ENGL 352 A: American Literature: The Early Nation

Meeting Time: 
TTh 3:30pm - 5:20pm
Location: 
* *
SLN: 
14623
Instructor:
Bob Abrams
Robert Abrams

Syllabus Description:

English 352 A
Online: Canvas + Zoom
Prof. Robert E. Abrams
Tel: 206-765-0547
Email: rabrams@uw.edu

Because of Covid-19, classroom meetings for English 352 A have been converted to remote delivery via Zoom sessions.  These will be available online on T, Th, 3:30-5:20 PM, from Oct 1 through Dec 10, with the exception of the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday,  Nov 26.  As you will recall, T, Th, 3:30-5:20, is when this class was initially scheduled to meet on campus. So keep these time slots open for your remote attendance via Zoom. Your availability to attend class on T, Th, 3:30-5:20,  was assumed when you initially enrolled.   If you are taking this course online from elsewhere in the US or internationally, you should regard all course deadlines and meeting times indicated on this syllabus as keyed first to Pacific Daylight Time, and then, beginning November 1, to Pacific Standard Time.

Virtual Office Hours via Zoom are by appointment, and they are scheduled T, Th,  5:30-6:30.  

IMPORTANT: ALL ANNOUNCEMENTS SENT TO STUDENTS IN THIS CLASS WILL BE SENT THROUGH CANVAS. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR CHECKING FOR THEM REGULARLY. THE REMOTE DELIVERY OF THIS COURSE REQUIRES YOUR TIMELY REVIEW OF ALL MESSAGES.

For your convenience, and in order to limit your book expenses in this course, most assigned readings are available in the “Pages” section of Canvas.  Two assigned texts, however, are not available in Pages, but they are available at the University Bookstore (check with the bookstore about how to obtain them).  Texts available for purchase include: (1) The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne;  (2) Moby-Dick, by Herman Melville  (we'll read selections only from Melville's longer novel).  You are welcome to use other editions of these novels if you have them.

Pre-Civil War literary language in the U.S., I should caution, is sometimes complicated, a bit archaic, and  somewhat difficult to read, and students enrolling in this course should be prepared to encounter difficult language as they explore authors such as Emerson, Hawthorne and Melville.

Along with complex philosophical and cultural issues explored by these so-called “classic” American authors,  assigned readings in this course  will furthermore focus on slavery and race,  on white/Native American relations, on sexuality and on gender.  To this end, we'll read works by Frederick Douglass, Chief Black Hawk, Margaret Fuller, Walt Whitman and others.  My objective is to include a wide spectrum of American works which register a wide spectrum of perspectives, styles, backgrounds, and social issues.   Many of the issues beginning to emerge in nineteenth-century American culture are still with us today.  

Important Notice:
Washington state law requires that UW develop a policy for accommodation of student absences or significant hardship due to reasons of faith or conscience, or for organized religious activities. The UW’s policy, including more information about how to request an accommodation, is available at Faculty Syllabus Guidelines and Resources. Accommodations must be requested within the first two weeks of this course using the Religious Accommodations Request form available at: https://registrar.washington.edu/students/religious-accommodations-request.

Assignments:
1. Two essays, each  approximately 4 1/2 to 5 pages long (approximately 1500-1600 words), are due in this course. The first essay is due on Tuesday, Nov 10,  at 11 PM, and the second  essay is due on Friday, Dec 10, also at 11 PM.    You should submit each of your essays as a single Word file, attached as an email addressed to rabrams@uw.edu. Double-space your essays; maintain 1-inch margins all around; use a standard font (not too big, not too small); place your name and a title at the top of the first page; use endnotes rather than footnotes; and you can choose from any number of endnote styles that are available online.  Prompts will be available as announcements in Canvas before the essays are actually due. 

2. There will also be an open-book, take-it-at-home final examination at the end of the quarter which will cover all reading materials plus all online lectures. The exam, consisting of approximately 8-10 paragraph-length mini-essays, will be available on Canvas beginning Wednesday, Dec. 16, at 9 A.M, and you will be required to submit the exam by 6:30 PM, Thursday, Dec 17,  giving you plenty of time to develop your answers.  Careful note-taking during the quarter should help you to do well on the exam, since you'll be able to consult your notes as well as assigned readings in developing your responses.   

3. Generally, two essays and your final will each count 1/3 in my computation of your course grade,  but with this exception:  in response to the request of several of my students last spring quarter, who felt that this is a good learning tool, you are invited--not required--to write up a one-page, single-space response to reading assignments and to lectures at the end of each week, focusing on issues raised in the readings, in lectures and in class discussions that seem important to you.   If you select this option, I'll raise your final grade in this course .2  (i.e.,  a 3.6 would become a 3.8, etc. ) for a complete, satisfactory set of weekly response papers.  You are not required to submit these papers to me at the end of each week; instead, gather all your response papers together in a single Word file and submit them to me by 9 PM  on the last day that we have a Zoom meeting--Thursday,  December 10.  Please note that this deadline is hard and fast since your assignment, if you select this option, is to develop weekly response papers during the quarter rather than suddenly to work  up these papers at the close, when lectures, reading assignments, and class discussions are not fresh in your memory.  If you select this option,  gather your response-papers together in a single Word file, date each response, and submit your file as an attachment to an email, sent to rabrams@uw.edu.  

PLAGRIARISM:

NOTE CAREFULLY: YOUR WRITTEN WORK SHOULD REPRESENT YOUR OWN THINKING AND WRITING. IN OTHER WORDS, IN OTHER WORDS, IT SHOULD NOT BE PLAGIARIZED. PLAGIARISM IS A VERY SERIOUS OFFENSE, AND ALL CASES OF PLAGIARISM IN THIS CLASS WILL BE REPORTED TO THE UNIVERSITY FOR APPROPRIATE DISCIPLINARY ACTION.

The following statement was prepared by the Committee on Academic Conduct in the College of Arts and Sciences. It amplifies the Student Conduct Code (WAC 478‐120).

One of the most common forms of cheating is plagiarism, using anotherʹs words or ideas without proper citation. When students plagiarize, they usually do so in one of the following six ways:
• Using another writerʹs words without proper citation. If you use another writerʹs words, you must place quotation marks around the quoted material and include a footnote or other indication of the source of the quotation.
• Using another writerʹs ideas without proper citation. When you use another authorʹs ideas, you must indicate with footnotes or other means where this information can be found. Your instructors want to know which ideas and judgments are yours and which you arrived at by consulting other sources. Even if you arrived at the same judgment on your own, you need to acknowledge that the writer you consulted also came up with the idea.
• Citing your source but reproducing the exact words of a printed source without quotation marks.
This makes it appear that you have paraphrased rather than borrowed the authorʹs exact words.
• Borrowing the structure of another authorʹs phrases or sentences without crediting the author from whom it came. This kind of plagiarism usually occurs out of laziness: it is easier to replicate another writerʹs style than to think about what you have read and then put it in your own words. The following example is from A Writerʹs Reference by Diana Hacker (New York, 1989, p. 171).
o Original: If the existence of a signing ape was unsettling for linguists, it was also
startling news for animal behaviorists.
o Unacceptable borrowing of words: An ape who knew sign language unsettled linguists
and startled animal behaviorists.
• Borrowing all or part of another studentʹs paper or using someone elseʹs outline to write your own paper.

THE STRUCTURE OF OUR ZOOM SESSIONS: I'll begin each session with a one-hour lecture on reading materials assigned for that session.  Then you'll have a 10-minute break to rest your eyes,  to refill your coffee mug, to soothe and fondle a spoiled but lovable cat--whatever.  For the rest of each session, you'll be divided into two discussion groups, approximately 20 people in each group. During each Zoom session,  your group will meet online with me for a 20-minute discussion either from 4:30 to 4:50, or 5:00 to 5:20.   I'll assign you to a group after the first meeting of the course on Oct 1.  Look for your group assignment in "Announcements" in Canvas.

COURSE CALENDAR

What follows is a schedule of readings. It's best to complete all scheduled readings before the online zoom sessions (T, TH 3:30-5:20) during which these readings  will be addressed.  Remember that except for THE SCARLET LETTER and MOBY-DICK, assigned readings are available for your convenience in "Pages."   Unfortunately, the "Pages" format in Canvas did not allow me to list the readings  in the order in which they have been assigned in this syllabus, so you'll have to hunt through the "Pages" list each time fresh readings are assigned.  

American Transcendentalism

Oct 1: Course Introduction:  No assignment

Oct 6: Emerson: selections from “Nature,” from “The American Scholar,” and from "The Divinity School Address." (All Emerson readings for Oct 6 and 8 are to be found in "Pages" under "Emerson readings.")  Note:  Prior to reading these selections, look under Announcements for a bit of guidance regarding how to approach Emerson's ideas.

Oct 8: Emerson: Selections from "Circles," from "The Poet," and from "Experience.” .

Oct 13  Thoreau:   Read  selections from Week on the  Concord, Walden and Walking in that order 

Oct 15: Whitman, "Song of Myself" 

Oct 20: Continuation of Whitman, “Song of Myself"

Oct  22: Whitman, “The Sleepers."

American Gothicism

Oct 27: Hawthorne, "Young Goodman Brown"

Oct 29: Hawthorne, "My Kinsman, Major Molineux"

Close Study of a Major American Novel

 Nov 3, Nov 5. Nov 10::  Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter (read approximately 1/3 of the novel for each class session)

Nov 10: THE FIRST OF YOUR TWO ESSAYS IS DUE.  SUBMIT YOUR ESSAY ONLINE IN WORD TO rabrams@uw.edu.

White/Native American Relations

Nov 12  Margaret Fuller, selections from Summer on the Lakes.    

Nov 17:  Indian Removal Act, plus selections from Black Hawk’s Autobiography.

Nov 19: Preface to Chief Seattle’s Speech, and Chief Seattle’s Speech

Slavery and Its Aftermath
Nov  24,  Frederick Douglass, Narrative

Nov  26:  Holiday

Dec. 1: Continued discussion of Douglass plus Ellison, "Harlem is Nowhere"

Dec 3, 8:  Moby-Dick, Chaps 1-23  only

Course Conclusion, Dec 10.  Optional Response Papers due by 9 PM, Dec 10.   Please note: this deadline is hard and fast.   That is to say, if you select this option, it is assumed that you will be writing your weekly response papers on a regular and consistent basis during the quarter,  and thus that you will have them ready to hand in by this date.  

Friday, Dec 11: second essay due, 9 PM. For those who are pressed for time, I will accept late essays up until 11 PM.  Friday, December 18, and they will be accepted without a reduction in grade.  However, I will not have time to offer commentary on late essays.

Final Examination.  This will be an open-book, do-it-at home exam available on Canvas beginning  Wednesday, December 16 at 9 AM  with a submission deadline on Thursday, Dec 17, 6:30 PM.   

 

Catalog Description: 
Explores American fiction, poetry, and prose from the early nineteenth century through the Civil War. May include such representative authors of the period as Emerson, Melville, Hawthorne, Douglass and fuller, along with supplementary study of the broader cultural and political milieu.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Credits: 
5.0
Status: 
Active
Last updated: 
June 28, 2020 - 10:50pm