ENGL 4310-001 | The American Renaissance | Spring 2016

Days: TR | Room: PH 313 | Time: 100-225 pm

 About This Course  About David Lavery  Texts  Class Members  Course Requirements  Power Points Agenda | Take-Home Final | Study Sheet for the In-Class Exam | Composite Power Points

Dr. David Lavery

Office: PH 316 | Office Hours: M: 100-400 pm | T: 900-1100; 230-400 pm | W: 900-1100; 100-300 | Th: 900-1100; 230-330 pm | E-mail: david.lavery@gmail.com | Office Phone/Voice-Mail: 615-898-5648 | Home Page: http://davidlavery.net/

Dr. David Lavery is Director of Graduate Studies and Professor in the English Department at Middle Tennessee State University (1993- ). The recipient of the University's 2006 Distinguished Research Award, he is the author of over one hundred and fifty published essays, chapters, and reviews and the author / co-author / editor / co-editor of twenty-one books, including Joss Whedon, A Creative Portrait: From Buffy the Vampire Slayer to The Avengers, TV Goes to Hell: An Unofficial Road Map of Supernatural, The Essential Cult Television Reader, and The Essential Sopranos Reader. The co-convener of international conferences on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the work of Joss Whedon and The Sopranos; co-founder of the Whedon Studies Association and its journal Slayage and founding editor of Critical Studies in Television, he has lectured around the world on the subject of television (Australia, Turkey, the UK, Portugal, New Zealand, Ireland, Germany), been a guest/source for the BBC, NPR, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, The New York Times, A Folha de Sao Paulo (Brazil), Publica (Portugal), Information (Netherlands), AP, The Toronto Star, USA Today, and from 2006-2008 taught film and television at Brunel University in London. He is currently working on two books: Genius at Work: Wallace Stevens, Charles Ives, Benjamin Lee Whorf and the Imagination of insurance and ". . . and imagination can see them again": Four Exercises in Barfieldian Poetics.

 

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Required Texts

 

Click on the covers to order from Amazon. Also available from the University Bookstore, where the two books will be bundled for the price of the Norton Anthology of American Literature (B).

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About This Course

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) | Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1964) | Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) | Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

Herman Melville (1819-1891) | Walt Whitman (1819-1892) | Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

In 1837, in his famous “American Scholar” address delivered at Harvard, Ralph Waldo Emerson proclaimed a call for an intellectual Declaration of Independence. In the middle of 19th Century, before and after America’s Civil War, in a movement F. O. Mathiessen deemed in a seminal work of criticism “The American Renaissance,” Emerson himself and six other writers answered the call, producing some of the greatest prose, fiction, and poetry in the history of American literature. This course will examine in depth the work of the seven.

 

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Course Requirements

Essays [submit via the appropriate D2L drop boxes]. Your essays can be submitted in the order of your choice. See the Agenda for due dates. Things to be Aware of When You Write Your Essays

 

Essay 1 (approximately 1,250 words in length): a critical, not-source-dependent reading of an individual work (poem, essay, story, etc.) or two or more considered together. [20% of course grade]. | Sample student essay.

Essay 2 (approximately 2,000 words in length): a source paper investigating a writer, work, movement, school, etc. (your topic must be approved by me in advance). [40% of course grade].

 

Tests [each worth 20% of your grade].

In-Class Cognitive-Memory: on authors, works, literary terms, schools, movements (see the Agenda for test dates). Study Sheet (First Draft)

A Take-Home Exam [submit via the appropriate D2L drop box]: consisting of a menu of topics, from which you will select two, responding with essay answers. These topics will all be "leading questions," intended to inspire your own comprehensive synthesis of course ideas, questions, problems. [Each worth 20% of your grade].

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Class Members

Katherine Benton | Jason Carrozza | Hannah Chamberlin | Carol Cowan | Harley Davis | Walter Duckett | Kinley Hughes | Amber Knight | Alexandria Lingle

Jessica Meloche | Kailey Navin | Devaughn Norwood | Dallas Oliver | Hanah Owens | John Pugh | Atha Witcher | Taylor Witt

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Power Points

Syllabus | Overview | What is Romanticism?Fiedler Thesis | America | Emerson | Hawthorne | Poe | Thoreau | Melville | Whitman | Dickinson

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Agenda

 

Class Meeting | Subject/Reading Assignments | Requirements Due

 

Week 1

1/19/16 | Introduction to the course | 1/21/16 | Romanticism Explained | Ralph Waldo Emerson: Editors' Introduction  (211)

Week 2

1/26/16 | Emerson: "Nature" (214), "The American Scholar" (243), "The Poet" (295) | 1/28/16 | Emerson: "The Divinity School Address" (256), "Self-Reliance" (269), "Circles" (286)

Week 3

2/2/16 | Emerson: "Experience" (310), poems and letters (341) | 2/4/16 | Nathaniel Hawthorne: Editors' Introduction (369); "My Kinsman, Major Molineaux" (373), "Young Goodman Brown" (386), "Wakefield" (396)

Week 4

2/9/16 | Hawthorne: "Ethan Brand" [available online here], "The May-Pole of Merry Mount" (401) | 2/11/16 | "The Minister's Black Veil" (409), "The Birth-Mark" (418), "Rappaccini's Daughter" (430)

Week 5

2/16/16 | Hawthorne: The Scarlet Letter (450) | 2/18/16 | Hawthorne: Scarlet Letter (cont., 546) | Scarlet Letter LitChart

Week 6

2/23/16 | Edgar Allan Poe: Editors' Introduction (629); poems (633), "The Philosophy of Composition" (719), from "The Poetic Principle" (728), Eureka [available online at Project Gutenberg] | Poe on Biography | 2/25/16 | Poe: "Ligeia" (644), "The Fall of the House of Usher" (654), "William Wilson. A Tale" (667), "The Man of the Crowd" (681), "The Masque of the Red Death" (687) 

Week 7

3/1/16 | Poe: "The Tell-Tale Heart" (691), "The Black Cat" (695), "The Purloined Letter" (701), "The Cask of Amontillado" (714), The Narrative of A. Gordon Pym [available online at The Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore] | 3/3/16 | Henry David Thoreau: Editors' Introduction (961); "Resistance to Civil Government" (964)

 

3/7-12 Spring Break

 

Week 8

3/15/16 | Thoreau: Walden (980) | 3/18/16 | Thoreau: Walden (cont., 1071)

Week 9

3/22/16 | Herman Melville: Editors' Introduction (1424); "Hawthorne and His Mosses" (1427), poetry (1583) | 3/24/16 | Melville: Moby-Dick | Writing Assignment Due

Week 10

3/29/16 | Melville: Moby-Dick (cont.) | 3/31/16 | Melville: Moby-Dick (cont.)

Week 11

4/5/16 | Melville: Moby-Dick (cont.) | 4/7/16 | Melville: "Barleby" (1851), "Benito Cereno" (1526), "Billy Budd" (1587) 

Week 12

4/12/16 | Walt Whitman: Editors' Introduction (1310); prose selections (1314, 1420) | Voices and Visions Film | 4/14/16 | Whitman: Leaves of Grass (1329)

Week 13

4/19/16 Emily Dickinson: Editors' Introduction (1659) | Voices and Visions Film | 4/21/16 | Dickinson: Poetry (cont.) | Writing Assignment Due 

Week 14

4/26/16 | Wrapping Up

Finals Week [4/29/16 to 5/5/16]: The Take-Home Final is due by the end of the day, Tuesday, 5/3/16 | The In-Class Final will be on Thursday, 5/5/16, 100-300 pm