Tom Shields
2117 General Classroom Bldg.
Phone: 328-6715
Office Hours: TTH 10:00-11:00
TTH 3:30-4:00
W 10:30-11:30


 
 

New World, Ideal World

English 6215, "American Literature to 1830"
Spring 1997
TTH 11:00-12:15
GCB 2002

Required Books:

 Bradford, William. Of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647. New York: Modern Library-Random House, 1981.

 Castañeda, Pedro de. The Journey of Coronado. Trans. and ed. George Parker Winship. New York: Dover, 1990.

 Cohen, J. M., ed. The Four Voyages of Christopher Columbus. New York: Penguin, 1992.

 Crèvecouer, J. Hector St. John de. Letters from an American Farmer. Ed. Susan Manning. New York: Oxford UP, 1997.

 Harris, Sharon M., ed. American Women Writers to 1800. New York: Oxford UP, 1996.

 houston, lebame, and Barbara Hird, eds. Roanoke Revisited: The Story of the First English Settlements in the New World and the Fabled Lost Colony of Roanoke Island. Manteo, NC: Penny Books, 1997.

 More, Thomas. Utopia. New York: Dover, 1997.

 Paine, Thomas. Political Writings. Ed. Bruce Kuklick. Cambridge UP, 1989.

 Materials on Reserve at Joyner Library or available on the World Wide Web.

 Assignments:
January 13 Introduction
15 First Visions of America:
•Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo, from General and Natural History of the Indies, The Four Voyages of Christopher Columbus, pp. 27-36.
•Christopher Columbus, Letter of Columbus to Various Persons Describing the Results of His First Voyage and Written on the Return Journey, The Four Voyages of Christopher Columbus, pp. 115-23.
20 Beginnings of the New World as Paradise:
•Christopher Columbus, "Narrative of the Third Voyage of Christopher Columbus to the Indies, in which He Discovered the Mainland, Dispatched to the Sovereigns from the Island of Hispaniola," The Four Voyages of Christopher Columbus, pp. 206-26.
•"Letter Sent by the Admiral of the Indies to the Governess of Don Juan of Castile in the Year 1500, In Which He was Brought from the Indies a Prisoner," The Four Voyages of Christopher Columbus, pp. 265-76.
•"Letter Written by Christopher Columbus, Viceroy and Admiral of the Indies, to the Most Christian and Mighty King and Queen of Spain, Our Sovereigns, Notifying them of the Events of His Voyage and the Cities, Provinces, and Rivers and Other Marvels, also the Situation of the Many Goldfields and Other objects of Great Riches and Value," The Four Voyages of Christopher Columbus, pp. 283-304.
22 Utopian Visions from Europe:
•More, Book One, Utopia.
27 Utopian Visions from Europe (cont.):
•More, Book Two, Utopia.
29 Pre-Columbian Myths and Legends:
The Voyage of Saint Brendan (Reserves).
February 3 Pre-Columbian Myths and Legends:
The Voyage of Saint Brendan (Reserves).
5 The British Paradise Found:
•Arthur Barlowe, "Arthur Barlowe's Discourse of the First Voyage," Roanoke Revisited, pp. 11-20.
10 The British Paradise Lost:
•John White, "John White's Narrative of His 1587 Voyage," Roanoke Revisited, pp.43-55.
•John White, "John White's Narrative of the 1590 Voyage to Virginia," Roanoke Revisited, pp.59-72.
•John White, "John White to Richard Hakluyt," Roanoke Revisited, pp. 77-78.
12 Paradise Rediscovered in the British South:
•Edward Bland, The Discovery of New Brittaine (Reserves).
•Robert Beverly, Chapter 1, The History and Present State of Virginia (Reserves and World Wide Web).
17 The Spanish Attempt to Discover Paradise:
•Pedro de Castañeda, The Journey of Coronado.
19 The Spanish Attempt to Discover Paradise (cont.):
•Pedro de Castañeda, The Journey of Coronado.
24 The Religious Paradise?:
•William Bradford, The First Book, Of Plymouth Plantation.
26 The Religious Paradise? (cont.):
•William Bradford, The Second Book, Of Plymouth Plantation.
March 3 The Religious Paradise? (cont.):
•William Bradford, The Second Book, Of Plymouth Plantation.
5 Puritan Visions of the Ideal:
•John Winthrop, "A Model of Christian Charity" (Class Handout).
CLOSE READING DUE
10 Women's Writings—First Visions of America:
•"First Women" and "Spiritual Narratives," American Women Writers to 1800, pp. 173-216.
12 Women's Writings—Poetic Visions:
•"Poetry," American Women Writers to 1800, pp. 303-48
17 SPRING BREAK
19 SPRING BREAK
31 The Multicultural Ideal in Eighteenth-Century North America:
•J. Hector St. John de Crèvecouer, Letters from an American Farmer.
April 2 The Multicultural Ideal in Eighteenth-Century North America (cont.):
•J. Hector St. John de Crèvecouer, Letters from an American Farmer.
7 The Idealized American Revolution:
•Thomas Paine, Common Sense and No. 1, The Crisis, Political Writings, pp. 1-48.
9 The Idealized American Revolution (cont.):
•Thomas Paine, Part First, The Age of Reason, Political Writings, pp. 205-57.
14 Women's Writings—The Revolutionary War:
"Revolutionary War Writings," American Women Writers to 1800, pp. 269-302.
16 Dystopian New World Visions?:
•Ebenezer Cook, The Sot-weed Factor (Reserves).
21 Political Satire and the Republican Ideal:
•Mercy Otis Warren, The Group (Reserves).
23 Political Satire of the Republican Ideal:
•The Mecklenburg Censor, A Modern Poem (Reserves).
28 Spanish Hagiography
•Francisco Palou, from The Life of Fray Junipero (Reserves).
May 1 Wrap Up
RESEARCH PAPER DUE
5 STATE HOLIDAY MAKEUP DAY (No Class-Friday Classes Meet)
7 READING DAY (No Classes)
14 FINAL EXAM PERIOD (Thursday, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.)

 Grades:
Grades will be determined by a close reading, a research paper, several in-class writings, and a final essay exam. The breakdown of the final grade is as follows:
 
 
Close Reading 30%
Research Paper 40%
In-Class Writings 10%
Final Examination _20%
100%

 

Close Reading:
Each student will do a 5-page typed close reading of a work from the syllabus. The idea is to interpret from your own perspective as a modern reader. What is an important point the work makes and what in the work brings across this point? As a close reading, there is no research requirement, though a few (no more than two or three) well-chosen sources to provide background can be useful.

 Research Paper:
Each student will do a 10-15 page typed research paper on one or more works of early American literature. The topic should be related to the course theme topic of visions of the ideal. Works not on the syllabus may be used, but check with the professor beforehand to get approval. Any writing-related approach or theory may be used. It is a good idea to discuss your paper with the professor as you formulate your ideas. Papers must use MLA documentation format.

 In-Class Writings:
There will be several short (1-2 paragraph), unannounced essay responses to reading assignments done throughout the semester. These are open-book and require students to analyze works assigned for that particular class period (and, sometimes, earlier assignments).

 Examination:
The final exam will be a short (no more than 5 typed pages) out-of-class essay treating five of the works on the syllabus. Students will compare the five works on their theme ideas of what the New World is—a paradise, a blank slate waiting to be written upon, a dystopia, or whatever. the essay must be turned in by the end of the class's assigned final exam period—1:00 p.m., Thursday, May 14.