English 2550N Survey of American Literature II (2009)

English 2550N Survey of American Literature II  *  TTH  18:00 – 19:15  *   W514
Dr. Kiki Benzon  *  kiki.benzon@uleth.ca  *  T.A.: Adam Piper
Office Hours: by appointment  *  University Hall B-810K

In this course, we will read American poetry and prose from 1900 to the present, paying particular attention to the social and political conditions that have informed literary development in the twentieth century.

Required Texts: Norton Anthology of American Literature, Shorter Version. 7th edition.
Innovations. Ed. Robert McLaughlan. Dalkey Archive Press.
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. Carson McCullers (1940).

Evaluation: Midterm Exam (20%); 2 Papers (4-5 pp, 25% each); Final Exam (30%).

Week 1: September 10.
TH. Introduction to the course / Realism and Naturalism

Week 2: September 14 – 18.
T. HENRY JAMES “Daisy Miller: A Study”
TH. SARAH ORNE JEWETT “A White Heron”

Week 3: September 21 – 25.
T. GERTRUDE STEIN from Tender Buttons and “A Little Novel” (Invs.)* / “Objects”
TH. ROBERT FROST “Mending Wall” / WALLACE STEVENS “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”

Week 4: September 28 – October 2.
T. EZRA POUND “In a Station of the Metro” / WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS “The Red Wheelbarrow”
TH. EZRA POUND “Portrait d’une Femme” / ELIOT The Waste Land

Week 5: October 5 – 9.
T. T.S. ELIOT The Waste Land
TH. MINA LOY “Parturition” / H.D. “Leda” / MARIANNE MOORE “The Mind is an Enchanting Thing”

Week 6: October 12 – 16.
T. LANGSTON HUGHES “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” / CLAUDE MCKAY “The Lynching” / ZORA NEALE HURSTON “How It Feels to Be Colored Me”
TH. Midterm Exam (20%)

Week 7: October 19 – 23.
T. CARSON MCCULLERS The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
TH. CARSON MCCULLERS The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

Week 8: October 26 – 30.
T. CARSON MCCULLERS The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
TH. Discuss Paper Assignment / CARSON MCCULLERS The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

Week 9: November 2 – 6.
T. CARSON MCCULLERS The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
TH. First Paper Due (25%) / WILLIAM FAUKNER “A Rose for Emily”

Week 10: November  9 – 13.
T. ERNEST HEMINGWAY “The Snows of Kilimanjaro”
TH. F. SCOTT FITZGERALD “Babylon Revisited”

Week 11: November  16 – 20.
T. ALLEN GINSBERG Howl
TH. SYLVIA PLATH “Lady Lazarus” and “Daddy”

Week 12: November  23 – 27.
T. ROBERT LOWELL “Skunk Hour”
TH. JOHN CHEEVER “The Swimmer”

Week 13: November  30 – December 4.
T. THOMAS PYNCHON “Entropy” / JOHN BARTH “Menelaiad” (Invs.)
TH. Second Paper Due (25%) / WILLIAM GADDIS “Szryk v. Village of Tatamount et al., U.S. District Court, Southern District of Virginia No. 105-87” (Invs.)

Week 14: December 7 – 11.
T. CURTIS WHITE “Bonanza” (Invs.)
TH. DAVID FOSTER WALLACE “Little Expressionless Animals” (Invs.)

* “Invs.” Designates a work contained in Innovations (ed. McLaughlan)
Final Exam (30%)—date TBA, during exam period

Grade scale: A+ 91% to 100%; A 85% to 90%; A- 80% to 84%; B+ 77% to 79%; B 73% to 76%; B-70% to 72%; C+ 67% to 69%; C 63% to 66%; C- 60% to 62%; D+ 55% to 59%; D 50% to 54%; F <50%.

Course Policies: Papers handed in after the due date will be subject to a reduction of one full letter grade per day late, for up to four days. An “A” paper, in other words, will receive a “B” grade if it is handed in one day late. After four days, the paper will receive a zero. All papers must be written in accordance with MLA rules for citation and style. Plagiarism is theft; if plagiarism is suspected, the matter will be investigated and, if found guilty, the student will fail the course and may face further penalty from the university. A missed test or final exam will receive a zero grade.