Dr. Joanne E. Gates:
    EH 201   American Literature I
    Jacksonville State University
    English Department
Syllabus for EH 201, Dr. Gates, Fall 2008

This sylabus is ONLY for
Section 007 [Call  # 10587] Meets in SC 233;  TTH 12:45 to 2:15 p.m.

Contact Dr. Gates at 206 Stone Center, 782-5548. Office Hours TTh after the class, 2:15; also after 3:15 MW. Fridays by appointment, generally after 1:30.

COURSE DESCRIPTION [JSU Catalog]: English 201--American Literature I is a survey course designed to familiarize students with the American tradition in literature by having them read, discuss, and write about representative selections from the period dating to 1620, the period from 1620-1820, and the period from 1820-1865.  It is a three-hour credit course.

PREREQUISITES: Successful completion of EH 102.

Disability Accommodations Statement: Any individual who qualifies for reasonable accommodation under The Americans With Disabilities Act or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 should contact the instructor immediately.
Standard Civility Statement:  All students are expected to attend class fully prepared with appropriate materials and all devices which make noise turned to the off position (e.g., cellular phones, pagers, personal stereos, etc.).  Any student behavior deemed disruptive by the professor will result in expulsion of the student from the classroom, with an absence for the day and possible disciplinary action.
The Professor Expects that you follow standard protocols of classroom behavior, abide by the JSU Student Handbook, and conform to particular requirements of assignments and class discussion as announced. Please consult the JSU Academic Handbook for details about conduct and academic honesty. Penalties for violating Academic Honesty policy will be executed through the grading policy and can include, after a student hearing with the professor, an immediate F for the course.

OBJECTIVES:  SDE rules applicable to this course: (1)(a)1;(1)(a)4; (1)(a)5;
1.  To familiarize students with regional and ethnic dialects as expressions of cultural diversity (1)(a)1.
2.  To present examples of literature from the period dating to 1620, the period from 1620-1820, and the period from 1820-1865, including works by female and minority authors (1)(a)4.
3.  To suggest several theories and methods of literary analysis (1)(a)4.
4.  To present a variety of literary types (1)(a)4.
5.  To exercise students’ techniques of critical thinking, questioning, and problem solving.
6.  To provide students with a historical and philosophical background for understanding literature.
7.  To enlarge the students’ understanding of the expressive possibilities of the English language.
8.  To show students connections between literature and their own experience.
Students who pass this course will have satisfied the SDE objectives designated.

ATTENDANCE POLICY. Cutting class is strongly discouraged. Because discussions, writing exercises, quizzes, and in-class assignments are graded or prepare you for graded work, cuts will likely affect your grade. The departmental attendance policy for this course mandates that you attend at least 75% of classes to receive a passing grade. Unlike composition courses, there is no difference between excused and unexcused absences; but if you miss two or more classes in a row, I consider it courteous and part of your responsibility as a student to speak to me about what you have missed and whether there is a need to make up work. There is no "Withdraw Passing" from the course allowed after you have exceeded your limit of 7 cuts (8 cuts = automatic F, but please arrange a drop or withdraw to prevent this). Even though tardiness and leaving early are not officially counted as a partial absence, understand that it is extremely discourteous and rude. When you have unavoidable reasons for arriving late, leaving early, or otherwise attending the class sporadically, please inform the instructor ahead of time. Whenever in doubt, make sure to verify your record of attendance. Midterm and major assignments can be made up only at the discretion of the instructor (you will need an excuse for failure to attend on days when a major assignment is scheduled:see standard policy, below). My grading system allows the equvalent of a drop for the lowest quiz grade, and sometimes offer occasions to do makeup work (different assignments) to improve your quiz average. Otherwise, quizzes and daily class work cannot be made up. Exceptions made only in unusual circumstances.

Tardy and Make-up Policy.
Tardiness policy: Because students who arrive late for class are marked absent, they must notify the instructor of their attendance at the end of class.

Make-up policy: A student may make up missed assignments only if the absence is excused.   Such work should be made up as soon as possible. Forms for excused absences are in 228 SC and should be accompanied by verifiable documentation.

Make-ups must be arranged and are at the discretion of the instructor. You are expected to present your excuse, along with (or written on) the form for a request for excused absence, upon your return to class. It is also recommended that if you know you have to miss for a reason that is excusable, you contact the professor ahead of time.

REQUIREMENTS. To receive a passing grade of 60, you must complete all units of the course (midterm, final, quiz grade and reports grade) with an average of sixty or above.

Baym, Nina, ed. The Norton Anthology of American Literature.  7th edition.  Package 1. Volumes A and B. New York and London:  W. W. Norton, 2007.
Volume A: Literature to 1820
Volume B: 1820-1865
IBSN for the package is: 0393929930.  Unless otherwise announced, bring both volumes to all class meetings.

Additional reading will be assigned, depending on your group.  Much of this is from the Norton volumes, but there may be a book placed on reserve or handed to a class member that at least one from your group will bring to a discussion and presentation.  I also may assign selected chapters, in addition those anthologized, of Moby Dick, which is NOT ordered as supplement for this section of the course, will be made available on line.  If you wish to order a print copy, I suggest the Modern Library edition  (ISBN # 067978327x).  If you like supplements and critical context, the Norton Critical edition is useful. You will need to read more of the novel than is in the anthology, but may opt to read assigned chapters in an on-line format. See my list of links. If you purchase an alternate edition in print format, make sure that it is not abridged and that chapters have titles as well as numbers.

First Evaluation Grade = 20 %
Test scheduled for Sept. 25. See Below.

Midterm, combination of 2nd essay and a short answer test =25%
Scheduled for October 23.  See Below.

Your contribution to the Group Report,  from your presented topic
Plus the Final Exam  (see below for schedule),  35%
In most assignments weighted more than a quiz grade, ample options in selections for essays and formal graded work allow students to focus and plan personal approaches to questions. Short answers test basic knowledge. Depending on which grade is HIGHER for each individual student, expect 20% / 15% for each of these last grades. 

Quizzes and Class work = 20 % The quiz component should not pull your major component for the class down UNLESS you have significant absences.  My general policy is to make especially the early in the semester quizzes "no fail" if you attend. I allow you to drop one quiz then average into your grade this quiz component of the course.  There will be some quiz grades where your oral participation is the basis of the grade; Some pre-announced longer quizzes may receive a double quiz grade.  Cuts on quiz days generally receive a zero, but I drop the lowest, or allow one missed quiz win no penalty to your grade.  If you have an excuse, however, make sure to fill it out and turn it in. It will make you eligible for any make-up quiz I administer (most often the make-ups are not the same quiz, taken later, but a different quiz to make up the grade.) The goal of any quiz structure is to assist you in keeping up with the reading and have material to review for studying cumulative material.
Included in this is your contribution to mostly in-class assigned group class work, based on reading and report to the class of reading material assigned from the minor authors (and specific essays by Emerson or another) that are not covered by the reading assigned to the full class.

Make-ups for the major grades are at the discretion of the instructor, and for these an acceptable excuse requires documentation. A formal request is necessary to reshcedule the final.

Keep these dates that are on the Academic Calendar in mind:
September 4         Last day to register or add a course
September 11       Last day to withdraw/drop and receive 80% refund on tuition
September 25       Last day to withdraw/drop and receive 50% refund on tuition
October 22          Midterm grades (Ds and Fs only) are filed
October 29           Last day to withdraw/drop without academic penalty
November 13: Robert Morgan at JSU Library, evening program.
November 27       No class, Thanksgiving.
December 1         Last day to withdraw or drop a course (signature of passing status required)

    THURSDAY,  August 28. Day 1.   Introduction to course and to aspects of style in Literature.  Brief writing assignment.  Introduce and assign Poe and Dickinson. Explain significance of Emerson's "The Poet."
TUESDAY,  September 2. Day 2. Read for this class: "The Raven," "William Wilson: A Tale," "The Philosophy of Composition."   Discuss Poe, Emerson's "The Poet," selected poems of Dickinson.
    THURSDAY,  September 4. Day 3.  Read Poe’s "Annabel Lee," "Ligeia," "The Fall of the House of Usher," "The Cask of Amontillado."  Others may be announced. You may want to review any additional Poe titles in the anthology that you have read previously. Continue discussion of Poe, re-examination of style in Poe.
TUESDAY,  September 9. Day  4. Read all of Bradstreet and Wheatley.
    THURSDAY,  September 11. Day 5. Begin to explain Group Reports.  Read all Dickinson poems and letters.  I will announce focus poems.  All who have added the class after the first day should make up the personal essay. Last day to withdraw for 80% of tuition.
TUESDAY,  September 16. Day 6.   Dickinson, continued.  Also read Melville's "Bartleby the Scrivener."
Begin sign-up for Group Reports.
    THURSDAY,  September 18.  Day 7.  Review for Essays and Test 1.  (Poe, Bradstreet, Wheatley, Dickinson, "Bartleby the Scriviner."
TUESDAY,  September 23. Day 8. Take Test 1. 
    THURSDAY,  September 25. Day 9.  All read Billy Budd.
  Last day to withdraw and receive 50% tuition refund.
TUESDAY,  September 30. Day 10.  Complete Billy Budd.  Introduce Frederick Douglass.   Give selected or model reports.  Introduce Cooper, Melville. Read as announced selections from Samuel Sewall, Equiano,  John and Abigail Adams, Paine, Jacobs, Thomas Jefferson.  (Work on the group reports begins).
    THURSDAY,  October 2. Day 11.  Read selections as announced from Douglass's Narrative and from "The Meaning of the Fourth of July for the Negro."  Optional: The Heroic Slave
TUESDAY,  October 7. Day 12  Complete Douglass's Narrative. Discuss impressment as anti-slavery. Group work.
    THURSDAY,  October 9. Day 13. Reports and the slave narrative, continued.  Stowe and Harriet Jacobs receive focus.
TUESDAY,  October 14. Day 14. Emerson: "Last of the Anti-Slavery Lectures" [not in anthology] and Thoreau's  "Slavery in Massachusetts" and "A Plea for Captain John Brown" (excerpts): 3 speeches on the topic of Abolition.
    THURSDAY,  October. 16 Day 15. Review for Essays and Test 2.
TUESDAY,  October 21. Day 16. Essays and Test 2.
 Introduce Transcendentalism, Emerson, Thoreau, Announce selections from selective poems and prose of Whitman, Emerson, and Fuller for next classes.
    THURSDAY,  October 23. Day 17. Read Emerson's Nature. Emerson and  Fuller selections as announced: At least the Fuller Biographical note, 1637 ff. and the passage from "The Great Lawsuit" (known also as Woman in the Nineteenth Century), 1647, bottom line to 1652, understood as the "Four kinds of Equality."
TUESDAY, October 28. Day 18. Emerson and revisit "The Poet"; selected poems from Whitman.  Read also these titles from Emerson, unless otherwise announced:  "The American Scholar," "Self-Reliance," "Divinity School Address,"  "Experience," "Fate," "Thoreau," "  Introduce Thoreau and Hawthorne. Oct. 29: Last day to drop courses or withdraw without academic penalty.
       THURSDAY,  October 30.   Day 19.  Whitman sections to read: Biographical note, 2190 ff; Preface to Leaves of Grass, 2195 ff; "Song of Myself" sections 1-6 or 2210 to 2214; "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed (elegy for Lincoln), 2282 ff; Letter to RW Emerson, 2289 ff; and read at least the footnote to Drum Taps. Read and possibly watch Hawthorne's "Rappacini's Daughter" Short follow-up response is due.
TUESDAY,  November 4. Day 20. Read Thoreau (all of Walden), other selections as assigned.
    THURSDAY,  November 6. Day 21.  Continue Thoreau.
TUESDAY,  November 11. Day 22.  Group assignments: Read Hawthorne's satire on Transcendentalism, "The Celestial Railroad" (not in anthology)--see link: The Celestial Railroad and / or  Alcott’s parody of Transcendentalism, "Wild Oats"  (not in anthology)-- see link: Transcendental Wild Oats. Introduce  Davis, Life in the Iron Mills, Moby Dick.
    THURSDAY,  November 13. Day 23.  Group Presentations begin.
Read in text: all selections announced of Moby Dick. And all read   Hawthorne's "word portraits” plus (optional: Melville or Poe on Hawthorne). EVENING of November 13: Robert Morgan at JSU Library.
TUESDAY,  November 18. Day 24.   Life in the Iron Mills.  Continue group presentations.
     THURSDAY, November 20. Day 25. Conclude Life in the Iron Mills and other works in the contexts of previous literature of the course.

TUESDAY,   November 25. Day 26.   Group presentations. Announce procedures for Final exam and  REVIEW.

    THURSDAY, Nov. 27.  Thanksgiving (no class).
Mon. December 1: Last day to withdraw or drop passing: requires a signed drop slip.

TUESDAY December 2. Day 27 Group presentations. Announce procedures for Final exam and  REVIEW.

    THURSDAY, December 4  Day 28 Final Group presentations  and more review.  This is the last scheduled class.

TUESDAY,  December 9. Academic Preparation Day. No classes or make-ups may be scheduled. If there is a need to announce Exam week office hours or schedule make-up work, I will announce it.

TUESDAY,  December 16.  FINAL EXAM  (no less than 20% of grade) at  10:30-12:30   in the classroom

GENERAL GUIDELINES: I participate in a Teaching Inquiry Community at JSU. Its purpose is to share teaching strategies and generate communication to other teachers from classroom-based research.  This semester, I am undertaking a new and more rigorous arrangement of Reading Circles as Group work. Expect that your group will be assigned a list of minor writers in the anthology that are not covered in the syllabus, as well as a focus text or writer.  One or more groups might work on the fuller text of Moby Dick; another group will work on the Cherokee removal documents as it relates to Nancy Swimmer or to Mary Rowlandson's Narrative. Another group might be encouraged to explore more of Benjamin Franklin, Emily Dickinson, James Fenimore Cooper and his or her influence on contemporary literature and biography.

My quizzes tend to vary a great deal in format. Occasionally, there may be unannounced quizzes, which may take the form of open-book exercises, short essays, discussions, or reports on group work. All formal written work, including the critical paper and test essays for the course should conform to the standard MLA format. I will explalin and help you with this.  This class does not really expect any outside the text references, though depending on your project, you may be lent a film I own to assist you with your reading.

However, if you do consult critical studies outside the anthology, particularly in your reports, you have a strict obligation to credit it.  This includes MONARCH NOTES, CLIFF NOTES, electronic resources, and all other guides to the works assigned. It is academic dishonesty not to give complete credit to your source, whether or not the idea is directly quoted.

NOTE WELL: The instructor respects student individuality and innovative interpretive strategies. Group work and class discussions aim for the most populist/democratic discussion: all students encouraged to contribute; those monopolizing discussion time will be asked privately to moderate their vocal responses. You are expected to maintain academic standards, to turn in only original work, and to properly credit all sources not your own. This class is designed to properly train and assist you in doing so. You are expected to comply with the JSU Student Handbook with reference to all issues including code of conduct and academic dishonesty. Whenever a grade dispute, an attendance record dispute, or other issues of decorum arise, your FIRST responsibility is to arrange conference with the instructor.

ALL PROJECT TOPICS and all make-up assignments MUST BE APPROVED. 

Notice: Please be aware  that the Department of English has access to powerful software that scans and detects unauthorized documents that are submitted to your instructor.  Use of such documents constitutes an admission of academic dishonesty.

TERMS YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO WORK WITH: Go to http://www.jsu.edu/depart/english/gates/allterms.htm
[Some of these are less relevant to American Literature II studies, but this list is a good review of terms you mastered in EH 102.]

(Back to EH 201 Index page) : Use this for links to titles "not in anthology"
Gates Home
English Home
JSU Home