AJ15001 American Literature: 1865-1910

Faculty of Arts
Spring 2020
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).
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
Tue 8:00–9:40 G24
Prerequisites (in Czech)
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: 38/50, 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 12 fields of study the course is directly associated with, display
Course objectives
This course surveys major works of American literature after 1865, 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 give a group presentation and submit assigned response papers.
  • Week 1/ Introduction to the course Week 2/ William Dean Howells Week 3/ Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885) – Chapter I. – XXII. Week 4/ Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885) – Chapter XXIII. – XLIII. Week 5/ Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage (1895) Week 6/ Sarah Orne Jewett, The Country of the Pointed Firs (1896) Week 7/ Kate Chopin, The Awakening (1899) Week 8/ W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk (1903) and Booker T. Washington, Up From Slavery (1901) Week 9/ Reading Week – no class Week 10/ Zitkala-Sa, Old Indian Stories Werk 11/Hamlin Garland, ‘Up the Coully’, in Main Travelled Roads (1891) and Jack London, ‘To Build a Fire’, from Lost Face (1908) Week 12/ Henry James, The Turn of the Screw (1898) Week 13/ Gertrude Stein, Three Lives (1909) Week 14/ Conclusion + evaluation
    recommended literature
  • BAYM, Nina. The Norton anthology of American literature. 3rd ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1989. xxxiv, 285. ISBN 0393957381. info
Teaching methods
This class meets once a week for ninety minutes. Is is a seminar that consists of weekly written assignments and emphasizes student-oriented activities such as small group discussions, oral presentations, peer-review workshops, and in-class response papers.
Assessment methods
Assessment: For full credit: Attendance 10% Group presentation 20% Response papers 30% Research paper 40% For partial credit: Group presentation 50% Response papers 50%. 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. If you must miss a class due to serious illness or family emergency, please e-mail Petra Machová at 264221@mail.muni.cz, advance or soon afterwards. Group presentation: Purpose: to notice details, take notes, make connections, return to key passages, gain deeper appreciation of the texts, deliver a presentation in front of the class, answer questions from the instructor and other students. Form: 15 – 20 minute presentation which will cover the assigned research questions. Content: no biographical research, presentation of specific examples in the text and their relation to the topic in the research questions. Style: Extensive work with examples from the assigned reading, logical organization, clear argumentation. Response papers: Purpose: To read critically, notice details, take notes, make connections, return to key passages, gain a deeper appreciation of the assigned texts, take notes and gradually build up a course portfolio, clearly formulate one’s own thoughts in writing, get regular personalized feedback from the instructor, practice writing about literature in preparation for the state exam. Form: short paper which follows a simple introduction, the body, conclusion form. Answer one of the suggested thinking questions or discuss a topic/issue of your choice. Content: No research, “only” 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 if necessary, academic language. Research paper: Purpose: To examine some 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 an author whose work we have not looked at but who is in some way connected to the issues we have covered. 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, Autumn 2017, Spring 2019, Spring 2021.
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