ENGL 2329: 012

Tim Morris

American Literature Fall 2006

1100-1220 Tues / Thurs 307 Preston Hall

office hours: Wed 8-11 AM & by appointment, 614 Carlisle Hall
tmorris at uta dot edu

office phone: 817-272-0466

office mailbox 203 Carlisle Hall

mailing address Box 19035, UTA 76019

to the schedule of readings and assignments

prerequisites: ENGL 1301 and 1302.

required texts: Hawthorne (Colacurcio, ed.), Selected Tales and Sketches (Penguin); Wharton, Old New York (Scribner); Frazier, Cold Mountain (Vintage); Jones, The Known World (Amistad); Lee, A Gesture Life (Riverhead Trade); Johnson, Dreamer (Scribner). All are paperback.

syllabus: This syllabus may be updated as the semester goes on. I may post updated versions that indicate readings, discussion plans, and reference materials. However, every component of your grade is shown here at the beginning. Please refer to the date and time of printing (at the bottom of each page) to see when the version you are holding was printed. For continuous updates look on line at http://www.uta.edu/english/tim/courses/2329f06/2329main.html

course description: This is a course in reading and critiquing American literature. Our main interest this semester is in seeing how American writers over the past centuries have depicted their sense of American history.

student learning outcomes: Students will be able to analyze individual literary works. Students will be able to synthesize their analyses of literary works by placing them within contexts of American history and other literature.
Note on outcomes: although the listed outcomes are desirable and achievable, the long-term goals of this course, as in any liberal-arts course, include less-measurable outcomes that we must not lose sight of -- and that are quite real, though not quantifiable. Among these are the habit of reading critically, a lifelong interest in and ability to understand literature, and the general sense that when we approach art in an intellectual way -- particularly by writing freely (literally, "liberally") about it -- we learn things that are unforeseeable and immeasurable. While I will be measuring your explicit listed outcomes by reading and counting your acceptable papers, you will only know that you have learned the more important things about the course if the issues we raise are still alive for you decades from now. That life of the mind, not some immediate "learning outcome," is the benefit of a liberal education.

attendance is semi-optional. In order to "collect" a point for a short-paper assignment, you must be in class on the day that the assignment is handed back and discussed. There's no penalty for missing other meetings.

assignments: 12 short papers (three pages maximum). There is no specific assigned topic for any of the papers. But each paper you write should address the assigned reading and should concern how the text uses American history, makes us think about America, and tries to orient us to our own place in history. Do not merely summarize the text; we'll all have read it. Try to account for its ideas about its "then" and its "now."

grading: Grading is on a point system, with zero or one point possible for each short-paper assignment.

Short papers will receive only one point or no points. Most relevant papers will receive one point. But you will receive no points if your paper is: handwritten; irrelevant to the reading; or late. "Late" for our purposes means after 4pm on the due date. If you do not come to class on the day the assignment is turned back, you do not earn the point for that assignment.

I think that a B is a very good grade for an undergraduate course, and that a C grade is quite acceptable. The grade of A indicates excellence rather than mere completion of the course.

academic dishonesty policy: It is the philosophy of The University of Texas at Arlington that academic dishonesty is a completely unacceptable mode of conduct and will not be tolerated in any form. All persons involved in academic dishonesty will be disciplined in accordance with University regulations and procedures. Discipline may include suspension or expulsion from the University. "Scholastic dishonesty includes but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, collusion, the submission for credit of any work or materials that are attributable in whole or in part to another person, any act designed to give unfair advantage to a student or the attempt to commit such acts." [Regents' Rules and Regulations, Part One, Chapter Vi, Section 3, Subsection 3.2, Subdivision 3.22]

disability policy: The University of Texas at Arlington is on record as being committed to both the spirit and letter of federal equal opportunity legislation; reference Public Law 93112--The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended. With the passage of new federal legislation entitled Americans with Disabilities Act - (ADA), pursuant to section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, there is renewed focus on providing this population with the same opportunities enjoyed by all citizens. As a faculty member, I am required by law to provide "reasonable accommodation" to students with disabilities, so as not to discriminate on the basis of that disability. Student responsibility primarily rests with informing faculty at the beginning of the semester and in providing authorized documentation through designated administrative channels.

student success: The University of Texas at Arlington supports a variety of student success programs to help you connect with the University and achieve academic success. They include learning assistance, developmental education, advising and mentoring, admission and transition, and federally funded programs. Students requiring assistance academically, personally, or socially should contact the Office of Student Success Programs at 817-272-6107 for more information and appropriate referrals.

library: Noel Anderson is the Librarian for the English Department. He can be reached at 817 272 3000, ext. 7428, and by email at noel@uta.edu You will find online databases for English among the Arts & Humanities databases at http://www2.uta.edu/library/subjguides/dbEnglish.asp

writing center: located on the fourth floor of the Central Library, and at http://www.uta.edu/owl/ , the Writing Center provides free tutoring for UTA students. Tutors will not write your papers for you, but will help you understand and use strategies for effective writing.

schedule of assignments and readings
29 August: syllabus and introductions
31 August: lecture: backgrounds for Hawthorne and Wharton
5 September: paper 1 due: Hawthorne: "My Kinsman, Major Molineux"; "The Gray Champion"; "Endicott and the Red Cross"
7 September: discuss paper 1
12 September: NO CLASS MEETING; paper 2 due, Hawthorne: "The Minister's Black Veil"; "The Man of Adamant"; "The Maypole of Merry Mount"
14 September: discuss paper 2
19 September: paper 3 due, Wharton: "The Old Maid"
21 September: discuss paper 3
26 September: lecture; paper 4 due, Wharton: "New Year's Day"
28 September: discuss paper 4
3 October: paper 5 due, Frazier, Cold Mountain, pp. 1-176
5 October: discuss paper 5
10 October: paper 6 due, Frazier, Cold Mountain, pp. 177-356
12 October: discuss paper 6
17 October: paper 7 due, Jones, The Known World, pp. 1-177
19 October: discuss paper 7
24 October: lecture
31 October: paper 8 due, Jones, The Known World, pp. 179-388
2 November: discuss paper 8
14 November: paper 9 due, Lee, A Gesture Life, pp. 1-152
16 November: discuss paper 9
21 November: paper 10 due, Lee, A Gesture Life, pp. 153-356
28 November: paper 11 due, Johnson, Dreamer, pp. 13-123 (plus discussion of #10)
30 November: discuss paper 11
5 December: paper 12 due, Johnson, Dreamer, pp. 124-236
7 December: discuss paper 12

Top of Schedule

Top of Syllabus