AJ15001 American Literature: 1865-1910

Faculty of Arts
Autumn 2017
Extent and Intensity
0/2/0. 2 credit(s) (plus 2 credits for an exam). Recommended Type of Completion: zk (examination). Other types of completion: z (credit).
James Joseph Little, M.Phil., Ph.D. (lecturer)
Mgr. Petra Machová, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
doc. PhDr. Jana Chamonikolasová, Ph.D.
Department of English and American Studies - Faculty of Arts
Contact Person: Tomáš Hanzálek
Supplier department: Department of English and American Studies - Faculty of Arts
Timetable of Seminar Groups
AJ15001/01: Wed 15:50–17:25 U23, J. Little, P. Machová
AJ15001/02: Wed 17:30–19:05 U27, J. Little, P. Machová
Prerequisites (in Czech)
( AJ09999 Qualifying Examination || AJ01002 Practical English II ) && AJ04003 Intro. to Literary Studies II
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is also offered to the students of the fields other than those the course is directly associated with.
The capacity limit for the course is 50 student(s).
Current registration and enrolment status: enrolled: 0/50, only registered: 0/50, only registered with preference (fields directly associated with the programme): 0/50
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
there are 7 fields of study the course is directly associated with, display
Course objectives
This course surveys major works of American literature written between 1865 and 1910, from literary accounts of the Civil War and its tragic residues, to the works of realism and naturalism of the late 19th century and the outset of modernism in the first decade of the 20th. The students are expected to actively participate in class discussion and build up a portfolio of work on the selected texts from the in-class response papers.
  • Week 1/ September 20: Orientation week – no class Week 2/ September 27: Introduction to the course, Emily Dickinson, “My Triumph Lasted” and Walt Whitman, “Beat! beat! drums!” Week 3/ October 4: Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885) – Chapter I. – XXII. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/76/76-h/76-h.htm Week 4/ October 11: Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885) – Chapter XXIII. – XLIII. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/76/76-h/76-h.htm Week 5/ October 18: Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage (1895). https://www.gutenberg.org/files/73/73-h/73-h.htm Week 6/ October 25: Sarah Orne Jewett, The Country of the Pointed Firs (1896). http://www.gutenberg.org/files/367/367-h/367-h.htm Week 7/ November 1: Kate Chopin, The Awakening (1899). http://www.gutenberg.org/files/160/160-h/160-h.htm Week 8/ November 8: W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk (1903) and Booker T. Washington, Up From Slavery (1901). http://www.gutenberg.org/files/408/408-h/408-h.htm . http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2376/2376-h/2376-h.htm Week 9/ November 15: Reading Week – no class Week 10/ November 22: Hamlin Garland, ‘Up the Coully’, in Main Travelled Roads (1891) http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/2809/pg2809.html . Jack London, ‘To Build a Fire’, from Lost Face (1908). http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2429/2429-h/2429-h.htm Week 11/ November 29: Henry James, Daisy Miller (1897). https://www.gutenberg.org/files/208/208-h/208-h.htm Week 12/ December 6: Gertrude Stein, Three Lives (1909). http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/15408/pg15408.html Week 13/ December 13: Conclusion + evaluation, Paper Proposal + annotated bibliography (5 sources)
Teaching methods
The class sessions will include short lectures, team work, class discussion, and response papers.
Assessment methods
For full credit: Class participation 10%; In-class response papers 30%; Paper proposal and annotated bibliography 20%; Research paper 40%. For partial credit: Class participation 30%; In-class response papers 70%. You are expected to attend all class sessions, to have read the assigned readings for each week and bring the primary texts (in print or digital form) to class so you can actively participate in class discussion. If you must miss a class due to serious illness or family emergency, please e-mail Petra Slavickova at 264221@mai.muni.cz (weeks 1–8) or James Little at jamesli@tcd.ie (weeks 10–13) with an explanation no later than 24 hours afterwards. In-class response papers: Purpose: To read critically, notice details, take notes, make connections, return to key passages, gain a deeper appreciation of the assigned texts, and gradually build up a course portfolio, clearly formulate one’s own thoughts in writing, get regular personalized feedback from the instructor, be prepared to participate in class discussion, practice writing about literature in preparation for the state exam. Form: Answer one of the two suggested thinking questions or discuss a topic/issue of your choice. Content: Your own creative / critical thoughts and discoveries and opinions based on the primary reading, close textual analysis, narrow focus (particular themes, images, narrative techniques, characters, relationships, issues, contexts, and so on). Style: Clear argumentation, logical organization (introduction, main body, conclusion), a coherent paragraph written in complete sentences, integrated citations, academic language. Paper proposal and annotated bibliography: Purpose: To organize the results of your research, to articulate your main argument regarding a topic of your choice, to receive feedback from your instructor, to get ready to write the research paper. Content: A concise introduction to your topic, a list of your research questions, a preliminary version of your main argument, an outline of your paper’s structure, a list of the primary as well as (at least four) secondary sources you have consulted so far and plan to integrate into your paper, a five-sentence summary of each source highlighting why it is useful to you. Form: Title, a full paragraph or a detailed outline (about 300 words), an annotated list of sources, MLA format, double-spaced. Style: Academic language, complete bibliographic information. Research paper: Purpose: To examine a specific aspect of American literature that interests you, to develop your ideas with the help of a variety of sources, to formulate an argument and support it by convincing evidence. Content: Preferably, your paper will focus on one (or two or three) of the works we have studied. You may also discuss the work of an American author which we have not looked at but which was written between 1865 and 1910. You may analyze various literary features (the use of imagery, sources, style) through various critical approaches. You are encouraged to draw on the themes that emerged (and re-emerged) in class discussions, or in your response papers. Form: Five to six pages (about 2000 words), MLA format, endnotes or footnotes only for informative / explanatory notes. Style: Strong argument, clear organization, coherent paragraphs, integrated citations and references, academic language.
Language of instruction
Further Comments
Study Materials
The course is taught annually.
The course is also listed under the following terms Autumn 2000, Spring 2002, Spring 2003, Spring 2004, Spring 2005, Spring 2006, Spring 2007, Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Autumn 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2013, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021.
  • Enrolment Statistics (Autumn 2017, recent)
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