Descriptor Details

  • Survey of American Literature 2
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This course introduces students to a wide range of American authors and their relationship to major literary and intellectual movements from the second half of the nineteenth century to the present.

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 the second half of the nineteenth century to the present, including diverse voices from a variety of ethnic and cultural groups

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, 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):

Heath Anthology of American Literature  (Volume II)

Lauter, Heath Anthology of American Literature  (Volumes C,D,E) Cengage

Baym, Norton Anthology of American Literature  (Volumes C,D,E) Norton

Belasco and Johnson, The Bedford Anthology of American Literature (Volume 2) 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).

Open Educational Resources (OER) texts and materials

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

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  • English, literature, American,