Descriptor Details

  • Survey of American Literature 1
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  • 130
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  • 3.0
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  • Uploaded: 10/12/2017 04:44:23 PM PDT

This course introduces students to America’s literary traditions from their beginnings to the second half of the nineteenth century.

Eligibility for college-level composition (C-ID ENGL 100) as determined by college assessment or other appropriate method


Successful completion of college-level composition (C-ID ENGL 100) or equivalent

  1. Influential and significant, as well as diverse and under-represented, texts and authors
  2. Evolution of literary traditions, contexts, and genres
  3. Contexts of American literature:  historical, philosophical, social, political, and aesthetic
  4. Reading, analyzing, interpreting, and writing about American literature from its beginnings to the second half of the nineteenth century, including diverse voices from indigenous, European, and other cultures

At the conclusion of this course, the student should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate familiarity with important authors, works, genres, and themes of the period
  2. Analyze and interpret themes found in the literature and intellectual movements of the period
  3. Demonstrate understanding of appropriate academic discourse and the conventions of critical literary analysis
  4. Relate the literary works to their historical, philosophical, social, political, regional, and/or aesthetic contexts
  5. Demonstrate comprehension of the above through class discussion, written exams, and essays using appropriate citation form

A variety of writing assignments including academic essays as well as shorter assignments such as summaries, annotated bibliographies, reader responses/journals, formal essays, in-class writing, group projects, or research projects.

Other methods of evaluation such as portfolios, oral presentations, exams, quizzes, and class participation.

Sample textbooks (most recent edition):

Lauter, Heath Anthology of American Literature  (Volumes A and B) Cengage

Baym, Norton Anthology of American Literature  (Volumes A and B) Norton

Belasco and Johnson, The Bedford Anthology of American Literature (Volume I) Bedford/St.Martin’s

--or the shorter editions combining volumes of these texts

McMichael, Concise Anthology of American Literature.  Longman

Comprehensive instructor-developed reading lists from various sources, including Open Educational Resources (OER)

Sample Manuals or Other Support Materials

Gardner, J. E. Writing About Literature:  A Portable Guide. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s

Harmon, W., and H. Holman. A Handbook to Literature. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall

Roberts, Edgar, V. Writing About Literature. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. (Complete or Brief Edition). 

Selected handbook or style manual (MLA, CMS), including Open Educational Resources (OER) texts and materials

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  • English, Literature, american