Literatures Of The United States To 1865
English 352 A Winter 2023
Prof. Robert E. Abrams
Office: B427 Padelford Hall
My office hours for English 352A are Tuesday afternoon, 2:30-4:30 PM. PLEASE NOTE THAT MY OFFICE HOURS ARE BY APPOINTMENT. Email me at least two hours ahead of time to make an appointment so that I can confirm our meeting. By selecting the link below (good for each meeting), you'll enter into a "Waiting Room," and from there I'll invite you into your meeting with me at the time of your appointment. Please click the link a few minutes before your appointment:
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An introduction to American literature and culture during the decades leading up to the Civil War. This is a period which: 1) struggled with numerous issues of race, slavery, gender, and class; 2) strove to develop a national mythology and identity against the backdrop of shifting national boundaries, increasing immigration, worldwide empire and trade, and a heterogeneous population; 3) tried to salvage religious faith in the wake of modern science and the Enlightenment; 4) and took democracy seriously enough to trace through its implications even to the point where, as in the case of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, such implications start to become startling and strange. The period is much too complex to be organized into a dominant, easily defined thesis or polemic, and in fact the aesthetic strategy of choice for many of the writers whom we’ll be exploring is the ambiguous interchange of perspectives and voices without settled closure or synthesis. Many a worthwhile "question,” Melville writes of his own literary method, tends to prove “more final than any answer," but it opens up lots of rich consideration as it is explored in a literary text. Class sessions will consist of lectures followed by time for class discussion and for questions which the class raises in response to class materials.
IMPORTANT: ALL ANNOUNCEMENTS SENT TO STUDENTS IN THIS CLASS WILL BE SENT THROUGH CANVAS. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR CHECKING FOR THEM REGULARLY.
For your convenience, and in order to limit your book expenses in this course, all assigned readings are available in the “Pages” section of Canvas. It is highly recommended that you bring laptops or tablets to class so that you can access assigned readings in Canvas and follow me whenever we focus--as we sometimes will--on close reading of particular passages.
INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS SEEKING TO REGISTER IN ENGLSH 352:
Many 300-level English courses (such as this one) are restricted only to ENGL majors during Period 1 registration. Most courses which are initially restricted to ENGL majors become available to non-majors beginning in Period 2 (about five weeks into the pre-registration process). Add codes may be available from the instructor during Period 3 (beginning on the first day of classes for the quarter).
If you plan to seek instructor permission to add an English course during Period 3 (which starts on the first day of school), be sure to ATTEND ALL CLASS MEETINGS during the first two weeks of classes. Instructors will be reluctant to issue entry codes to students who have missed one or more class meetings.
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.
1. Two essays, each approximately 4 1/2 to 5 1/4 pages long, are due in this course. The first essay is due Monday, Feb 13, and the second is due on Friday March 10. You should submit each of your essays as a single Word file, attached as an email addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Double-space your essays; maintain 1-inch margins all around; use 14-point font; 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. You will be offered a choice of topics.
2. Instead of a formal final examination, you are furthermore required to develop written responses 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. The length of each these written responses should be approximately 1 to 1.5 pages, single-spaced, in a 14-point font, except that at end of shorter weeks, when only one class session is held, a shorter written response of approximately 3/4 page, single-spaced, will be acceptable. You are not required to submit these written responses to me at the end of each week; instead, gather all your response papers together in a single Word file, date each response, and submit them to me by 9 PM, Mon, March 13, as an attachment to an email, sent to email@example.com.
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.
What follows is a schedule of readings. It's best to complete all scheduled readings before the regularly scheduled class sessions (M, W, 4:30-6:20 PM) during which these readings will be addressed. Remember: 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. But what follows is a guide to what will be covered on each date of the class and to the specific reading assignments covered on each date:
Jan 4: Course Introduction: No reading assignment.
Jan 9: Emerson: selections from “Nature,” from “The American Scholar,” and from "The Divinity School Address."
Jan 11: Emerson: Selections from "Circles," from "The Poet," and from "Experience.”
Jan 16: Holiday
Jan 18: Thoreau: Read selections from Week on the Concord, Walden and Walking in that order
Jan 23: Whitman, "Song of Myself"
Jan 25: Continuation of Whitman, “Song of Myself"
Jan 30: Hawthorne, "Young Goodman Brown"
Feb 1: Hawthorne, "My Kinsman, Major Molineux"
Close Study of the First Major American Novel
Feb 6, 8, 13: Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter (read approximately 1/3 of the novel for each class session)
White/Native American Relations
Feb 15: THE FIRST OF YOUR TWO ESSAYS IS DUE. SUBMIT YOUR ESSAY ONLINE AS AN ATTACHMENT IN WORD TO firstname.lastname@example.org by 11 PM.
Also, for this date, read Fuller, selections from Summer on the Lakes.
Slavery and Its Aftermath:
Feb 27: Frederick Douglass, Narrative
Mar 1: Continued discussion of Douglass plus Ellison, "Harlem is Nowhere"
MELVILLE AND THE RISE OF GLOBALISM
Mar 6: Moby-Dick, Chaps 1-23 only
Mar 8: Course Conclusion
Friday, Mar 10: second essay due, 7 PM. For those who are pressed for time, I will accept late essays up until 10 AM, Friday, Mar 17, and they will be accepted without a reduction in grade. However, I will not have time to offer commentary on late essays submitted after the Mar 10 deadline.
Your weekly response essays are due by 9 PM, Mon, March 13. See instructions earlier in this syllabus for how to submit these essays.