Professor Karen Weyler
English 351W-01: The American Novel Through WW I
Tuesday/Thursday 12:30 1:45 p.m. McIver 327
Office: McIver 109
Office hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:45 a.m. 12:00 p.m. and by appointment.
Telephone: 334-4689 Email: KAWeyler@uncg.edu
Web site: http://www.uncg.edu/~kaweyler
Crafts, Hannah. The Bondwoman's Narrative. Warner.
Davis, Rebecca Harding. Life in the Iron Mills. Bedford.
Foster, Hannah. The Coquette. Oxford.
Hemingway, Ernest. In Our Time. Scribner.
Howells, William Dean. The Rise of Silas Lapham. Penguin.
Melville, Herman. Moby-Dick. Norton. 2nd ed.
Stowe, Harriet Beecher. Uncle Tom's Cabin. Norton.
Twain, Mark. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Norton. 3rd ed.
English 351W is an upper division English course covering approximately 130 years of the development of the American novel, an incredibly diverse genre encompassing wonderful tales of sea adventure, romance, war, and more. Through these novels, we'll be able to trace the responses of fiction writers to such literary movements as romanticism, realism, and naturalism. Several of the works we will be reading, such as Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, are today considered classics, but in their own time, they were the source of considerable controversy. What makes a novel popular with readers? What makes a novel esteemed by critics? Do popular and critical evaluations ever agree? We'll explore these and many other questions in this course. Further, as we read these novels, we will attempt to reconstruct the historical and cultural contexts in which they were produced; we will also discuss how these works contributed to and informed their culture. Finally, we will also try to understand how and why we react to these texts as we do.
Course requirements for this writing intensive course include a mid-term and final examination, one short essay (3-4 pages), one long essay (8-10 pages), frequent short writing assignments (some done in class and others done outside of class), and a class presentation.
This is a discussion-oriented class, which means that students will be expected to participate on a daily basis by engaging in small group and whole class discussions, being attentive to discussions, participating in Blackboard discussions, asking questions, and reading aloud passages from our texts.
Student Learning Goals
In this writing-intensive course, students will write frequently, both formally and informally. We will use writing as a means of exploring important questions about the development of the American novel. 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 the development of the American novel and will understand the historical and cultural contexts in which diverse novels were produced, as well as how the novel as a genre was affected by such literary movements as romanticism, realism, and modernism.
Course Requirements and Evaluation
You must complete and turn in all assignments on the dates that they are due in order to pass this course. The final grade for this course will be based on the following:
In-class, on-line, and short writing assignments 15%
Class discussion 10%
Oral presentation (8-10 minutes) 10%
Mid-term examination 10%
Final examination 20%
Paper 1 (3-4 pages) 10%
Paper 2 (8-10 pages) 25%
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.
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 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.
English majors should subscribe to the departmental email list to receive information about the major. From the computer account through which you receive email, send the following message to email@example.com: Subscribe English-l yourfirstname yourlastname (note that is a lower case L, not the numeral 1, following English).
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. Seven or more absences, regardless of excuse, will result in a failing grade. It is your responsibility to determine what you have missed.
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, offer constructive criticism and praise of your written work, and return your work in a timely fashion.
Please complete each day's readings before coming to class. In case of inclement weather, you should be guided by the UNCG adverse weather policy. In case of class cancellation for any reason, please continue with your reading. This course calendar is subject to adjustment as needed.
T Aug. 20 Course Introduction: The Novel in Early America
Th Aug. 22 Foster, The Coquette 5-53
T Aug. 27 Foster, The Coquette 53-169; now read the intro, vii-xx
Th Aug. 29 Foster, The Coquette continued; begin Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin 1-35; look also at 392-97
T Sept. 3 Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin 35-100; note there is a map on page 391
Th Sept. 5 Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin 100-176
T Sept. 10 Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin 176-276; presentation on romantic racialism
Th Sept. 12 Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin 276-388; presentation on Stowe's sources in writing Uncle Tom's Cabin; presentation on the early critical response to Uncle Tom's Cabin
T Sept. 17 Uncle Tom's Cabin: Sentimental Power or Sentimental Slop? A Class Debate (short writing assignment due in class): Read Baldwin 495-501; Tompkins 501-22; presentation on adaptations of Uncle Tom's Cabin
Th Sept. 19 Crafts, The Bondwoman's Narrative; read "Introduction" ix-lxxii and 3-51; presentation on background information about slave narratives
T Sept. 24 Crafts, The Bondwoman's Narrative 52-146
Th Sept. 26 Crafts, The Bondwoman's Narrative 147-239
T Oct. 1 Draft Workshop for Paper 1; begin Melville, Moby-Dick 1-43; presentation on Herschel Parker's "Damned by Dollars: Moby-Dick and the Price of Genius" 713-24; presentation on the early critical reception of Moby-Dick
Th Oct. 3 Melville, Moby-Dick 43-136
T Oct. 8 Paper 1 Due in Class; Melville, Moby-Dick 136-229; presentation on Melville's sources for Moby-Dick
Th Oct. 10 Midterm Examination
T Oct. 15 Fall Break No Class Meeting
Th Oct. 17 Melville, Moby-Dick 230-340; presentation on the first 3 gams (the Albatross, the Town Ho, and the Jeroboam); presentation on gams 4-6 (the Virgin, the Rose Bud, and the Samuel Enderby)
T Oct. 22 Melville, Moby-Dick 331-427; presentation on gams 7-9 (the Bachelor, the Rachel, and the Delight)
Th Oct. 24 Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn 1-95; presentation on excerpt from Shelley Fisher Fishkin's Was Huck Black?
T Oct. 29 Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn 96-227
Th Oct. 31 Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn 228-96; presentation on the early critical reception of Huck Finn
T Nov. 5 Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn continued; presentation on controversy over the ending of Huck Finn; begin Rise of Silas Lapham 3-92; presentation on Howells' theory of realism
Th Nov. 7 Howells, The Rise of Silas Lapham 93-208; presentation on importance of Howells as an editor
T Nov. 12 Howells, The Rise of Silas Lapham 209-99
Th Nov. 14 Howells, The Rise of Silas Lapham 300-65; presentation on the critical reception of The Rise of Silas Lapham
T Nov. 19 Davis, Life in the Iron Mills 39-74; then read 3-20 of the Introduction
Th Nov. 21 Davis, Life in the Iron Mills continued; presentation on the working classes and social reform 203-44;
Draft Workshop for Paper 2
T Nov. 26 Hemingway, In Our Time 11-82; presentation on the short story cycle
Th Nov. 28 Thanksgiving Holiday No Class
T Dec. 3 Hemingway, In Our Time 83-157; presentation on the critical reception of In Our Time;
Paper 2 Due in Class
Th Dec. 5 Hemingway, In Our Time continued; course evaluations
The final examination will be a comprehensive take home exam, due at noon on Thursday, December 12.
Tuesday, August 20, 2002
Welcome to English 351W. This is a writing intensive class on the American novel, aimed at students with advanced sophomore standing or higher. Although I am sure that many of you who are enrolled in this class are English majors, you do not have to be a major to be in this class. For those of you who are English majors, this course will fulfill one of your post-1800 elective requirements.
I'm sorry that I cannot be with you in person these first few days of class. I'm expecting my second child (another girl) in September, and I am under doctor's orders to rest at home for the next week or so to prevent pre-term labor. I should be back in the classroom within a few days and after that I will be with you for the remainder of the semester. In the meantime, Ms. Martin will be leading your class discussion of The Coquette. We are in the process of co-authoring an article together about this novel, so we are fortunate that she is able to fill in for me while I am out.
Even though I cannot be with you in person these first few days, I have our class well planned. You need to review the syllabus very carefully, as it lists not only the reading assignments but also policy statements and the due dates for various writing assignments and exams, all of which we can discuss as soon as I am able to be with you in class.
Like most things in life, you will get out of this class what you invest in it. Any novel class will require a certain investment of reading time. You should be aware that several of the novels that we will be reading are fairly long; several others are quite short. If you enjoy reading fiction, you'll probably enjoy these novels and the course. The converse also holds true: if you do not enjoy reading, this may not be the course for you.
Before the next class meeting, I want everyone to post an introduction to him or herself on Blackboard (instructions are on the back of this sheet). Tell us your name, your year in school, and your major. Then, tell us something interesting and unusual about yourself.
We're also going to be continuing your class discussion of The Coquette here on Blackboard. You will see if you click on the Discussion Forum button that I have several discussion questions ready for you.
Finally, a note about textbooks: Usually, I make it a point to visit the bookstore in person to verify that all my texts are available, but I've been unable to do that this semester. However, I sent book orders to both the UNCG bookstore and Adams, and I have ordered common editions of most texts, so you should not have trouble finding them. Note that for several texts I am requiring additional readings beyond the novel; you should either purchase the class editions or arrange to borrow from friends so that you will be able to complete the required readings. The only text you might have trouble locating is a new one, The Bondwoman's Narrative, which was published for the first time in April. It's available only in hardback, so it will be a little more expensive than the other texts. You may be able to find used copies at local used bookstores. Alternatively, I know Buy.com lists it as available immediately for $15.72, with free shipping.
If you have questions about the class, policies, assignments, and the like, you are welcome to email me at any time at KAWeyler@uncg.edu, and I will try to respond within 24 hours (or sooner). For any complicated issues that may arise while I am on bed rest, you may also call me at home at 273-7156 between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.
I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you all soon.
Using Blackboard for On-line Discussions in English 351W
On-line, in-class, and short out-of-class writings comprise 15% of your grade. You will post your on-line discussions on Blackboard. Entries posted on Blackboard will remain available for the entire semester for everyone in the class to read and respond to. Every student needs to post to Blackboard at least 10 times over the course of the semester.
Posts to Blackboard should be substantive. In other words, you should have something to contribute to our class discussion about a particular text or author. You might ask a question, pose a problem, compare two texts, etc. You might continue with a line of argumentation begun in class. You might respond in either agreement or disagreement to another's post. Please avoid simply saying "me too"if you agree with another poster, explain why.
How to Access Blackboard
1. Blackboard works best with Internet Explorer. Using Internet Explorer, go to http://bb.uncg.edu/
Click on the
button that says "Login."
2. Your Blackboard Username is the name that comes before the @ in the UNCG email address.
Example: firstname.lastname@example.org, BB username = jqdoe
Note: You must have activated your UNCG account in
order to use Blackboard. To do so, you
can go to the Superlab in Jackson Library for assistance.
3. Everyone's initial Blackboard password is password. To change your password:
Click on Personal Information on the left side of the My
Institution page under Tools
Select change password
Type in the new password
4. We can send each other email from within
Blackboard. Check to make sure your preferred
email is listed.
From the My Institution page select:
Edit Personal Information
Type in your preferred email address if it is not already listed
5. Go to the following Internet address for an
online student orientation to Blackboard.
6. When you are ready to post for the first time, click on the name of our class. Then, click on the Communication button. Next, click on the Discussion Board button. When you get there, you will see a Forum titled Discussion. Click on that Forum, and there you will find instructions for posting your discussions.
The Blackboard administrators do batch enrollments every few days during the first weeks of school; be aware that if you are newly added to the class, it may take a day or two for you to be enrolled in our Blackboard environment. However, if you have trouble logging on, email me, and I will troubleshoot for you.