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1 Proposal: number 136

136. ENGL 152/152W: Works of American Literature - A Course for Non-majors

Contact:Duncan Faherty
Authors:Thomas Frosch
Duncan Faherty
Abstract:Aims for both English 152 & 152w:

Catalog description: This course is an introduction to the development of
American literature from its beginnings to the twenty-first century through a
study of selected poetry, drama, fiction, and non-fictional prose.

Through reading, talking about, and writing about a selection of literary texts
students will consider how language makes imaginative claims on ТAmericaУ
from the earliest beginnings of colonial North America to the globalized
present of the United States. As such, this course offers a window into the
development of American literature and culture. Students will grapple with
questions such as: What is ТAmericanУ about American Literature? What
qualifies something as particularly ТAmericanУ (and not, say, more
inclusively Р a global great work Р or more restrictedly Р great works of
African-American, regional fiction, American womenХs literature, etc)? Do
canonized works of American literature construct a certain vision of the nation
and its cultural histories? Many Тgreat worksУ students will consider
effectively portray distinctively ТAmericanУ elements while simultaneously
critiquing visions of American society and identity. Does this challenge or
assist their status as canonized works of American literature?

What do
great works of American literature tell us about America? To consider these
questions more fully, this course broadly surveys a representative range of
texts that have been used to define what it means to be ТAmericanУ
alongside a more diverse body of Тgreat works of American Literature.У By
examining a range of writing by women and men from various cultural, ethnic,
and political traditions, the aim of this course is to both introduce students
to the practices of reading literature as well as to expose them to a sense of
the development of what we might call the U.S. experience. In both versions of
the class students will read a wide range of works Р which may include
spiritual autobiographies, travel narratives, slave narratives, poetry, short
stories, sermons, political tracts, novels, and essays Р to engage in
important contemporary debates over slavery, colonialism, changing definitions
of race, the emergence of nationalism, and the nature of citizenship.

Additional Aims specific to English 152w:

English 152W offers opportunities to engage the practices, habits, and
conventions of college literacies, especially as they often occur in the
Humanities. It is a course that emphasizes reading, thinking, speaking, and
writing and the interactions among them. Students will practice both how to
understand and how to think critically about the ideas and language of others
through our reading and through class discussions and how to articulate their
own meaningful responses to the ideas and language of others through their
writing. Close reading and critical analysis of a wide variety of primary
materials of various periods. This course combines the study of literature
with continued training in clear and effective written expression.

In the academic year 2009-2010 the English Department would like to offer one
section of this course as a jumbo lecture section. We are designing this
section as a pilot to see if this version of the course will be a viable
pedagogical model for the department and our students. After we have had the
opportunity to assess the effectiveness of the lecture course, we may continue
to offer one large sized lecture version of English 152 per academic year.

Submissions and Approvals

Course Date Requirement Action By Whom Notes
ENGL 152 2009-11-17 RL Submitted Dept
ENGL 152 2009-11-17 US Submitted Dept
ENGL 152 2009-12-02 RL Approved GEAC
ENGL 152 2009-12-02 US Approved GEAC
ENGL 152 2010-02-11 RL Approved UCC
ENGL 152 2010-02-11 US Approved UCC
ENGL 152 2010-03-11 RL Approved Senate
ENGL 152 2010-03-11 US Approved Senate
ENGL 152W 2009-11-17 RL Submitted Dept
ENGL 152W 2009-11-17 US Submitted Dept
ENGL 152W 2009-12-02 RL Approved GEAC
ENGL 152W 2009-12-02 US Approved GEAC
ENGL 152W 2010-02-11 RL Approved UCC
ENGL 152W 2010-02-11 US Approved UCC
ENGL 152W 2010-03-11 RL Approved Senate
ENGL 152W 2010-03-11 US Approved Senate