You are on page 1of 9

EN114: American Literature


Contact Information:
Instructor: Matthew Wedlock
Class Meeting: M/W 12:30 - 1:45PM
Room: JH 207
Office: A&S 218
Phone: 732-987-2707
Office hours: W 2:00-3:00

Catalog Description: Focusing on the transformative nature of American literature from 1865
to the present day, emphasis will be placed on the innovations and the influences American
writers have had on literature including such movements as: naturalism, realism, literature of
and between the world wars, modernism, and post-modernism. Course will concentrate on in-
depth critical analysis and academic peer-review journal articles.

Course Goals and Learning Objectives: GCU Institutional Student Learning Goals (ISLG)
relevant to this course:
By the end of the semester--
Goal I. Students will communicate effectively in written and spoken English (ISLG 1)
Produce clear, coherent writing using various rhetorical strategies in substantive
analytical essays
Write a comparison-and-contrast literary research paper of approximately 6 pages that
synthesizes and cites secondary criticism, researched information, and technology to
support writing
Apply information gained from several sources, both primary and secondary, on a single
topic to foster an argument and draw conclusions
Become more comfortable and confident articulating ideas about a text verbally in front
of others

Course Evaluation Performance Indicators:

Final essay (approx. 6 pages) tracing the development of a theme through two different
texts and incorporating at least two scholarly sources. (Student will have some latitude in
choosing topics for this paper, in consultation with the instructor.)
Participation in full-class discussion and small group activities
Goal II. Students will apply critical thinking, problem-solving, and research skills (ISLG 2)
Compare and contrast two works based on theme, structure, and/or a cultural concern
in an essay
Incorporate at least two scholarly sources into an analytical essay using MLA format
Successfully navigate the GCU library and its databases for traditional and online
academic research
Integrate both primary and secondary source material appropriate for academic writing

Course Evaluation Performance Indicators:

Final research paper described above
Class participation

Goal III. Students will gain a broad foundation in knowledge and understanding of modes and inquiry in the
arts and humanities (ISLG 3B)
Demonstrate on exams an understanding of the social, cultural, and historical issues that
inform the literature of different periods
Demonstrate mastery of critical vocabulary used to describe and respond to literature by
applying terms in papers and on exams

Course Evaluation Performance Indicators:

Exams (primarily identification, short answer, and/or essay) that assess students mastery
of literary terminology, reading comprehension, understanding of literary movements,
and understanding of connections and/or distinctions between literary works.

Goal IV. Students will demonstrate analytical skills to appreciate the aesthetic (ISLG 8)
Recognize distinctions between common forms of literature on exams
Accurately identify on exams texts that characterize major literary movements

Course Evaluation Performance Indicators:

Essays and exams mentioned above
Class participation

Goal V. Students will demonstrate awareness of diversity issues (ISLG 10)

Question critically the position or viewpoint of authors or speakers
Gain an understanding of these points of view in American culture
Course Evaluation Performance Indicators:
Complete required readings for course; essays; class discussion
Three exams
Class presentations
One researched paper
Class participation (in a loud, clear voice)
Consistent and timely attendance
Thoughtful reading of class materials

General Education Literature Learning Objectives
1. SWBAT demonstrate a familiarity with approaches used to analyze literature, such as
awareness of form, genre, theme, critical, and/or critical approaches (Gen. Ed. Goal #1,
Objective #1 - conceptual framework for humanities/literature)
2. SWBAT develop a research paper, grounded in analysis of primary text(s) and
scholarly secondary sources, using these various analytical approaches to make an
argument about a literary work, and/or situate a literary work in the local and/or global
cultural, historical, aesthetic and sociopolitical contexts in which they were produced.
(Gen. Ed. Goal #1, Objective #2 - application)
3. SWBATuse strategies consistent with strong academic writing skills, such as effective
organization, clear support, awareness of purpose, etc. to develop a coherent written
argument. (Goal #2 Objective #2 written communication)

Signature Assignment

Research Paper
Minimum 6 pages
Makes an argument using one of the analytical frameworks in the objectives
Engages primary literary texts and uses at least two secondary peer-reviewed researched
resources to effectively support the argument
Uses MLA
Is well organized with intro, body, conclusion and otherwise demonstrates strong
academic writing skills which will be laid out in the rubric

Required Course Texts:

Norton Anthology of American Literature: Vols. C-E, gen ed. Robert Levine, 9th ed.
Course policies:

All reading is expected to be completed by the first due date on the syllabus
Completion of a research paper
Completion of all three exams
Active participation in class in a loud, clear voice
Please follow the syllabus and all subsequent assignment sheets

Teaching Methodology:

Research has shown that students learn more readily and retain more information in
active learning environments and as a result class participation and studying for exams
are facilitated.
Research has shown that students learn more by helping other students and that they can
then apply what they have learned in that process to their own work.
Research has shown that students learn more discovering information on their own in
controlled situations.
Research has shown that students retain more information by actively engaging in
annotating their texts as they read thus facilitating both participation in class and
studying for exams.

Grading policy: All work must be completed to pass this course and it must be
completed on schedule. Please make backup copies of all work, saving it to a
hard drive and to a separate disk or jump drive.

Paper 35%
Three Major Exams 45%
Preparation, Participation, Promptness, and Attendance 20%

Attendance policy:

You can miss no more than four classes. Future absences will affect your final grade
negatively and may result in failure of the course. Habitual lateness will also
lower your final grade. Save your absences for emergencies and minor illnesses.
In case of an extended absence, you must inform the Deans office.
Note: You are responsible for all assignments even if you are ill and miss class.
Also, if you are struggling with an assignment, please e-mail me or see me before
or after class so I can arrange an individual conference with you. Dont struggle
alone get help!

Note on e-mails: If I dont acknowledge your e-mail with an answer, then I

havent received your message. Something is wrong with either your system or
mine and you need to try my other e-mail address. If I still dont respond, please
leave a message on my office voice mail or leave a note in my mailbox.
**Alert!! Financial Aid Agencies Require Strict Attendance!!
The format, content, policies, and procedures of this course may be subject to change should extenuating
circumstances arise.

It is policy of Georgian Court University to maintain an academic environment free of discrimination,
including harassment, regardless of gender, race, creed, color, religion, age, national and ethnic origin, sexual
orientation, disability, or veteran status. The University is committed to creating an environment which is
free from intolerance directed toward individuals or groups. For details, see the current GCU undergraduate
catalog. All inquiries shall be addressed in the Office of Human Resources.

Disabilities Services:
Georgian Court University is committed to ensuring that all students receive equal access to all services,
programs, and activities. We support students with documented physical, sensory, learning, or psychological
disabilities by providing reasonable and appropriate accommodations in accordance with applicable laws,
such as Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. To
request accommodations and/or academic adjustments, please contact the Academic Development and
Support Center on the lower level of the Sister Mary Joseph Cunningham Library. Call 732-987-2363 or
send an email For more information, see

Academic Integrity
Georgian Court strives to be a moral community with ethical convictions. Academic integrity is essential to
collegial pursuit of truth and knowledge, and academic dishonesty is a serious offense which may result in
failure for the course and even dismissal from Georgian Court. Anyone who willfully assists another in the
breach of integrity is held equally responsible and subject to the same penalty. According to GCU policy,
academic dishonesty is any act of cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, abuse of resources, forgery of academic
documents, dissimulation, or sabotage, and any act of aiding and abetting academic dishonesty. One aspect
of academic honesty that often surprises students is the expectation that you hand in original workthat was
not already handed in for a different course.Unless you have specifically obtained your instructors permission to
hand in previously-completed work, this is a breach of academic honesty. See the catalog or student
handbook for additional information. Check with your instructor BEFORE an assignments due date if you
have questions about this policy.

Early Warning System Intervention Tool

Georgian Court University has an electronic intervention tool called theEarly Warning System.This tool
will be invoked when a studentis doing poorly in a course by demonstration of sub-par academic
performance, attendance, or disposition.Once an alert is activated in the Early Warning System, you will be
notified and a Georgian Court University professional will reach out to you to discuss ways to help you
succeed in this course.This process is only meant to help you.

Withdrawal from this Course

GCU policy permits undergraduate students to withdraw up to the 10thweek (or equivalent for courses of
shorter duration) and receive a W grade. This requires a "Request for Grade of W" form and a fee. You
cannot withdraw fromthis course by not attending or by telling your instructor of your desire to withdraw.
It is your responsibility to complete the official forms and procedures. An academic advisor must sign the
form. A student who has not officially withdrawnwill receive a grade based on all work, whether completed
or not, including work assigned after the student stopped attending. The registrar publishes a list of
deadlines to request a grade of W at
AND ACADEMIC STANDING be sure to check with the Financial Aid Office and your advisor before
dropping any course.

The Office of the Registrar in the Mercy Center can answer questions, too. Telephone 732-987-2228; email; web site:

Course Outline: Schedule of Topics, Reading Assignments, and Due Dates:

Module One: 1865-1914 Monday Wednesday

YAWP! & The Other.
Journal due every Friday on

Week One Introduction, Syllabus, Memory & Context Exercise:

August 28 & 30 Changing Education Paradigms Why study Literature?

Homework: Read Introduction

Homework: Read Whitman Song of
Myself Sections 1-25

Week Two NO CLASS YAWP! Song of Myself Discussion

and Exercises.
Labor Day{No Class}
Homework: Re-read Whitman
&September 6th Homework: Read Kate Chopins
The Awakening
Module One: 1865-1914 Monday Wednesday
YAWP! & The Other.
Journal due every Friday on

Week Three Reading through a Feminist Lens Annotating Literature with in class
Sept. 11 & 13 Homework: Read Chopins The
Storm & Gilmans The Yellow Homework: Read Charlot [He has
Wallpaper filled our graves with bones], The
School Days of an Indian Girl &

Week Four Ghost Dance & Resonance The Tarot of Emily Dickinson
Sept. 18 & 20
Homework: Read Emily Dickinson Homework: Read Emily Dickinson
poems pg 88-99 100-109

Week Five Experiments in Expression Module One Exam

Sept. 25 & 27
Homework: Read Introduction
Homework: Prep for Exam 1914-1945

Module Two : 1914-1945 Monday Wednesday

Week Six Modernism Nickel, what is nickel
October 2 & 4 Homework: Read Steins The Homework: Read Stevens The
Making of Americans & Tender Emperor of Ice Cream
Buttons W.C.Williams This Is just to Say &
Pounds A Pact" & "In a Station of
the Metro

Week Seven No Class Modernist Manifestos (In Class)

Columbus Day {No Class}
& Oct. 11
Homework: T.S Eliot The

Week Eight The Wasteland Lecture & Exercises The Harlem Renaissance
Oct. 16 & 18
Homework: Read Claude McKay & Homework: Read Zora N. Hurston
Langston Hughes poems Sweat & The Eatonville
Module Two : 1914-1945 Monday Wednesday
Week Nine Of the Snake Cummings Lecture
Oct. 23 & 25
Homework: E.E Cummings Poems Homework: Read Steinbeck

Week Ten Steinbeck Lecture Module Two Exam

Oct 30 & Nov 1.
Homework: Prep for Exam Homework: Read Introduction to Lit
since 1945

Module 3: Lit Since 1945

The More Things Change
Week Eleven A Streetcar Named Desire IN Lecture & discussion on Streetcar
Nov. 6 & 8 CLASS

Homework: Read second half of Homework: Read Howl by Allen

play Ginsberg

Week Twelve The Beats: Part One The Beats: Part Two
Nov. 13 & 15 Ginsberg & Kerouac Amiri Baraka in class readings

Discuss Research Paper

Homework: Read Toni Morrison
Recitatif & Toni Cade Bambara
Homework: Read Amiri Baraka Medley

Week Thirteen The Role of Storytelling & Poetry in

Nov 20. & Thanksgiving Break the 21st Century No Class
{No Class} Homework: Anzalda How to
Tame a Wild Tongue& Natasha
Tretheweys Miracle of the Black
Leg & Native Guard.

Week Fourteen The Harvest: What can we glean? The Male Gaze
Nov 27 & 29
Homework: Read Jhumpa Lahiri Homework: Read Maxine Hong
Sexy & Sharon Olds poems. Kingston
Week Fifteen The Woman Warrior Lecture Seeing the Unseen
December 4 & 6
Homework: Read Raymond Carver Research Paper Due
Prep for Final
Final Exam Final Exam