ENGL 5326: 501

Tim Morris

American Civil War Fall 2006

6-9pm Wed 102 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 5300 (or concurrently).

Reading List

to a few theoretical extracts

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/5326f06/5326main.html

course description: ENGL 5326, Fall 2006, is a seminar-style graduate course on historical fiction about the American Civil War. You will get the most out of the course if you come to it with some basic knowledge of, and interest in, American history and American fiction. If 5326 is your first exposure at the graduate level to American literature, you will still get something out of the course, naturally, but it will be perhaps an initially confusing experience.

The texts we'll read in 5326 this term are not central to American literary history. The choice of material is the product of my own fascinations (which I share with thousands of other readers, writers, and hobbyists). You will not get a general introduction to American literature via this course, and you won't even get a general introduction to the literature of the Civil War as it is usually taught (with an emphasis on writing from the period 1860-1910).

You will, however, get an introduction to thinking about historical fiction, and you will do independent scholarly work on popular representations of a crucial American historical period.

It will help very much if you have read Stephen Crane's Red Badge of Courage (1895) before you take this course. It will also help a lot if you've read Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind (1936), and seen the 1939 film version. Other background reading that will be of use includes Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin (1851-52), Michael Shaara's Killer Angels (1974), and Toni Morrison's Beloved (1987).

student learning outcomes: Students will be able to produce independent scholarly work on American historical novels, with attention to historical, theoretical, bibliographical, and/or literary-historical issues.

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 evaluating your 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.

assignments: One short paper (diagnostic grade only). One long professional paper. One seminar presentation.

grading: Your grade on your long professional paper will be your grade for 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

to a few theoretical extracts

30 August: syllabus, introductions, stock-taking
6 September: Jones, The Known World
13 September: Foote, Shiloh
20 September: juvenile novel; short paper due
27 September: Frazier, Cold Mountain
4 October: Gibbons, On the Occasion of My Last Afternoon
11 October: Randall, The Wind Done Gone
18 October: Ballard, Where I'm Bound
25 October: Dyja, Meet John Trow
1 November: seminar meeting
8 November: NO CLASS MEETING
15 November: seminar meeting
22 November: NO CLASS MEETING
29 November: seminar meeting
6 December: seminar meeting
13 December: long professional papers due

Top of Schedule

Top of Syllabus