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ENG 303: American Novel

Course Description

This course is a survey of important American novels. The reading ranges from the earliest American novels to more contemporary ones. The claim of greatness varies for each novel: some are important in the history of the United States; some important for their themes; some are ‘firsts’ in a variety of ways. The course will consider a variety of cultures in the United States. Throughout, the identification of the ‘American-ness’ of the American novel will be a central focus. Resources for further study of American literature and history will be identified.

Prerequisites

  • ENG 101: English Composition 1
  • ENG 102: English Composition 2
  • U. S. History strongly recommended

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Read novels carefully, with understanding, attention to details, tone, audience, and cultural assumptions—both of their own culture and other cultures in the United States.
  2. Respond to prompts in written English that is clear and mechanically sound. Answers will be elaborated with evidence from the readings.
  3. Draw conclusions from the readings.
  4. Reflect on and revise previous assumptions about American literature and history.
  5. Show evidence of changes in values and assumptions about literature and American values.
  6. Understand the different expectations of different audiences of readers: scholarly, popular, literary, historians, majority versus minority readership, and male versus female.
  7. Access and evaluate literature-related websites using an evaluative rubric.
  8. Understand cultural and ethnic differences among Americans in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

General Education Outcomes (GEOs)

Please check the applicable GEOs for this course, if any, by outcomes at GEO Category Search, or by subject area at GEO Discipline Search.

Course Activities and Grading

Assignment(s)

Weight

Weekly Discussions

30%

Written Assignments (Weeks 3, 5, 9, 13)

10%

Essay (Week 7)

20%

Midterm Exam (Week 8)

15%

Final Exam (Week 15)

25%

Total

100%

Required Textbooks

  • Kate Chopin's The Awakening. No specific edition required.
  • John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. No specific edition required.
  • Toni Morrison's Beloved. No specific edition required.
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin. No specific edition required.
  • N. Scott Momaday's House Made of Dawn. No specific edition required.
  • Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five. No specific edition required.
  • Herman Melville's Moby Dick. No specific edition required, but recommend the Longman Critical Edition. Edited by John Bryant and Haskell Springer. New York: Pearson, 2007. ISBN: 0-321-22800-6.
  • Mark Twain's Pudd'nhead Wilson. No specific edition required.

Note: Books may be found at area libraries or bookstores.

Additional Resources

Course Schedule

Week

SLOs

Readings and Exercises

Assignment(s)

1

1-8

Topic: Mark Twain

  • Readings: Pudd’nhead Wilson
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Post website evaluations

2

1-8

Topic: Toni Morrison

  • Readings: Beloved
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Post website evaluations

3

1-8

Topic: Harriet Beecher Stowe

  • Readings: Essay and Uncle Tom's Cabin
  • Summarize a critical essay about the novel

4

1-8

Topic: Harriet Beecher Stowe

  • Readings: Essay and Uncle Tom's Cabin
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Post website evaluations

5

1-8

Topic: Herman Melville

  • Readings: Essay and Moby-Dick
  • Summarize a critical essay about the novel

6

1-8

Topic: Herman Melville

  • Readings: Essay and Moby-Dick
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Post website evaluations

7

1-6, 8

  • Readings: None
  • Essay

8

1-6, 8

  • Review for Midterm Exam
  • Take the Midterm Exam

Mid-Term Exam
Puddn’head Wilson, Beloved, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Moby-Dick
(SLOs 1-6, 8)

9

1-8

Topic: John Steinbeck

  • Readings: Essay and The Grapes of Wrath
  • Summarize a critical essay about the novel

10

1-8

Topic: John Steinbeck

  • Readings: Essay and The Grapes of Wrath
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Post website evaluations

11

1-8

Topic: Kate Chopin

  • Readings: The Awakening
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Post website evaluations

12

1-8

Topic: Kurt Vonnegut

  • Readings: Slaughterhouse-Five
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Post website evaluations

13

1-8

Topic: N. Scott Momaday

  • Readings: Essay and House Made of Dawn
  • Summarize a critical essay about the novel

14

1-8

Topic: N. Scott Momaday

  • Readings: Essay and House Made of Dawn
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Post website evaluations

15

1-6, 8

  • Review for Final Exam
  • Take the Final Exam

Final Exam
The Grapes of Wrath, The Awakening, Slaughterhouse-Five, House Made of Dawn,
and Comprehensive Essay Questions
(SLOs 1-6, 8)

COSC Accessibility Statement

Charter Oak State College encourages students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services at OAS@charteroak.edu.

COSC Policies, Course Policies, Academic Support Services and Resources

Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies and the “Course Policies” link for specific policies related to this course. COSC Resources information regarding available COSC academic support services and resources.