Fall 2008
28894, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:25-2:40, Avery 102

Dr. Donna Campbell
Avery 357 and 202J; 335-4831
E-mail: campbelld@wsu.edu. This is my primary e-mail address; I don't check the other ones every day.
Office Hours: T Th 12-1:15 and by appointment
Virtual Office Hours: Send an instant message at any time to drcampbell6676@hotmail.com, drcampbell6676@aol.com, drcampbell6676@gmail.com, or drcampbell6676@yahoo.com. You can also Skype me at drcampbell6676.

Course materials available at http://www.wsu.edu/~campbelld/engl481/index.html

Required Texts

Baym, Nina, et al. Norton Anthology of American Literature. 7th ed. Vol. C. W. W. Norton, 2007. ISBN 0-393-92741-5.
Jewett, Sarah Orne. Country of the Pointed Firs. Dover Publications, 1994. ISBN 0486281965
Johnson, James Weldon. The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man. Dover Publications, 1995. ISBN 048628512X
Frederic, Harold. The Damnation of Theron Ware. Modern Library, 2002.  ISBN 0375760350

Recommended Text

Harmon and Holman, A Handbook to Literature (Prentice Hall, 9th ed.) (ISBN 0-13-012731-0)

Course Description

This course explores the implications of gender, race, and genre in a variety of literary texts published from 1855 to the beginning of World War I, with a particular focus on three key literary movements of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century America: realism, regionalism or local color fiction, and naturalism. In addition to questions of literary quality and canon formation, we will consider the ways in which these works addressed the cultural conflicts of their time: the rise in monopoly capitalism, industrialism, technological advances, and consumer culture; westward expansion and the appropriation of land belonging to native peoples; racism and violence directed against African Americans in the wake of Reconstruction;  xenophobic reactions to increasing immigration and ethnic diversity; and changing gender roles. One  response to what many saw as the threat of social change implied by such conflicts was to appropriate the ways of knowing what was "true"—and in literature, realism defined itself as a means of knowing and expressing "truth." We will investigate the ways in which such terms as "truth" and "American," both linked to realism, became redefined in an exclusionary manner as well as the ways in which literature from underrepresented populations resisted such definitions. In the process, we will discuss the processes through which certain authors, such as Henry James and Mark Twain, have been included in the canon while others have until recently been excluded, an examination that will also consider the privileging of certain genres (such as the novel) over those of the sketch and the short story cycle.  

Schedule of Assignments

This schedule should be regarded as a tentative guide to the assignments; it may well be changed as the semester progresses.  Because good, in-depth class discussion is more important than keeping up with the schedule, you should not be disturbed if some selections are omitted or if we appear to fall behind. 

You should read each day's assignment carefully, including any headnotes or background material, and come to class prepared to discuss the reading. Many readings are in the Norton Anthology of American Literature, volume C (NAAL)'; if no volume is listed, you can assume that the reading is in there.

Week Date

Reading Assignments

Writing Assignments






The Civil War: Prose
Lincoln, "The Gettysburg Address"
Alcott, "The Brothers" (handout)
Ch. 3 from Hospital Sketches (handout)

Sign up for weblog, report, or both



The Civil War: Poetry
Whitman, "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd" (handout)
Melville, "The Martyr" (handout)



Melville, "Shiloh" (handout)
Whitman, from Drum Taps (handout)

Weblog post #1



Online Poetry Archives: Whitman and Dickinson

Meet in AML 105


Emily Dickinson: Versions and Revisions
Read all but especially 67, 124, 185, 299, 258, 409, 479, 591, 765, 764. (We will not discuss all of them today.)

Meet in AML 105

Weblog post #2




Emily Dickinson in Context
Dickinson poems, continued



Poems from the Household Book of Poetry (handout) and Dickinson poems

Weblog post #3




Realism, Parody, and Subversion
Twain, "The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" 104-108
Twain, "The Whittier Birthday Dinner Speech" (online)
Twain, "A Washoe Joke" (online)

Proposal for Paper 1 due



Twain, "Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offences" 294-302
Twain,"A True Story" (handout)
Twain, "A Visit to Niagara" (handout)

Weblog post #4




Americans Abroad
James, Daisy Miller: A Study 391-428
Wharton, "Roman Fever" 843-852



Draft workshop for Paper 1

Weblog post #5




Exam 1



No class

Paper 1 due (e-mail it to me at campbelld@wsu.edu)


8 10/14

Local Color and Regionalism
Freeman, "A New England Nun" 626-634
Freeman, "Old Woman Magoun" (online)

  10/16 Jewett, The Country of the Pointed Firs (all)





Chopin, "The Storm" 629-633
Mena, "The Vine-Leaf" (online)
Sui Sin Far, "In the Land of the Free" 879-886



Trip to the MASC

Weblog post #6
10 10/28 The Damnation of Theron Ware, parts 1 & 2

Damnation of Theron Ware, parts 3 & 4

Weblog post #7



Chesnutt, "The Goophered Grapevine" 689-695
"Dave's Neckliss"

Proposal for Paper 2


Chesnutt, "The Wife of His Youth" 696-703
"The Passing of Grandison" 704-715

Weblog post #8



No Class: Veterans' Day






Weblog post #9



London, "To Build a Fire"
Crane, "The Open Boat"
Crane, selected poems, especially "A man adrift on a slim spar" (handout)
Precis assignment due


Native American Autobiography
Eastman, "From the Deep Woods to Civilization" 797-810
Zitkala-Sa, "Impressions," "School Days," and "Indian Teacher" 1105-24

Weblog post #10



Thanksgiving Vacation: No Class




Draft workshop for Paper 2

Bring draft of Paper 2
  12/4 Passing
Johnson, The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man
Paper 2 due


Johnson, The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (continued)

Weblog post #11 (optional; extra credit)




17 12/15 Final Exam 1-3 p.m. in our classroom  
Course Policies and Requirements

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

You should come to class prepared to discuss each day's reading, and . 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.

Giving your full attention to the material and to your classmates' comments raises the level of learning in a discussion-based class such as English 481. Although you're welcome to keep your cell phone on in case of an emergency (such as having a relative in the hospital), please be considerate and turn your cell phone off otherwise while you're in class. Also, although you may use your laptop to take notes if you wish, I have noticed that a student's participation in class discussions usually diminishes when a laptop is used. Since class participation is a substantial part of your grade, please consider this when deciding whether to bring a laptop to class.

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 Disability Resource Center (DRC). All accommodations MUST be approved through the DRC (Admin Annex Bldg, Room 205). Please stop by or call 509-335-3417 to make an appointment with a disability specialist.


Formal Papers. Students in this class will write two formal papers, a short (5-7 pages) analytical interpretation of fiction or poetry, and a longer analytical paper (10-12 pages) that will require some research.. A list of paper topics will be handed out well before the papers are due.

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.

Electronic Version. You will need to turn in a computer-readable version (as a Word or .rtf attachment) of your paper by e-mailing it to me in addition to, or instead of, turning in a paper version. Your paper will not be graded and you will not receive any credit for the paper until I receive the electronic version.

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 Monday will receive a "C" if handed in on Wednesday.

If no paper is turned in within 4 class days (due date plus three more days), no credit will be given and a 0 will be averaged into your course grade..

You have one 48-hour extension in this class. This extension means that your paper will be due on the next class day, which could be more than 48 hours if the next class day is a Monday, without penalty.You must request the extension ahead of time, and you should save it for a true emergency, since no other extensions will be granted for illness, funerals, weddings, or any other reason.

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. Penalties for plagiarism range from an F on the paper or the course to suspension from the university.

For a first offense, any paper plagiarized in whole or in part will receive an "F" (0 points), and the incident must be reported to the WSU Office of Student ConductYou will NOT be allowed to rewrite the plagiarized paper for a better grade.

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.


The midterm and final exams in this course will consist of objective (multiple choice, short answer, matching) and identification questions and an essay. Exams cannot be made up without a doctor's note. If you want to complete a weblog AND a report, you have the option not to take the final exam. The midterm is not optional.

Other Work

Quizzes. Frequent, unannounced quizzes over the reading will be given in this class. They cannot be made up, but the lowest quiz grade will be dropped. Quizzes are usually given in the first 10 minutes of class; if you come in late and the quiz is in progress, you will not be able to take the quiz.

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.

Precis. One of the out-of-class assignments will be to write a precis of a journal article and critique it. You can find the precis assignment at http://www.wsu.edu/~campbelld/engl481/precis.htm.

Reports and Weblogs

Students in this class will either present a brief oral report to the class or keep an online journal (weblog) of their reading this semester. Both options will should involve about the same amount of work, but with the weblog option, you'll be spreading the work out over the entire semester. Those who choose both to present a report and to keep a weblog will not have to take the final exam.

Grade Distribution. Note: Because of FERPA and privacy issues, no grades will be discussed or transmitted by e-mail or instant messaging. You can check all of your grades (except the grade for class participation) in elearning@wsu.edu.

Exam 1 (Midterm) 10 percent
Exam 2 (Final) 10 percent
Paper 1 20 percent
Paper 2 30 percent
Precis 5 percent
Report or Weblog 10 percent
Quizzes, class participation, group presentations, short writings, and in-class writings 15 percent