English 382: American Literature 1865-1920

Instructor: Elizabeth Petrino                                                                               Spring Semester—2002
Office: DMH 137                                                                                              Office Hours: 2:30-3:30 M,
Office Phone: - 3014                                                                                         3:00-4:00 W, 2:30-3:30 R and by
Jacob Riis, Bandit's Roost, 59 1/2 Mulberry St., c. 1888.

Click here for the hypertext version of Jacob Riis, How the Other Half Lives (1890).

Click here for publication history, sources, and bibliography of works about Mark Twain and His Times.

Click here to read the U.S. Constitution regarding voting rights for African Americans.

Required Texts:

1.  Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson, Selections from Walt Whitman & Emily Dickinson
2.  Henry James, The Turn of the Screw and Other Short Stories (Signet)
3.  Samuel Langhorne Clemens, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Norton)
4.  Samuel Langhorne Clemens, Puddn’head Wilson and Those Extraordinary Twins (Norton)
5.  Booker T. Washington, Up From Slavery (Penguin)
6.  W. E. B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk (Penguin)
7.  Stephen Crane, The Portable Stephen Crane (Viking)
8.  Kate Chopin, The Awakening (Norton)
9.  Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories (Dover)

Course Descriptions and Objectives:
 This course will provide an introduction to the rise of realism and naturalism; the advent of social activism, literary journalism, and documentary photography; and the impact of economic theory on the intellectual and social life of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century America.   Although we will read primarily literary texts, we will also examine extra-literary materials, including paintings, photographs, and film, as a way to understand American culture.  In addition, the course is designed to teach you the skills that are important to any student.  Those skills include the following: interpretative essays, oral reports, and essay tests.  To read critically and evaluatively, to learn the elements of style and finesse in writing, will be our goal.  I will be your guide and mentor this semester, encouraging you to improve, supervising your projects, and aiding your discussions and reports.  Don’t feel afraid to see me!

1. One interpretive essay (20% of course grade) (5-7 pp.), discussing a focussed topic of literary and cultural relevance in one of the works we have read.  These papers should discuss one literary work in light of a critical article.  Once during the term, each student will prepare a short (1-2 pp.) draft on an assigned date.  Copies should be prepared and distributed before the beginning of class.  The student will then present the paper to the class, and discussion will follow.  I will suggest topics to you, but you should feel free to develop your own.  These papers should then be rewritten and submitted to me no more than two weeks later.

2. Two tests (30% each of course grade), to be written in class on the assigned dates.  The tests will be a combination of identifications and essays, and will cover the material read in each unit.  I will draw for the essays from study questions that cover each writer.

3. Reading quizzes (20% of course grade), drawn from the material throughout the course, on assigned dates.  The quiz questions will be drawn from study questions given out each week.  No make-up quizzes are allowed, unless students come to take the make-up quiz before I hand back the corrected quiz in class. Six quizzes will be given, but I will drop the lowest grade.

4. Attendance is mandatory and will dramatically affect a student’s overall course grade.  If you miss class for any reason, you are responsible for finding out what you missed, by contacting me or another student in the course.  In accordance with University policy, students participating in University-sponsored events (i.e. Glee Club, orchestra, & theater performances, variety & club sports) are excused without penalty.  I require that you submit a schedule of such events at the beginning of the semester.  Homework due that day must be submitted to me prior to class.  Work done in class must be made up within a class following the event.  Because any class disrupts your performance in the course, students are advised that missing more than six classes may result in a lowered grade.  Students will be asked to read a critical article or portion of a book chapter for each class and to contribute informally to class discussion.  The frequency as well as the cogency of your remarks and preparation will contribute to your final grade.  Don’t be afraid to see me or to speak up!


MR 9:30-10:45                                                                                                   Course: 17596

Jan      17     Introduction: Realism and Naturalism in America


            24    Whitman, “Introduction,” 2846-2849; from By the Roadside: "When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer" (2934);
                    from Whispers of Heavenly Death: "A Noiseless Patient Spider" (xerox); “There Was a Child Went Forth”

            28    Whitman, from Drum-Taps: “Beat! Beat! Drums!” (2936), "Cavalry Crossing a Ford" (2937), “Vigil Strange I
                    Kept on the Field One Night” (2937-2938), “A March in the Ranks Hard Prest” (2938-2939), “The
                    Artilleryman’s Vision” (xerox)

            31     Dickinson, “Introduction,” 2969-2974, “Success” (2975), “These are the days” (2976), “There’s a certain slant
                    of light” (2978), “I felt a funeral in my brain” (2979), “Some keep the Sabbath” (2984), “After great pain”
                     (2985), “I'm Nobody! Who are you?"(2979), “Come slowly--Eden!"(2977), “I heard a fly buzz” (2989),
                    “This World is not Conclusion” (2989), “The Bible is an antique volume” (3006); Letters to T. W. Higginson

Feb      4       Dickinson, “This was a Poet--It is that" (2988), “Much Madness is divinest Sense” (2987), "The Poets light but
                    lamps" (3001), “Publication is the auction" (2998), “Volcanoes be in Sicily" (3007), “Because I could not stop
                    for Death” (2998), “She rose to His Requirement” (2999), “My Life had stood a Loaded Gun” (2999), “Title
                    divine is mine!” (3002), “Tell all the truth, but tell it slant” (3003), “A Route of Evanescence” (3006)

            7       Henry James and Mark Twain: Innocents Abroad
                     James, Daisy Miller, a Study (Part 1, 93-120)

            11    James, Daisy Miller, a Study (Part 2, 120-152)

            14    Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Chaps. 1-12 (13-80)

            18    NO CLASS--PRESIDENT'S DAY

            21    Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Chaps. 13-18 (81-134)

            25    Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Chaps. 19-32 (135-233)

            28    Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Chaps. 33-43 (234-296)

Mar    4       NO CLASS--SPRING RECESS (Mar 4-8)

           11    Test #1

            14     Mark Twain and Racial Determinism:
                  Puddn’head Wilson: “A Whisper to the Reader” (1-2), Chaps. 1-12 (3-61)

            18 Puddn’head Wilson: Chaps. 13-Conclusion (61-115)

            21    Booker T. Washington and Theories of Social Elevation
                    Washington, Up From Slavery: “A Harder Task than making Brick without Straw” (148-162), “Making their
                    Beds before they could lie on them” (163-176), “The Atlanta Exposition Address” (217-237)

            25    W. E. B. DuBois and the Black Intellectual
                    DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk: Chaps. 1-3 (1-50)

            28    NO CLASS--EASTER RECESS (Mar 28-Apr 1)

Apr      4     DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk: Chaps. 6-7 (74-110), Chap. 9 (133-153)

            8      TBA

            11    TBA

            15   Prostitution and Tenement Life: Crane’s Maggie: A Girl of the Streets
                Maggie: A Girl of the Streets: “The Maggie Inscription to Hamlin Garland” (1), “A Letter from Stephen Crane to
                  Miss Catherine Harris” (2),“A Great Mistake” (75-77), “An Ominous Baby” (78-81), Maggie: A Girl of the
                  Streets: Chaps. 1-8 (3-35)

            18 Maggie: A Girl of the Streets: Chaps. 9-19 (35-74)

            22    Physical Awareness and Biological Devolution: Kate Chopin’s The Awakening
                 The Awakening, Chaps. 1-14 (1-41)

            25 The Awakening, Chaps. 15-39 (41-114)

            29    Neurasthenia and Theories of Medical Treatment: Gilman’s "The Yellow Wallpaper"

            30     Test #2