Faculty Course Description
ENG221: American Literature II
Dr. James Watkins
Office: Evans 217
Office phone: 233-4072
ENG 221 is a survey of major American writers from the Civil War to present, with emphasis on the chronological development of literature in the U.S. from various forms of realism and naturalism in the nineteenth century to modernism and post-modernism in the twentieth century. Attention will also be given to the emergence of voices previously marginalized by gender, race/ethnicity, class, and/or region.
Students must have already passed or be currently enrolled in ENG 102.
Semester Hours' Credit
Students who pass ENG 221 will receive three semester hours' credit; the course satisfies the literature requirement of the General Education curriculum.
The Norton Anthology of American Literature, 6th Ed., Volumes C, D, & E, ed. Nina Baym (Also, students should have access to a standard college writing handbook that gives rules for MLA-style quotation and documentation.)
Purpose of the Course
The course is designed to introduce students to the major authors and trends in American literature from the Civil War to the present. One general assumption underlying the design of the course is that literature has played a fundamental role in the articulation of various contested versions of American national identity. To better recognize and appreciate the ways in which the assigned authors have participated in this ongoing process of defining American cultural identity, students will learn something about the specific historical or cultural moments in which the texts were written. Students are encouraged (though not required) to use the readings as catalysts for reflecting upon their own understandings of national identity, personal freedom, individual selfhood, and the interrelationships between language, power, and self-knowledge.
Evaluation Components and Grading Scale
class participation 10%
exam one 15%
exam two 15%
exam three 20%
Methods of Instruction
Most class meetings will be devoted to a combination of lectures on and discussion of the assigned readings. Students will also do some collaborative work in class, usually explication of specific passages in an initial session and informal presentation of the groups’ findings in a subsequent session.