Fall 2004 • Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00 – 12:15 • Curry 247
Professor Karen Weyler
Office: 109 McIver
Office hours: Tuesday 9:30 – 10:45, Thursday 12:30 – 1:45, and by appointment.
Telephone: 334-4689 Email: KAWeyler@uncg.edu
Foster, Hannah. The Coquette. Oxford.
Mulford, Carla, ed. Early American Writings. Oxford.
Additional readings will be available through library reserves and digital databases.
Long before there was a United States, there was a New World in which the indigenous peoples, Europeans, and Africans interacted and intermingled, sometimes peacefully and sometimes violently. Although we will focus in English 372 on the literature of British America, we’ll need to begin our study of the literatures of the New World by reading French and Spanish exploration writings. We’ll consider such important topics as rival models of colonialism and colonization, contradictions in the ideas and ideals of civilization, controversies over race and gender in early modern culture, and the development of nationalism. After acknowledging the contingent, contested status of Europeans in the New World, we’ll be equipped to read the texts produced by the American experience with fresh eyes, receptive to unfamiliar forms of writing such as the sermon, the captivity narrative, and the spiritual autobiography. Group presentations will provide importance historical and cultural contexts to enhance our understanding of these texts.
Student Learning Goals
By the end of the semester, students will be able to write and speak insightfully about the literature produced as a result of the European exploration and settlement of North America. Students will be able to discuss the varied genres in which these explorers and settlers wrote and the historical contexts in which their works appeared. Finally, students will understand how changing aesthetic tastes influenced the production of belles lettres and contributed to the rise of genres popular today, such as the novel.
Course Requirements and Evaluation
• Essay 25%
• First Examination 15%
• Second Examination 25%
• Group Presentation 10%
• Class Participation 10%
• On-line writing assignments 10%
• In-class quizzes 5%
Office Hours and Conferences
You are 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.
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 to document 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 and presentations, 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 additional unexcused absence will lower your final grade by one-half 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?
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 promptly and to offer constructive criticism and praise.
Please note that this syllabus is subject to change. In the event of inclement weather, you should be guided by the UNCG adverse weather policy. If necessary, I will send out email informing you of any changes in our schedule of readings. Please ensure that Blackboard lists your correct email address.
T August 17 Course Introduction
Th August 19 Spain in the New World: Europeans' New World 23-28; Columbus 28-29, "Diary" 29-40, "Letter" 40-43; Las Casas 52-53, A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies 53-60
T August 24 Cabeza de Vaca 60-61, The Relation 61-68; group presentations
Th August 26 France in the New World: New France 426-29; Radisson 123-24, The Relation of My Voyage 124-39; Brebeuf 429-30, Relation 430-40
T August 31 European Women in the New World: Martin 440-41, "Letters" 441-52;
Sor Juana 361-62, Response 362-69
Th September 2 The British South: Byrd 522-23, The History of the Dividing Line 523-31; Cook 563, “The Sot-Weed Factor” 563-72
T September 7 The Island Colonies: Group Presentation: Sugar: How did it shape
the New World and re-shape the Old?; Ligon 204-05, A True and Exact History
of the Island of Barbados 205-16; Conflict 216-17; Great News from the Barbadoes
217-19; Ward 481, A Trip to Jamaica 482-90
Th September 9 Settlement of New England: Smith 169-70, A Description 171-76; Bradford 222, Of Plymouth Plantation 223-37
T September 14 The Puritan Theocracy: Winthrop 237-38, A Model of Christian
Charity 238-50; The New England Primer 352-54
Th September 16 Puritan Poetry and Aesthetics: Bradstreet 276-77, "The Four Ages of Man" 277-80, "Before the Birth of One of Her Children" 283, "In Memory of My Dear Grandchild" 284, "Upon the Burning of Our House" 284
T September 21 More Puritan Poetry: Taylor 292-93, "Upon a Spider Catching
a Fly" 301-02, "Huswifery" 302-03, "Upon Wedlock and Death
of Children" 303, "A Funeral Poem" 304
Th September 23 Challenges to the Puritan Theocracy: Williams 257-58, from The Bloody Tenet of Persecution, for Cause of Conscience 264-65, "A Letter to the Town of Providence” 265
T September 28 Indian Conflict: Two Group Presentations: Indigenous Peoples
and Captivity Narratives; Rowlandson 305-07, Narrative of the Captivity 307-11
Th September 30 Rowlandson, Narrative 311-28
T October 5 Salem Witch Trials: Group Presentation: Witchcraft in New England;
Mather, from Wonders of the Invisible World (Evans Digital Edition)
Th October 7 First Examination
T October 12 Fall Break—No Class
Th October 14 The Great Awakening and Religious Pluralism: Group Presentation: The Great Awakening; Edwards 668-69, "Personal Narrative" 669-76, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" 676-84; Chauncy 687-88, "Enthusiasm Described and Cautioned Against" 688-97
T October 19 Ashbridge 602-03, Some Account 603-15; Woolman 615-16, Journal
Th October 21 Occom 867-68, "A Short Narrative of My Life" 868-72, A Sermon 872-83; Handsome Lake 154-55
T October 26 The American Revolution: Paine 836-37, Common Sense 837-44, The
Th October 28 Jefferson 945-46, Notes 947-63, Declaration 965-67; John Adams 1027-29
T November 2 Franklin 761-63, Autobiography 771-813
Th November 4 No Class Meeting—Use this time to work on your papers
T November 9 Eighteenth-Century Women's Culture: Group Presentation: The Lives
of Eighteenth-Century Women; Abigail Adams 1029, Letters 1034-36; Murray 1039-40, "On
the Equality of the Sexes" 1040-51
Th November 11 Turrell 815-17; Terry 822-23; Moore 825-26; Stockton 829-36; Warren 1008-11; Draft Workshop
T November 16 Group Presentation: The Novel in Early America; Foster, The
Th November 18 Foster, The Coquette continued; Paper due in class
T November 23 Race and Slavery in the Transatlantic World: Sewall 645-46,
The Selling of Joseph 649-51; Pastorius 725-26, Petition 727-28; Banneker 1104-08
Th November 25 Thanksgiving Holiday – No Class
T November 30 Wheatley 888-89, "To the University of Cambridge" 890, "On
Being Brought" 890-91, "On the Death of the Rev. Mr. George Whitefield" 891, "To
the Right Honourable William, Earl of Dartmouth" 893-94, "To S.M.
A Young African Painter" 894, letters 895-900
Th December 2 Second Examination