen Crane, Maggie a Girl of the Streets (Bedford, 1999)

Theodore Dreiser, Jennie Gerhardt (Penguin, 1996)

Rebecca Harding Davis, Life in the Iron Mills (Bedford, 1998)

William D. Howells, The Rise of Silas Lapham (W.W. Norton & Co., 1982)

Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Bedford, 2004)

 

O’Neill Reserve**

Jules  Chametzky,  From the ghetto: The fiction of Abraham Cahan

W.E.B. Du Bois, from The Souls of Black Folk. Ch. 3. “Of Mr. Booker T. Washington and Others” in Heath Anthology

Emory Elliot (Gen.Ed.), The Columbia History of the American Novel

Amy Kaplan, The Social Construction of American Realism

Paul Lauter (Gen. Ed.), The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Vol.2.

Guy Reynolds, Willa Cather in Context: Progress, Race, Empire

Donald Pizer (ed.), Cambridge Companion to American Realism and Naturalism.

Eric Sundquist, American Realism: New Essays

Booker T. Washington, from Up From Slavery.  Ch. 3. “The Struggle for an Education” and Ch. 14. “The Atlanta Exposition Address” in Heath Anthology

West, James L.W. (Ed.), Dreiser’s Jennie Gerhardt: New Essays on the Restored Text

                   

Course Guidelines -- READ CAREFULLY:

i)              Classes will generally be a mixture of discussion and informal lecture. For that reason attendance is essential. Only a verified letter from a doctor, infirmary, dean, or coach can serve as an excuse.  More than two unexplained absences will result in an automatic grade reduction in the next assignment due. I will take attendance.

ii)             Class begins at 1:30 p.m. sharp.  Please arrive on time. 

iii)           The grade for this class will be determined as follows:

i) reading assigned texts before class and regular (active) participation [10%]. You must contribute in meaningful ways on a consistent basis to attain the highest grade in this course.  No participation can result in a failing grade, and occasional or impromptu contributions can result in a mediocre participation grade.  Participation during student presentations is especially important!  If this is a problem, you need to discuss it with me in office hours!

ii) a group presentation with a set of questions to begin class.  Each presentation group will be expected to meet with me in advance and refer to outside sources (biographical, review, articles, etc) for its presentation.  Each group must submit an outline, due at the beginning of the subsequent class. [10 %]

iii) two 5-6 pages written assignments -- one due at the beginning of class on Feb. 22, and one due at the beginning of class on Apr. 26.  Both papers should be typed, clean of grammatical errors, spell-checked, and they should follow the MLA Handbook format. [20 % each]

iv) a mid-term in-class examination on March 3. Please make travel arrangements for Spring Break accordingly.

v)  a final in-class examination, date to be determined [20% each]

 

If necessary, short quizzes and/or in-class writing exercises may be given at any time. Except for written medical excuses, there are no extensions on papers.  Similarly, there are no make-up exams.  Communication is key — speak to me BEFORE a due date if you anticipate a problem.

Please bring this syllabus to every class.  It is your guide to where we are at any given time during the semester and I will refer to it frequently. 

v)             My office is located at 301 Connolly House, 300 Hammond Street.  Office hours this semester will be Tuesday and Thursday 9-10:00 a.m. and 3-4:00 p.m., and by appointment.  I strongly encourage students to come and speak to me concerning any aspect of the course during these times. My office phone number is 617-552-1596 and my home phone is 617-333-9898 (before 10:00 p.m.). I welcome students communicating with me by email, and my address is smithbt@bc.edu

 

CLASS SCHEDULE & ASSIGNMENTS:

 

1/18       Introduction/Syllabus/Profiles.

1/20       Rebecca Harding Davis, Life in the Iron Mills and from Bedford edition: Fanny Fern (156-9) and Anon. “Factory Life” and “My Experience as a Factory Operative” (169-74)

 

1/25       Davis, Life in the Iron Mills and from Bedford Edition: Brace (226-43) and Fuller (265-72)

1/27       W. D. Howells, Rise of Silas Lapham and from Norton Edition:  Payne’s “Recent Fiction: A Characteristically American Book” (395) and Scudder’s  “A Literal, Merciless Representation” (400-02)

 

2/1          W. D. Howells, Rise of Silas Lapham and from Norton Edition: G. Thomas Tanselle, “The Architecture of The Rise of Silas Lapham”(462-87)

2/3          W. D. Howells, Rise of Silas Lapham and Amy Kaplan, “The Mass-Mediated Realism of William Dean Howells” **

                  Student Presentation Group 1

 

2/8          Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and from the Bedford Edition: “The Controversy over Race.”  Read Peaches Henry

2/10       Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and from the Bedford Edition: “The Controversy over Gender and Sexuality.” Read Fiedler and Looby

 

2/15       Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and from the Bedford Edition: “The Controversy over the Ending.”  Read Marx and Hill

                  Student Presentation Group 2

2/17       Booker T. Washington from Up From Slavery: Ch. 3. “The Struggle for an Education” & Ch. 14. “The Atlanta Exposition Address” Heath Anthology**

 

2/22       W.E.B. Du Bois. From The Souls of Black Folk: Ch. 3. “Of Mr. Booker T. Washington and Others” Heath Anthology**

                  Paper 1 due

2/24       Charles Chestnut, Selected Writings and from New Riverside Edition: Read David Britt, “What you See is What you Get” (358-68)

 

3/1          Charles Chestnut, Selected Writings and from New Riverside Edition: Read William Andrews, “The Significance of …” (370-88)

                  Student Presentation Group 3

3/3          Mid-Term Exam

 

Spring Break

 

3/15       Stephen Crane, Maggie a Girl of the Streets and from Bedford Edition: Read Howells, “New York Life in Fiction” (333-37), Jacob Riis, “The Working Girls of New York” (202-07), and “Working Women Tell Their Own Stories” (243-262)

3/17       Stephen Crane, Maggie a Girl of the Streets and Alan Trachtenberg, “Experiments in Another Country,” in American Realism: New Essays**

 

3/22       Theodore Dreiser, Jennie Gerhardt and from West’s New Essays on the Restored Edition: Read Chris Wilson, “Labor and Capital in Jennie Gerhardt”**

 

Easter Break

 

3/29       Theodore Dreiser, Jennie Gerhardt and from West’s New Essays on the Restored Edition: Read Nancy Warner Barrineau’s “House Work is Never Done.”**

3/31       Theodore Dreiser, Jennie Gerhardt from West’s New Essays on the Restored Edition: Read Susan Albertine’s “Triangulating Desire”**

                                   

4/5          Catch Up Day/Workshop

                  Student Presentation Group 4

4/7          Abraham Cahan, Yekl and Richard’s Introduction,  “Abraham Cahan Cast in a New Role” (iii-viii), and review the “US History Immigration Theme” website: http://www.davison.k12.mi.us/academic/immpage.htm

                                   

4/12       Abraham Cahan, Yekl and Jules Chametsky, From The Ghetto ** (T.B.A.)

4/14       Kate Chopin, The Awakening and from Bedford Edition: Read Helen Watterson Moody “What it Means to be a Wife” and “The True Meaning of Motherhood” (153-57) and Walter Gregory’s “The Evolution of Woman in the South” (162-64)

 

4/19       Kate Chopin, The Awakening and from Bedford Edition: Read Elaine Showalter “Tradition and the Female Talent” (202-22)

4/21       Kate Chopin, The Awakening and from Bedford Edition: Read Elizabeth LeBlanc “The Metaphorical Lesbian” (237-57)

                  Student Presentation Group 5

 

4/26       Willa Cather, My Antonia and read Katherine Norris’ “Forward,” vii-xix

                  Paper 2 due

4/28       Willa Cather, My Antonia and Guy Reynolds,  My Ántonia and the Americanisation Debate” (Chapter 4)**

 

5/3          Willa Cather, My Antonia

                  Student Presentation Group 6

5/5          Catch Up Day/ Review and Final Exam Primer

 


Online Reserves for EN142: American Literary History II

Prof. James M. Smith. Ext. 2-1596

 

Amy Kaplan, The Social Construction of American Realism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988). O'Neill Stacks PS374.R37 K37 1988 

Chapter 1: “The Mass-Mediated Realism of William Dean Howells” pp.15-43.

 

 

Paul Lauter (gen. ed.), The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Vol. 2. 4th Edition. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2002). O'Neill Stacks PS507 .H35 1994

                 

(i) Booker T. Washington,  “Introduction,” pgs. 916-17; “Chapter III: The Struggle for an Education” 923-31; and “Chapter XIV: The Atlanta Exposition Address” pgs. 935-42.

 

                  (ii) W.E.B. DuBois, “Introduction,” pgs. 942-4;  “Chapter III: Of Mr. Booker T. Washington and Others” 950-58.

 

                  [If you need to use an earlier edition of the Heath Anthology, please follow titles above as guide with different pagination]

 

 

Alan Trachtenberg, “Experiments in Another Country,” in American Realism: New Essay. Ed. Eric Sundquist.  (Baltimore: John Hopkins UP, 1982. [not sure of page numbers] O'Neill Stacks PS374.R37 A47 

 

West, James L.W. (Ed.), and Dreiser’s Jennie Gerhardt: New Essays on the Restored Text. (Pennsylvania: U. of Pennsylvania P, 1995). O'Neill Stacks PS3507.R55 J4 1995 

 

(i) Chris Wilson, “Labor and Capital in Jennie Gerhardt.”[not sure of page numbers]

(ii) Albertine, Susan. “Triangulating Desire in Jennie Gerhardt.” 63-72.

(iii) Barrineau, Nancy Warner. “ ‘Housework Is Never Done’: Domestic Labor in Jennie Gerhardt.” 127-133.

 

Guy Reynolds, Willa Cather in Context: Progress, Race, Empire. (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1996). O'Neill Stacks PS3505.A87 Z813 1996

Chapter 4:  My Ántonia and the Americanisation Debate” pgs. 73-98