ENGL 200 F: Reading Literary Forms

The Uncanny, the Wild, and the Macabre in 19th-C American Literature

Meeting Time: 
MTWTh 1:30pm - 2:20pm
SMI 407
Emily Bald

Syllabus Description:



English 200 F Syllabus.pdf 


Course Calendar

Week 1

Mon. 3/28        Introduction, Syllabus

Tue. 3/29         John L. O’Sullivan, “Annexation” (Canvas)

19th-century visual art & cartography

Wed. 3/30        Washington Irving, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”

Thu. 3/31         Edgar Allan Poe, “Ms. Found in a Bottle”


Week 2 (Blog First Readers: Team A; Respondents: Team B)

Mon. 4/4          Sigmund Freud, The Uncanny

Tue. 4/5           Poe, “The Fall of the House of Usher”

Wed. 4/6          "Chief Seattle's Speech" (PDF in Canvas Files)

Thu. 4/7           Andrew Bennett & Nicholas Royle, “The Uncanny” (from An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory)


Week 3 (Blog First Readers: Team B; Respondents: Team C)

Mon. 4/11        Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (Chapters 1, 2, 3, 10, 11, 14, & 28)

Tue. 4/12         Moby-Dick (Chapters 35, 41, 42, & 44)

Wed. 4/13        Moby-Dick (Chapters 93 & 104)

Thu. 4/14         Henry David Thoreau, Walden (pp. 81-98)


Week 4 (Blog First Readers: Team C; Respondents: Team A)

Mon. 4/18        Moby-Dick (Chapter 35--"The Chase--Third Day"--and "Epilogue")

Tue. 4/19         Walden (pp. 301-302; 307-309; 316-319 and 320-333)

Wed. 4/20        Read sample paper (Canvas) and evaluate using criteria scores

Thu. 4/21         Peer Review (Bring Midterm Paper Draft)

  *Extra Credit Peer Review Due: Sun. 4/24 by midnight via Canvas


Week 5 (Blog First Readers: Team A; Respondents: Team B)

Mon. 4/25        No Class: Optional Conferences

Tue. 4/26         No Class: Optional Conferences

Wed. 4/27        Ambrose Bierce, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” 

Thu. 4/28         Bierce, “Chickamauga”   


 *Midterm Paper Due Fri. 4/29 by midnight (Submit via Canvas Assignments)*


Week 6 (Blog First Readers: Team B; Respondents: Team C)

Mon. 5/2          Joel Chandler Harris, selected Uncle Remus stories (“Some Goes Up and Some Goes Down”; “The Wonderful Tar-Baby”; and “The Briar Patch”)

Tue. 5/3           Charles Chesnutt, “Superstitions and Folklore of the South” & “The Goophered Grapevine” (from The Conjure Woman)

Wed. 5/4          W.E.B. Dubois, The Souls of Black Folk selections

Thu. 5/5           Alice Walker, “Uncle Remus, No Friend of Mine”

                        Ta’Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me selections (Canvas)


Week 7 (Blog First Readers: Team C; Respondents: Team A)

Mon. 5/9          Thoreau, “Walking”

                        Frederick Jackson Turner, “The Significance of the Frontier in American History”

Tue. 5/10         Jack London, “To Build a Fire”

Wed. 5/11        Theodore Roosevelt, “The Strenuous Life”

Thu. 5/12         Bill BrysonA Walk in the Woods excerpts (Canvas PDF)

                        Christopher Solomon, "The Last Man Up" excerpts (Canvas PDF) 


Week 8 (Blog First Readers: Team A; Respondents: Team B)

Mon. 5/16       Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “The Yellow Wall-Paper”

Tue. 5/17        Kate Chopin, “The Storm” 

Wed. 5/18       Louisa May Alcott, "A Whisper in the Dark"

Thu. 5/19        Margaret Atwood, “Simmering” and “The Sunrise”


* Proposal Due by midnight Fri. 5/20 (via Canvas)


Week 9 (Blog First Readers: Team B; Respondents: Team C)

Mon. 5/23        Poe, “The Man that was Used Up”

Tue. 5/24         H.P. Lovecraft, “The Outsider”

Wed. 5/25        Alex Garland (dir.), Ex Machina

Thu. 5/26         Ex Machina


Week 10  (Blog First Readers: Team C; Respondents: Team A)                 

Mon. 5/30        No Class: Memorial Day

Tue. 5/31         Peer Review

Wed. 6/1          Read Around

Thu. 6/2           Course Conclusion & Evaluations


*Final Paper Due Mon. 6/6 by 5pm (Submit via Canvas Assignments)*



Additional Details:

This course explores representations of times and places that lurk outside of nationally and culturally ‘settled’ space, whether geographically, socially or psychologically. We will cover a lot of ground, beginning with supernatural tales like “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” moving into the Gothic short stories of Edgar Allan Poe and ultimately winding our way into the trenches of Civil War fiction and into the psychological architecture of feminist studies like “The Yellow Wall-paper” at the turn of the century. We moreover cover a variety of forms and media, including short fiction, novels, poetry and visual art. Emerging from a historical period marked by sustained efforts to consolidate national identity and map the nation’s “manifest” destiny onto the American landscape, these works expose the people, places, and experiences that threaten national notions of civilization.

Please note that this is a “W” (“writing-intensive”) course. In addition to the assigned reading, there will be short, informal writing assignments which build toward two formal (4-6-page) essays. 

Tentative works include: Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle,” Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher” and “A Descent into the Maelström,” selections from Thoreau’s _Walden_, selections from Melville’s _Moby-Dick_, selections from Whitman’s _Leaves of Grass_, Emily Dickinson’s poetry, selections from Frederick Douglass’s _My Bondage and My Freedom_, Bierce’s “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” and “Chickamauga,” Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” and Chopin’s ­_The Awakening_

Catalog Description: 
Covers techniques and practice in reading and enjoying literature in its various forms: poetry, drama, prose fiction, and film. Examines such features of literary meanings as imagery, characterization, narration, and patterning in sound and sense. Offered: AWSp.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Writing (W)
Last updated: 
October 5, 2016 - 9:14pm