Department of English and Media Studies Christ University, Bangalore III Semester JPE, CEP, PSE (JUNE –SEPTEMBER

2010) Course Plan Total No of Hours (approx) : 60 Credits: 4 Course: EST 331 American Literatures Teachers: Shobana Mathew, Arya Aiyappan, Anil Pinto and Bhavani.S General Description: The design/structure of the course supports an extensive study of particular age/period in favour of a more conventional ‘representative writers’. The critical focus is on the period and not on representative-ness (of writers) and readable/teachable-ness (of texts). The course identifies ‘varieties’ as a crucial determinant of the nature and scope of the literature in this selection, thus dismantling/dissolving conventional boundaries between the classic and the popular. It incorporates a wide variety of literary and non-literary texts as simultaneously framing the cultural assumptions of the age/period. Objectives • To introduce the students to the socio-political, religious and cultural aspects of North America through literary texts • To enable the students realise the texts as products of historical, political and cultural contexts Level of Knowledge: Basic literary competence Expected Learning Outcome: Awareness of how the production, dissemination and reception of literary material in North America across different eras happened and the contemporary debates, tensions and trends they stimulated. Sl . No 1. Unit I Topics Time June

Colonial Period: to 1700
The origin of stories (Seneca) Context: Native American Oral Literatures – Oral Narrative, Oral Poetry Christopher Columbus From Journal of the First Voyage to America Context: Cultures in Contact: Voices from the Imperial Frontier

Eighteenth Century
Thomas Paine (1737-1809) From The Crisis Context: Enlightenment Voices, Revolutionary Visions Phillis Wheatly (1753-1784) On being brought from Africa to America

2.

On Imagination Context: Contested Boundaries, National Visions: Writings on “Race”, “Identity”, and “Nation” Unit II

July

Early Nineteenth Century: 1800-1865
Edgar Allen Poe (1809-1849) The Purloined Letter Context: Myths, Tales, and Legends Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) What to the slave is Fourth of July? Context: Explorations of an “American” Self Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) Address at the dedication of the Gettysburg National Cemetery Context: The Literature of Slavery and Abolition Harriet E. Wilson (1808-1870) From Our Nig; or sketches from the life of a free black Context: The Flowering of Narrative Walt Whitman (1819-1892) From Leaves of Grass – preface, song of myself Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) I felt a funeral in my brain Context: The Emergence of American Poetic Voices

The Literature of an Expanding Nation: 1865-1912
Mark Twain (1835-1910) From Old Times on the Mississippi Henry James From The preface to The American Kate Chopin (1851-1904) Desiree’s Baby 3. Unit III August

The Literature of Modernism: 1912-1940
Prose William Faulkner That Evening Sun Ernest Hemingway Big Two-hearted River Zola Neal Hurston The Gilded Six- bits Poetry Robert Frost Nothing gold can stay Carl Sandburg Portrait of a Motorcar Wallace Stevens Not ideas about the thing but the thing in itself William Carlos Williams The young housewife

The Literature of Postwar America: 1940-1973
Poetry Richard Wilbur The Writer Allen Ginsberg From Howl Frank O’ Hara Why I am not a painter Prose Saul Bellow Looking for Mr.Green Norman Mailer From Toward a Theatre of Ideas Contemporary Writing Tennesse Williams – A Streetcar Named Desire Rachel Carson - Silent Springs (excerpts) William Gibson – Neuromancer (excerpts) Jonathan Schell - The Fate of the Earth (excerpts)

September

Teaching Methods The classes will have lectures and student presentations. The lectures may draw upon visual material. Lectures will locate the texts in their respective historical times while critically reflecting on them. CIA I Portion for the Mid-semester exam: Unit I and II. Question paper pattern: Section A: 4x5 marks=20 marks ( About 150 words) Section B: 3x10 marks=30 marks ( About 350 words) CIA II Will be announced by the last week of June. It will have to be submitted by 15 July. CIA III Will be announced by the third week of August. It will have to be submitted by 5 September. End- semester Portion for the exam: Unit I, II, III and IV Question paper pattern: Section A: 4x15 marks=60 marks ( About 300words) Section B: 2x20 marks=40 marks ( About 500 words) Guidelines for Submission in case of written assignments: • The written assignment should be based on your individual research where applicable. The typed assignment should adhere to the following specifications: A4 size paper, 12 font size, 11/2 line space, font: Times New Roman, Book Antiqua, or Garamond, printed on both the sides of the paper. • Assignment details - your name, reg. no, class, semester, assignment code, name of the College, name of the teacher in-charge and date of submission- should be mentioned on the top right-hand side of the first page. Do not use a cover page.

• You are free to take the assignment beyond the expected criteria. Such efforts will be appreciated • No late submission is entertained • Plagiarism will not be tolerated and may result in rejection of the assignment • Remember to give reference at the end of your assignment of the books, articles, websites, and films that you have referred to. The following pattern may be followed: Author’s name with the last name first, a period, name of the book italicised, a period, Place of Publication, colon, name of publication, year of publication, page no, Print/ web o E.g.: Gandhi, Mohandas Karamchand, My Experiments with Truth, New Delhi: Penguin, 1998. Print. o In case of a website give the complete URL of the site referred to, date of access, along with the above details o If you are directly lifting some lines quote them. If you are using some idea write it in your words but acknowledge it For further information on bibliography writing please refer to MLA Handbook – Seventh Edition. Note:  Attendance is compulsory for all the sessions.  Please be punctual. If you are late, you will not be allowed to attend the class. However, should there be any serious issue, do discuss with me or bring it to notice through the counsellors.  You are expected to come to class having read the required texts. Failing to which you may not be allowed to attend the classes.  Please feel free to clarify your doubts.  If you are absent for any of the classes please get the help of your classmates to get updated, before you approach me for help.  If you wish to make classroom presentation on any topic or idea within the framework of the syllabus, you will be given encouragement and guidance. Section allotment: CEP : Anil Pinto: Colonial period, Early Nineteenth Century, the literature of Modernism (prose), the literature of post-war America (poetry + William Gibson and Jonathan Schell). Arya Aiyappan: Eigteenth Century, Literature of an expanding Nation, Literature of Modernism (poetry), Literature of post-war America (prose+ Tennesse Williams and Rachel Carson). JPE: Arya Aiyappan: Colonial period, Early Nineteenth Century, the literature of Modernism (prose), the literature of post-war America (poetry + Tennesse Williams and Rachel Carson). Anil Pinto: Eigteenth Century, Literature of an expanding Nation, Literature of Modernism (poetry), Literature of post-war America (prose+ William Gibson and Jonathan Schell). PSE: Shobana Mathews: Colonial period, Early Nineteenth Century, the literature of Modernism (prose), the literature of post-war America (prose+ William Gibson and Jonathan Schell). Bhavani.S: Eigteenth Century, Literature of an expanding Nation, Literature of Modernism (poetry), Literature of post-war America (poetry+ Tennesse Williams and Rachel Carson).

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