English 210, Readings in American Literature
TU,TH 10.35-11.50 68742
Sloan 150

Dr. Donna Campbell
Avery 357 • 335-4831
Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 12:30-2
You can also schedule meetings by appointment. I'm available in my office much of the day on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and alternate Wednesdays.
Virtual office hours: Contact me by email to set up a time for IM, Skype, or Google voice chat. My address is dmcampbellwsu@gmail.com

Course blog: http://readingamlit.blogspot.com

About the Course

English 210, Readings in American Literature, is an introduction to short fiction, poetry, and nonfiction narratives from the nineteenth- through the twenty-first centuries. We'll read works by authors that address the following themes, with some works addressing more than one: sex and courtship, humor, nature and mad science, and race and social justice. We will explore these four themes in these three periods of American literature: 1865-1900, 1900-1960, and 1960 to the present.

This course is not a traditional literature survey because we will not read work from all periods and movements in American literature. However, it is like a survey course in that you will (1) read works of classic American literature and (2) learn about important movements and trends. Instead of being a complete picture of nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature, English 210 is an exploration of American literature and culture through "snapshots" of the literature of the times.

The goals for students in the course are as follows:

Required Texts

Important: You need to bring your book with you to class each day. Having your book in class is a vital part of class participation: you'll be asked to read passages aloud, give page citations, and so forth. Reading the book online and then coming to class is not sufficient, and your class participation grade will be lower as a result.


Dillon, Grace, ed.

Hive of Dreams: Contemporary Science Fiction from the Pacific Northwest

Oregon State U P



available used ($1 and up) or new ($19)


Belasco, Susan & Linck Johnson, eds.

Bedford Anthology of American Literature, vol. 2

Bedford/St. Martin’s



available used ($23 and up) or new ($40-60)

Schedule of Assignments. This is a tentative guide to the assignments; it may change as the course progresses. Unless otherwise indicated, the numbers in parentheses are page numbers for Belasco and Johnson's Bedford Anthology of American Literature, vol. 2 .

If there are no page numbers, the reading is available in Angel (http://lms.wsu.edu); please print it out and bring it to class. URL for this syllabus: http://public.wsu.edu/~campbelld/engl210/index.html.


Date Reading Writing Assignments
1865-1900: Realism, Regionalism, and Naturalism
1 8/23 Introduction to the Class  

Classic American Humor
Twain, "Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog" (61-66)
"A Washoe Joke" (read in class)

2 8/31 Perspectives on Nature
Emerson, selections from Nature; "Each and All," "Hamatreya," "The Rhodora"
  9/1 Jewett, "A White Heron" (194-202)
Twain, from Old Times on the Mississippi (72-93)
3 9/6

Sex and Courtship
Howells, "Editha" (111-121)
Freeman, "A New England Nun" (204-212)

  9/8 Chopin, "At the 'Cadian Ball" (213-222)
Chopin, "The Storm" (222-227)
4 9/13 Social Justice and Injustice
Zitkala-Sa, "The School Days of an Indian Girl" (428-438)
Norris, "A Deal in Wheat" (324-333)

Douglass, from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave
Chesnutt, "The Passing of Grandison" (228-242)

Laptop day: Bring laptop to class if you have one. We will be discussing basic library resources and the reliability of web sites, including searching the the MLA bibliography.

Group presentations
5 9/20 Workshop for Paper 1 Bring typed draft to class
  9/22 Nature and Naturalism
Stephen Crane, "The Open Boat" and poems (334-358)
Short paper 1 due
1900-1960: Realism into Modernism
6 9/27 Justice and Crime
Mena, "The Vine-Leaf" (898-904)
Glaspell, Trifles (780-791)


Meet in Holland/Terrell Library Foyer for a Tour

Outcasts and Exiles
Sui Sin Far, "In the Land of the Free" (296-304)
McKay, poems (704-708 "If We Must Die," "The Lynching," "America," "Outcast")

7 10/4 Poetry: McKay poems (continued) and prosody.  

Laptop day: Bring laptop to class if you have one. We will be working on the assignment listed here: http://readingamlit.blogspot.com/2011/09/laptop-day-assignment.html.

Group presentations
8 10/11 Exam 1
Exam 1

Presentations from Laptop Day (continued): Groups 7 and 8
Courtship and Its Complications

Fitzgerald, "Winter Dreams"
Fitzgerald, "The Ice Palace" (917-936)

Hemingway, "Hills Like White Elephants"
Millay, poems (710-714)



9 10/18

Humor, New Yorker Style
Thurber, "University Days," "Sex Ex Machina"
Parker, poems; "You Were Perfectly Fine "; "New York to Detroit"
New Yorker cartoons

  10/20 Humor and Southern Gothic
O'Connor, "A Good Man is Hard to Find" (1301-1314)
Faulkner, "A Rose for Emily"

10 10/25 Nature in Modern Poetry
Frost, "The Oven Bird," "Fire and Ice," "Design," "Desert Places," "The Gift Outright" (592-593)
Stevens, "Anecdote of the Jar," "The Snow Man" (613-614)

Workshop for Paper 2

Typed draft of Paper 2 due in class
1960-2011: Modern to Postmodern
11 11/1 Legacies of Injustice: Reclaiming a Heritage
Walker, "Everyday Use" (1450-1456)
Morrison, "Recitatif" (1364-1379)
Paper 2 due

Alexie, "What You Pawn I Will Redeem"(1502-1520)
Espada, "Bully" and "Alabanza" (1499-1500)
Harjo, "New Orleans" (1483)

12 11/8

Science Fiction and the Way We Live Now
Coupland, from Microserfs (Hive of Dreams 173-196)
Stephenson, from The Diamond Age (Hive of Dreams 197-214)


Gibson, from Neuromancer (Hive of Dreams 261-275)
Butler, from The Parable of the Sower (Hive of Dreams 45-60)



13 11/15

Internet genres I: web texts and hypertexts; blogs; online literary journals such as McSweeney's, and so on.

Laptop day: Bring laptop to class if you have one to look up information for group presentations. Only half the class will present today.

Group presentations

Internet genres II: humor and recreation; gaming communities and game narratives; community sites; humor.

Laptop day: Bring laptop to class if you have one to look up information for group presentations. The other half of the class will present today.

Group presentations

Optional Short Paper 3 due

14 11/21-25 Thanksgiving Break  
15 11/29 Presentation of final projects  
  12/1 Presentation of final projects Paper 4 due
16 12/6 Presentation of final projects  
  12/8 Presentations and Discussion  
17 12/14 Exam 2 10:10 a.m. – 12:10 p.m.  

Requirements and Assignments

Attendance and Class Participation.  Attendance is expected, as is class participation; both are essential parts of the course. You have four free absences; a fifth absence means that you may fail the course.

Class participation is important, and you should come to class prepared to discuss each day's reading. Since the syllabus is online, as are the readings not in your textbooks, you should have no trouble in reading the next day's assignments even if you're absent on the previous day. If you have questions about the day's reading, don't hesitate to ask; chances are good that someone else had the same question.

Because we will be reading and analyzing passages from the readings during the class period, bringing your book with you is an essential part of class participation and will count in your class participation grade. As mentioned above, reading the assignment online and then coming to class is not sufficient.

Formal Papers. Students in this class will write the following:

I will use abbreviations as references to grammatical principles on your corrected papers. The abbreviations and accompanying explanations are available on the "Key to Comments" document here: http://public.wsu.edu/~campbelld/keyto.htm.

Format. Papers must be neatly typed and carefully proofread. Citations should follow MLA style as outlined in the MLA Handbook, Bedford Handbook, or other such guides. See more formatting guidelines at this link: http://public.wsu.edu/~campbelld/format.htm.

Electronic Version. Paper versions of papers (hard copies) are due at the beginning of class on the deadline date. If you prefer, you can upload an electronic copy to Angel (http://lms.wsu.edu) by 9 p.m. on the deadline date. Either a paper version or an electronic version is acceptable; paper versions will receive handwritten comments, and electronic versions will receive typed comments in the margins. Electronic versions will be returned through Angel in .pdf format.

If you upload your paper, name your file as follows: LastnameFirstinitial_ClassNumber_Papernumber. Example: If Joan Smith turns in her first paper, the file would be called SmithJ_210_Paper1.doc.

Late Papers and Extensions. Late papers are penalized at the rate of one letter grade (10 points) per class day late; a paper that would have received a "B" on Tuesday will receive a "C" if handed in on Thursday.

Exams. This course has two exams: a midterm and a final. Exams in this course will consist of objective (multiple choice, short answer, matching) questions, identification questions, and an essay written in class.

Quizzes. Unannounced quizzes over the reading will be given frequently in this class. The quizzes test your specific knowledge of the reading assignment for that day and sometimes ask about information from a previous day's class discussion or lecture. For example, you might be asked the name of a character, the meaning of a term discussed in the previous class, the character associated with a particular quotation, or the results of a specific action that occurs in a scene. Their purpose is to reinforce your close reading of the material by asking you about significant points in the book.

In-class writing and short assignments. Short, typed responses to the reading may be assigned from time to time, as will short pieces of in-class writing.


Plagiarism Policy. Plagiarism is the unacknowledged use of someone else's words or ideas. This definition includes not only deliberately handing in someone else's work as your own but failing to cite your sources, including Web pages and Internet sources.

WSU Statement on Academic Integrity. As an institution of higher education, Washington State University is committed to principles of truth and academic honesty. All members of the University community share the responsibility for maintaining and supporting these principles. When a student enrolls in Washington State University, the student assumes an obligation to pursue academic endeavors in a manner consistent with the standards of academic integrity adopted by the University. To maintain the academic integrity of the community, the University cannot tolerate acts of academic dishonesty including any forms of cheating, plagiarism, or fabrication. Washington State University reserves the right and the power to discipline or to exclude students who engage in academic dishonesty.

Electronics Policy. Recent studies have shown that people remember material better when they take notes by hand rather than on the computer, since typing on the computer tends to produce a transcription rather than the kind of selective note-taking that leads to understanding. Also, students participate more actively when they are not using a laptop, which benefits their class participation grade, and there are fewer distractions in the classroom without laptops. The following policies thus apply in this class:

WSU Policy on Students with Disabilities. Reasonable accommodations are available for students with a documented disability. If you have a disability and may need accommodations to fully participate in this class, please visit the Access Center. All accommodations MUST be approved through the Access Center (Washington Building, Room 217). Please stop by or call 509-335-3417 to make an appointment with an Access Advisor.

Safety Policy. See also the WSU Safety Policy (http://oem.wsu.edu/Emergencies) and Safety Plan (http://safetyplan.wsu.edu/).

General Grading Criteria: List available at http://public.wsu.edu/~campbelld/grading.html.

Because of FERPA and privacy issues, no grades will be discussed or transmitted by e-mail or instant messaging.

Exams (2 exams, 15% each) 30 percent
Short papers (2 at 15% each) 30 percent
Longer Paper or Project (20%) plus presentation (5%) 25 percent
Quizzes, class participation, group presentations, and in-class writings 15 percent