Course: ENGL 2510Division: Humanities
Department: English & Philosophy
Title: American Literature I
Semester Approved: Spring 2021
Five-Year Review Semester: Fall 2025
End Semester: Fall 2026
Catalog Description: This course focuses on the development of ideas, movements, and genres in American literature from exploration and settlement to Romanticism as illustrated through representative texts.
General Education Requirements: Humanities (HU)
Semesters Offered: Fall
Credit/Time Requirement: Credit: 3; Lecture: 3; Lab: 0
Justification: A lower division survey of American literature is standard at most colleges and universities. This course will transfer as general education, elective, or major credit. It fulfills general education credit within the Humanities category (HU) and a major requirement for English majors.
The Humanities are a group of academic disciplines that study the many ways by which humans have attempted to understand themselves and their world. At Snow College, the Humanities focus on cultural traditions that are expressed largely through text or which have a strong textual component: languages, literature, and philosophy. The methods by which the Humanities study culture are at once analytical and interpretive, objective and subjective, historical and aesthetic.
General Education Outcomes:
1: A student who completes the GE curriculum has a fundamental knowledge of human cultures and the natural world. An important goal of this course is to foster an appreciation of literature in general. After completing this course, students are prepared to recognize and enjoy literary works for intellectual as well as visceral reasons. Students read and discuss a selection of significant and representative American literature texts from exploration and settlement to 1865 in order to understand its development.
Quizzes, writing assignments, examinations, special projects, and class discussions will ask students to consider readings in a variety of contexts.
2: A student who completes the GE curriculum can read and research effectively within disciplines. Students read a variety of primary texts and are quizzed on content. Discussion questions, writing prompts, and writing assignments are designed to elicit constructive and critical responses (e.g. "What values or beliefs are being transmitted through this piece of literature?" "What is the author trying to communicate through this piece of literature and what strategies does the author employ to accomplish that goal?").
3: A student who completes the GE curriculum can draw from multiple disciplines to address complex problems. Students will use insights from politics, history, geography, ecology, and other fields in order to understand and respond to works of American literature.Students will demonstrate their learning with this outcome though quizzes, writing assignments, examinations, special projects, and class discussions.
4: A student who completes the GE curriculum can reason analytically, critically, and creatively. Students are asked to critically evaluate rhetorical choices the author makes in order to understand and interpret the literature. Students are also asked to understand the development of ideas, movements, and genres in American literature as reflected through representatives texts.
Students will demonstrate their ability to think critically about literature, understand its context, and interpret meaning through essay exams, papers, and class discussion.
5: A student who completes the GE curriculum can communicate effectively through writing and speaking. Students write on a regular basis demonstrating the validity of various theses in diverse writing assignments. Writing assignments are designed around the collaborative model and incorporate all elements of the writing process. Written assignments will be returned with suggestions for improving the student's writing skills.
General Education Knowledge Area Outcomes:
1: Students will be able to discuss core questions about early American literature and its development. They will do so utilizing representative American literary texts. Students will demonstrate their insights through class discussions, reading journals, and quizzes/exams. Students will be able to discuss core questions about early American literature and its development. They will do so utilizing representative American literary texts. Students will demonstrate their insights through class discussions, reading journals, and quizzes/exams.
2: Understand how knowledge is created through the study of language systems, literature, and/or philosophy. Students will be able to read texts closely to examine how literary texts generate meaning both within and among themselves. Students will demonstrate close reading through class discussions and other assessment measures.
3: Understand cultural traditions within an historical context and make connections with the present. Students wil deepen their understanding of widespread cultural traditions manifested in literature. Students will demonstrate ability to explain and analyze these traditions through class discussions, reading journals, and quizzes/exams.
4: Critically read and respond to primary texts (original, uninterpreted) from a Humanities’ perspective. Students will be able to closely read a variety of variety of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction texts and use this reading as the basis for analysis. Students will demonstrate their close reading skills through class discussions, reading journals, quizzes/exams, and written semester projects/papers.
5: Write effectively within the Humanities discipline to analyze and form critical and aesthetic judgments. Students will write both to respond to and to create arguments. They will write about course readings and class discussions, and they will demosntrate these through reading journals, critical thinking questions on quizzes, and on a writing-based semester project that includes revision and peer review. They will also demonstrate writing skills by responding to instructor feedback while revising.
Student Learning Outcomes:
English 2510 covers a selection of major literary works of American literature that represent the literature of exploration and settlement, religious writings, Native American oral and written traditions, Puritanism, the establishment of the Republic, slavery, Transcendentalism, and Romanticism. The course will focus on close reading, literary conventions, historical influences, contextual and textual analysis, interpretation, synthesis, critical thinking, and writing.
When selecting texts for the class, instructors will ensure that diverse voices found in American literature are present on the class reading list.
Key Performance Indicators:
Class Participation 10 to 15%
Writing assignments & special projects 30 to 50%
Exams 30 to 50%
Quizzes 20 to 30%
Representative Text and/or Supplies:
The texts will vary according to departmental decisions and instructors' wishes. The following is representative of the kind of anthology that will be used. The instructor may also include representative novel(s) as part of the reading curriculum.
Baym, Nina. The Norton Anthology of American Literature: Shorter Edition. Vol. 1. Current edition.
English 2510 covers a selection of literary texts (chosen at the discretion of the instructor) that illustrate important works of early American literature. Course content will endeavor to be inclusive and offer students the opportunity to see diverse ethnic, national, gender, economic, and other perspectives.
Maximum Class Size: 30
Optimum Class Size: 20