Professor Karen Weyler
English 372W-01: Early American Literature
Office: McIver 109
Office hours: MW 1-2; F 11-12; and by appointment.
Telephone: 334-4689 Email:KAWeyler@uncg.edu Web site: http://www.uncg.edu/~kaweyler
Norton Anthology of American Literature, 5th ed. Vol. 1
Additional readings will be available through library reserves.
English 372W is a writing-intensive class in which we will study pre-1820 American literature. Early American literature includes exploration texts written by Europeans; the literature of settlement and revolution; early English-language texts of Native Americans; and, writings of Africans both slave and free, in London as well as in the American colonies. We will read in various genres and emphasize historical and cultural contexts for literary texts. Major literary and critical subjects include: rival models of colonialism and colonization; contradictions in the ideas and ideals of civilization; controversies over race in early modern culture; and, the development of nationalism.
Student Learning Goals
By the completion of this course, students will have gained an understanding of the diverse groups of people who explored and settled what would become British North America, as well as some of the motivations for such settlement. Students will also understand the varied genres that these people produced and the historical contexts in which their works appeared. In this writing-intensive course, students will use writing as a way to explore important questions about early American literature. Students will write multiple drafts of assignments; through conferences with the professor and peer editing sessions, students will receive and incorporate constructive criticism to improve their written work. By the end of the semester, students will be able to write clearly, coherently, and insightfully about early American literature.
Course Requirements and Evaluation
This is a discussion-oriented class, with minimal lecturing. Each student will give one 10-12 minute oral presentation on a text or assigned topic; these presentations are intended to facilitate class discussion. Writing assignments include one shorter essay (3-4 pages) and one longer essay (7-8 pages). Additional writing opportunities include frequent in-class writing and an on-line electronic discussion board.
The final course grade will consist of these components:
Shorter Essay 15%
Longer Essay 25%
Mid-term Examination 15%
Final Examination 25%
Presentation/Class Participation 10%
On-line and In-class Writing 10%
You must complete and turn in all assignments on the dates that they are due in order to pass this course.
Office Hours and Conferences
At the beginning of the semester, I will schedule brief (10 minute) introductory conferences in my office so that we will have a chance to meet and speak individually. You are also welcome to visit my office at any point during the semester or to schedule an appointment outside of my usual office hours in order to discuss reading assignments, papers, etc.
You may choose to visit the University Writing Center (located in 101 McIver Building) for additional assistance with your writing. For more information, call 334-3125.
Academic Integrity Policy
I expect every student to abide by the principles of the Academic Integrity Policy, which appears in the Student Handbook. Students will need to sign the Academic Integrity Pledge on all major work. In addition, you must properly document any use of another's words, ideas, or research; unacknowledged use of someone else's thoughts is plagiarism. Please use MLA style documentation to document any sources used in written work. Work that is not properly documented will receive a zero; further penalties may be assessed according to the criteria established under the Academic Integrity Policy. If you have questions concerning documentation, please consult me.
I expect students to attend class and arrive on time. Since we will use class time for discussion, your presence is important to the success of the class as a whole. Students will be allowed to make up missed work from excused absences only. Grounds for excused absence include such events as illness or death in the family. More than two unexcused absences will lower your final grade; each unexcused absence after two will lower your final grade by one-half of a letter grade. Ten or more absences, regardless of excuse, will result in a failing grade. It is your responsibility to determine what you have missed.
English majors should subscribe to the departmental email list in order to receive information about the major. From the computer account through which you receive email, send the following message to firstname.lastname@example.org: Subscribe English-l yourfirstname yourlastname (note that is a lower case L, not the numeral 1, following English).
What Can You Expect from Your Professor?
You can expect that I will treat you as an adult, encourage your participation in this class, listen carefully to what you have to say, and challenge your thinking. You can also expect me to evaluate your work fairly and to offer constructive criticism and praise of your written work.
Please note that this syllabus is subject to change.
M Aug. 20 Course Introduction
W Aug. 22 European Exploration of the New World: Introduction, Literature to 1620 1-8; Columbus, letters 11-14; Cortes, letter 19-23
F Aug. 24 Castillo, 24; Conquest 25-40
M Aug. 27 de Vaca, 40-42; Relation 42-52
W Aug. 29 Barlowe, First Voyage 67-76; White, Fifth Voyage 83-89; Smith, 102-04; General History 105-114 and Description 114-17
F Aug. 31 Pilgrims, Puritans, and the Settlement of New England: Introduction, Early American Literature to 1820 153-61; Bradford, Plymouth Plantation 165-87
M Sept. 3 No Class Labor Day Holiday
W Sept. 5 Bradford, Plymouth Plantation 195-98; Williams, skim 234-45; read 245-47
F Sept. 7 Winthrop, A Model of Christian Charity 214-25
M Sept. 10 Puritan Poetry: Bradstreet, 246-47; "The Prologue" 247-48; "The Author to Her Book" 270-71; "Upon the Burning of Our House" 278-79
W Sept. 12 Bradstreet, "The Flesh and the Spirit" 268-70; "To My Dear and Loving Husband" 272; "A Letter to Her Husband" 272; "Another Letter" 273; "To My Dear Children" 280
F Sept. 14 No Class: Use this time to work on your paper
M Sept. 17 Draft Workshop for Paper 1
W Sept. 19 Taylor, 330-331; "Meditation 8" 333-34; "Upon Wedlock" 346-47; "A Fig for Thee, Oh! Death" 350-51
Sept. 21 Wigglesworth, 283-84; Day of Doom 284-97
M Sept. 24 Indian Captivity Narratives: Rowlandson, 297-98; Narrative 298-307; Paper 1 Due in Class
W Sept. 26 Rowlandson, Narrative 307-330
F Sept. 28 The Witchcraft Trials: Mather, 373-74; Wonders 374-79
M Oct. 1 Travel Narratives: Knight, 411-12; Journal 412-22
W Oct. 3 Midterm Exam
F Oct. 5 No Class
M Oct. 8 No Class
W Oct. 10 Virginia and the Island Colonies Byrd, 422-23; Secret Diary 423-28; History 428-39
F Oct. 12 Introduction, the Island Colonies (library reserve); Cooke, The Sot-Weed Factor 1014-31 (reserve)
M Oct. 15 Ligon, True and Exact History (reserve)
W Oct. 17 Great News (reserve); Ward, Trip to Jamaica (reserve)
F Oct. 19 The Great Awakening: Edwards, 440-441; "Personal Narrative" 441-52; Divine and Supernatural Light 453-66
M Oct. 22 Edwards, Sinners 474-85
W Oct. 24 Woolman, 596-97; Journal 597-603; Some Considerations 604-12
F Oct. 26 Occom, "Narrative" 612-19; Handsome Lake (reserve)
M Oct. 29 The Age of Revolution: Franklin, 491-92; "Rules" 502-07; "Sale" 507-09; Autobiography 523-550
W Oct. 31 Franklin, Autobiography 550-85
F Nov. 1 Paine, 691-92; The Crisis 699-705
M Nov. 5 Jefferson, Autobiography 712-19; Notes 720-30
W Nov. 7 Jefferson, Notes continued; letters 734-42
F Nov. 9 No Classuse this time to read Equiano
M Nov. 12 Equiano, Interesting Narrative 751-86
W Nov. 14 Murray, "Equality" 786-95; Morton, 841-44; "Memento" 846-47; Abigail Adams, letter (reserve)
F Nov. 16 Crevecoeur, Letters 640-50; 655-59
M Nov. 19 Freneau, 806-08; poems 818-20; Wheatley, 824-25; "On Being Brought" 825; "To the Right Honorable" 827-28; letter to Occom 838-39
W Nov. 21 No Class
F Nov. 23 No Class
M Nov. 26 Draft Workshop for Paper 2
W Nov. 28 American Drama: Tyler, The Contrast (reserve)
F Nov. 30 Paper 2 Due in Class
M Dec. 3 The American Novel: Rowson, 850-51; Charlotte Temple 851-886
W Dec. 5 Rowson, Charlotte Temple 886-916
F Dec. 7 Rowson, Charlotte Temple discussion continued
M Dec. 10 Wrap-up, review, and course evaluations