Dr. Tom Shields

GCB 1031 
(252) 328-6715
ShieldsE@mail.ecu.edu

Class Hours:

 

Office Hours:

W 6:30-9:30 p.m.

(Bate 2024) 

Tu/Th 10:00-10:45 a.m. 
Tu-Th 2:30-3:15 p.m. 
W 5:30-6:30 p.m. 
Others by appointment 

 

ENGL 6250 (sect. 001)
American Realism
Fall 2003

 

In this course, we will examine texts written between approximately 1865 and 1920. Questions will be raised about the tension between writers of the day concerning realism and romance; about regionalism; about the connection between the modes of production—especially periodical and book production—and the works produced; about ways that the realist aesthetic did and did not work for writers from various backgrounds; etc.

The course on ECU’s Blackboard system. (The Blackboard Gateway <http://ecu.blackboard.com/> is also available through the Quicklinks dropdown list on the ECU homepage <http://www.ecu.edu/>.)  Updates to the syllabus can be also be found at the class web site, <http://core.ecu.edu/engl/shieldse/engl6250/home.html>.

 

TEXTS:

The following are the required texts for the course:

Cather, Willa. O Pioneers! New York: Dover 1993.

Dreiser, Theodore. Sister Carrie : An Authoritative Text, Backgrounds, and Sources Criticism. 2nd ed. Ed. Donald Pizer. New York: Norton, 1991.

Dunbar, Paul Laurence. Selected Poems. Mineola, NY: Dover, 1997.

Norris, Frank. McTeague.  Intro. Eric Solomon. New York: Signet, 2003.

Twain, Mark. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: An Authoritative Text, Contexts and Sources, Criticism. 3rd ed. Ed. Thomas Cooley. New York: Norton, 1999.

Wharton, Edith. Ethan Frome. New York: Dover, 1991.

Zitkala-Ša (Gertrude Bonnin). American Indian Stories. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1985.

 

CLASS SCHEDULE:

Date

 

Assignment

August

27

Introduction

 

 

 

September

3

Twain, Huck Finn

 

 

 

 

10

Twain, Huck Finn

 

 

 

 

17

CLASS CANCELLED—Hurricane Isabel

 

 

 

 

24

Dreiser, Sister Carrie

 

 

 

October

1

Dreiser, Sister Carrie

 

 

 

 

8

Dunbar, Selected Poems

Paper #1 Due (Find a Periodical Piece)

 

 

 

 

15

NO CLASS (Monday Classes Meet)

 

 

 

 

22

Wharton, Ethan Frome

 

 

 

 

29

Stephen Crane, “The Open Boat” (Online)

Jack London, “To Build a Fire” (Online)

Edward Ingle, “Roanoke: A Tale of Raleigh’s Colony” (Online)

Kelley Griffith, “The Genteel Heroine: Virginia Dare One-Hundred Years Ago” (Online through Blackboard)

 

 

 

November

5

Norris, McTeague

 

 

 

 

12

Norris, McTeague and Erich von Stroheim, dir., Greed

 

 

 

 

19

Zitkala-Ša, American Indian Stories

 

 

 

 

26

THANKSGIVING BREAK

 

 

 

December

3

Cather, O Pioneers!

 

 

 

 

10

Cather, O Pioneers!

Research Paper Due

 

 

 

 

17

Final Exam (7:30-10:00 pm)

 

 

Grades:
Grades will be determined by a periodical Project, a research paper, class participation, and a final essay exam. The breakdown of the final grade is as follows:

 

Periodical Project

25%

 

Research Paper

40%

 

Class Participation

20%

 

Final Examination

   15%

 

 

100%


Periodical Project:
Each student will find a periodical piece from the period under study (approximately 1865-1920) and write a paper that analyzes the article in the context of the periodical as a whole. The piece may be almost anything—an essay on aesthetics, a short story or poem, a book review, a scientific article, a travel narrative, and editorial, etc. The analysis will focus on the piece chosen, but will examine that piece in the context of the journal in which it appeared and in context of the time when it was produced. The final product will be a 4-5-page, typed paper.

Research Paper:

Each student will do a 10-15 page typed research paper on one or more works of American literature from the period being studied, approximately 1865-1920. Works not on the syllabus may be used, but check with the professor beforehand to get approval. Any theoretical approach 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.

Class Participation:

The main portion of the class participation grade 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 materials assigned for that particular class period (and, sometimes, earlier assignments). In addition, attendance and participation in class discussion will be considered; not talking in class will not be counted again a student, but contributing to class discussion in a useful manner will be noted.

Examination:
The final exam will be an in-class essay treating four of the works of the student's choice on the syllabus using a single theme topic of the student’s choice. The class will decide whether this will be an in-class or take-home examination.