Fall 2007
29256.01, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:25-11:50, Thompson 119

Dr. Donna Campbell
Avery 357; 335-4831; campbelld@wsu.edu
Office Hours: T Th 12-1:30 and by appointment
Virtual Office Hours: Send an instant message at any time to drcampbell6676@hotmail.com, drcampbell6676@aol.com, or drcampbell6676@yahoo.com.

Course materials available at http://www.wsu.edu/~campbelld/engl494/index.html

List of 1920s periodicals available at Holland/Terrell library: http://www.wsu.edu/~campbelld/engl494/magazines.htm

Required Texts

Lewis, Sinclair Babbitt 2003 Dover / 0486431673
Lewis, David Levering The Harlem Renaissance Reader 1995 Penguin / 0140170367
Fitzgerald, F. Scott The Beautiful and Damned 1998 Oxford / 0192832646
Toomer, Jean Cane (Norton Critical Ed.) 1988 Norton / 0393956008
Larsen, Nella Passing 2003 Penguin / 0142437271
Hemingway, Ernest The Sun Also Rises 1995 Scribner / 0684800713
Parker, Dorothy The Portable Dorothy Parker, ed. Marion Meade 2006 Penguin / 0143039539

Recommended Text

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

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.  For some of the novels, you'll be asked to read more than the usual amount over the weekend for a Tuesday class, with a lighter reading assignment for the Thursday class. The schedule usually alternates between heavier and lighter reading assignments.

You should read each day's assignment carefully, including any headnotes or background material, and come to class prepared to discuss the reading. You're responsible for the material even if you missed class that day. Since you will also be writing about films and music of the era in your papers, quizzes, and exams, you should make arrangements to view or listen to any materials that you may miss if you do not attend class on a given day. Most are available either online, in the library, through Interlibrary Loan, or through a commercial service such as Netflix.


Reading Assignments

Other Assignments






Flappers and Philosophers
Fitzgerald, "Bernice Bobs Her Hair"
"Winter Dreams"

"The Ice Palace" (optional reading)
Debate over bobbed hair (optional reading; online)

Sign up for weblog, report, or both



The Beautiful and Damned, part I



The Beautiful and Damned, part II

Weblog post #1



The Beautiful and Damned, part III



Harold Lloyd's The Freshman

Weblog post #2



Algonquin Round Table
Dorothy Parker, "Resume"; (PDP 99); "Interview" (117); "News Item" (109); "Bohemia" (223); "Unfortunate Coincidence" (96)
Parker,"Such a Pretty Little Picture" 371-381
Parker, "Big Blonde" (PDP 187-210)
Edna St. Vincent Millay, Sonnet XLIII (online)



Visit to MASC (if available)

Weblog post #3




A Day in the Life
Lewis, Babbitt, chapters 1-12

Proposal for Paper 1



Lewis, Babbitt, chapters 13-22

Weblog post #4




Lewis, Babbitt, chapters 23-end
Parker, "Mr. Lewis Lays it on with a Trowel" (handout)
Benchley, "The Catalogue School" (online)



Prohibition and Gangster Culture
The Public Enemy (1931)
Hemingway, "The Killers" (handout)





Exam 1



No Class: Research Day

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


8 10/9

The Harlem Renaissance: Jazz and Poetry
Conclusion to The Public Enemy and discussion of the film.

Lewis, introduction to The Harlem Renaissance Reader (xiii-xli)
Joel A. Rogers, "Jazz at Home" HRR 52-57
Sterling Brown, "Ma Rainey" HRR 232-234
Ma Rainey, "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" and other songs
Bessie Smith, "St. Louis Blues" (song)
Langston Hughes, "The Weary Blues" HRR 260-261;
Louis Armstrong, "Weary Blues" (song)
Gwendolyn Bennett, "Song" HRR 221-222


No Class: Research Day

Weblog post #5




Harlem Renaissance: Poetry and Aesthetics
Countee Cullen, "Heritage" and "From the Dark Tower," HRR 244-248
Langston Hughes, "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" and "I, Too" HRR 257-258; "Negro," "Mulatto," HRR 262-263
Claude McKay, "If We Must Die" and "The White House," HRR 290-291
Alain Locke, from The New Negro, HRR 46-51
W. E. B. Du Bois, "Criteria of Negro Art," HRR 100-105
Langston Hughes, "The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain," HRR 91-95



Harlem Renaissance: Lives
Claude McKay, from A Long Way from Home, HRR 156-172
James Weldon Johnson, from Black Manhattan, HRR 34-45
Langston Hughes, from The Big Sea, HRR 76-91
Rudolph Fisher, "The Caucasian Storms Harlem," HRR 110-117

Weblog post #6
10 10/23 Harlem Renaissance: Modernist Experimentation
Jean Toomer, Cane 1-51, especially "Karintha," "Fern," "Georgia Dusk," and "Blood-Burning Moon"
  10/25 Cane, 52-end, especially "Bona and Paul" and "Box Seat"
Criticism, pp. 197-207 (optional, but this will help you understand the book)
Weblog post #7



Harlem Renaissance: Race, Secrets, and Violence
Nella Larsen, Passing, parts 1 & 2

Proposal for Paper 2



Passing, part 3
Wallace Thurman, from The Blacker the Berry, HRR 636-649

Weblog post #8



Claude McKay, from Home to Harlem, HRR 370-388
Angelina Weld Grimke, from "The Closing Door" HRR 486-500



Film: Oscar Micheaux, Within Our Gates (1919)

Weblog post #9




Lost Generation and Expatriate Life
The Sun Also Rises,
chapters 1-12 (pp. 11-130) Parker, "A Book of Great Short Stories" PDP 494-497
Parker, "Oh, Look--A Good Book!" PDP 518-520

Precis assignment due


The Sun Also Rises, chapters 13-end (pp. 131-251)

Weblog post #10



Thanksgiving Week: No Class




Gender, Race, and Ethnicity in Film
Al Jolson in The Jazz Singer (1927)



Presentations on 1920s authors

Paper 2 due




Presentations on 1920s authors



Presentations on 1920s authors


17 12/13 Final exam 10:10 a. m. to 12:10 p.m  
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. 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 small, discussion-based class such as this one. 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.www.drc.wsu.edu.


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 project that will require some research. Your second project will involve looking at primary sources such as 1920s periodicals and researching a topic or author not covered in class. It does not have to take the form of a formal paper 10-12 pages in length, although it should have about that much analysis and information.Instead, it can be a group web project such as a wiki. The research you do for Paper 2 will be presented to the class as part of the grade. 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 in as 15% (Paper 1) or 25% (Paper 2) of 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. One of the out-of-class assignments will be to write a precis of a journal article and critique it.

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 WebCT.

Exam 1 (Midterm) 10 percent
Exam 2 (Final) 15 percent
Paper 1 15 percent
Paper 2 (includes final presentation) 30 percent
Report or Weblog 15 percent
Quizzes, class participation, group presentations, short writings (including precis), and in-class writings 15 percent