English 573
Seminar in Prose Fiction: English 573
Regionalism, Race, and Nationalism
Spring 2006: M 3:10-6 p.m. Avery 110

Donna Campbell
Avery 357; 335-4831; campbelld@wsu.edu
Office Hours: M W 11:30-1 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/engl573/index.html and in WebCT

American literature

Printable .pdf version of this syllabus (.doc version)


Course Description

This seminar explores late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American regional literature from several perspectives: as a literary movement that responded to realism and became a conduit to major publishing outlets for those marginalized by class, race, and gender; as a response to political debates over the Civil War, woman suffrage, race relations, and Reconstruction; as a reaction to concerns over industrialization, Gilded Age capitalism, urbanization, and the emergence of literary professionalism; and as a means of engaging in national debates over immigration, imperialism, and nationalism. We’ll explore the texts’ creation of regional myths, including those that seek to codify particular kinds of race-based social control (as in fiction of the plantation tradition), those that use nostalgia to enshrine an imagined past and idealize the primitive, and those that contribute to a national narrative that enshrines and naturalizes certain kinds of racial and class power.

Here are some of the themes and issues we’ll consider:

Note: These readings are tentative; others will be added.






Introduction: Historical and Literary Backgrounds






No Class: Martin Luther King Day






Romance and Realism in Western Regional Fiction
Presentation: Billy Merck

  • Bret Harte
    • “The Luck of Roaring Camp”
    • “Wan Lee, the Pagan”
    • “An Ingénue of the Sierras”
    • “The Poet of Sierra Flat”
    • “Three Vagabonds of Trinidad”
    • “Plain Language from Truthful James”
    • “The Rise of the ‘Short Story’”
  • Hamlin Garland
    • “Up the Coolly,”
    • “ A Branch Road,”
    • “Under the Lion’s Paw,” “
    • Mrs. Ripley’s Trip,”
    • Howells on Garland (pp. 1-4)
  • Selected readings on Garland and Harte






New England Communities
Presentation: Jessica Schubert

  • Rose Terry Cooke
    • “Freedom Wheeler’s Controversy with Providence,”
    • “Miss Beulah’s Bonnet,”
    • "The Ring Fetter"
    • "Mrs. Flint's Married Experience"
  • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
    • “A New England Nun,”
    • “A Church Mouse,”
    • “A Mistaken Charity”
    • “Old Woman Magoun” (online)
  • Josephine Donovan, “Breaking the Sentence: Local Color Literatures and Submerged Knowledges” in The (Other) American Renaissance.
  • Judith Fetterley, "Not in the Least American"
  • Brodhead, from Cultures of Letters






Regionalism: “Queer Consciousness,” “Minor Literature”






Regional Objects, Cultures, and Histories

  • Jewett
    • The Country of The Pointed Firs
    • “The Foreigner”
    • “Looking Back on Girlhood”
  • June Howard, “Unraveling Regions, Unsettling Periods: Sarah Orne Jewett and American Literary History.” American Literature, Vol. 68, No. 2. (Jun., 1996), pp. 365-384.
  • Bill Brown, “Regional Artifacts,” American Literary History 14.2 (2002): 195-226, or Jewett section in A Sense of Things.
  • Selections from New Essays on The Country of the Pointed Firs: Ammons, Gillman
  • Campbell, in Jewett and Her Contemporaries: Reshaping the Canon, ed. Kilcup & Edwards (from Resisting Regionalism)






No Class: Presidents' Day (University Holiday)






Fictions of the Color Line






Plantation Myths

  • Paul Laurence Dunbar
    • “The Deserted Plantation,”
    • “When Malindy Sings,”
    • “The Poet and His Song,”
    • “We Wear the Mask,”
    • “A Blessed Deceit,”
    • “The Lynching of Jube Benson,”
    • “The Ingrate”
  • Eric Sundquist, from To Wake the Nations






Spring Break 3/14-3/18






Technologies of Seeing, Technologies of Representation

  • Sui Sin Far, from Mrs. Spring Fragrance:
    • “In the Land of the Free,”
    • “Mrs. Spring Fragrance,”
    • “Its Wavering Image,”
    • “The Americanizing of Pau Tsu”
  • Onoto Watanna, A Half Caste and Other Writings:
    • “A Half Caste,”
    • “A Contract,”
    • “Delia Dissents,”
    • “The Wrench of Chance,”
    • “Miss Lily and Miss Chrysanthemum: The Love Story of Two Japanese Girls in Chicago”
  • Nancy Armstrong, chapter 5 from Fiction in the Age of Photography
  • selections from Jonathan Crary’s Techniques of the Observer
  • Lori Robison on Onoto Watanna






Defining Region, Nation, and Empire

  • Maria Cristina Mena, Collected Stories:
    • “The Vine-Leaf,”
    • “The Gold Vanity Set,”
    • “The Emotions of Maria Concepcion,”
    • “Marriage by Miracle,”
    • “A Son of the Tropics”
  • Hsuan L Hsu, “Literature and Regional Production” (American Literary History--available in Project Muse)
  • John Hutchinson, “Cultural Nationalism and Moral Regeneration” in Nationalism.
  • Benedict Anderson, pp. 36-46 in Imagined Communities
  • (Amy Kaplan)






Ethnography and Appropriation

  • Mary Austin, AWR 564-592;
  • Zitkala-Sa, American Indian Stories:
    • “Impressions of an Indian Childhood,”
    • “The School Days of an Indian Girl,”
    • “An Indian Teacher Among Indians,” (67-113);
    • “The Soft-Hearted Sioux,”
    • “A Warrior’s Daughter,” (132-140);
    • “The Widespread Enigma Concerning Blue-Star Woman,” (143-54);
    • “America, Home of the Red Man,”
    • “The Coronation of Chief Powhatan Retold” (193-198);
    • “A Sioux Woman’s Love for Her Grandchild” (179-80)
  • de Certeau, “Railway Navigation and Incarceration” from The Practice of Everyday Life
  • Tom Lutz, from Cosmopolitan Vistas
  • Readings on Austin and Zitkala-Sa (Martha Viehmann, Gary Totten)






Ethnography and Appropriation, continued

Willa Cather, The Professor’s House Edith Wharton, Ethan Frome
Billy Antonio
Sarah Marie
Nora Andrea
Nathan Shanna
  Jessica S.
  Jessica M.







Paper 2 due
Paper Presentations 1

Note: Class today will be held from 4-6 p.m.

Note: The paper presentations each day will be arranged in two sessions: three papers, a discussion period, and a break.

Remember that you won't be presenting your whole second paper; you'll be presenting a shorter, conference-length version that will take no more than 15-20 minutes to read (about 8-10 typed, double-spaced pages).

  Session 1
1. Jessica Schubert
2. Jessica Maucione
3. Han Quek
4. Andrea Campbell







Paper Presentations 2

  Session 2
1. Marie Drews, "Chinese-Japanese, Any Way You Please: Onoto Watanna's Culinary Venture"
2. Katie O. Arosteguy (Jewett's Irish stories)
3. Billy Merck
4 Shanna Knight
  Session 3
1 Sarah Aleshire
2 Antonio Tang
3 Nora Wiechert
4 Nathanael Whitworth



Course Requirements

Attendance and Participation. Attendance and good class participation are essential.

Papers . You’ll write two papers in this course, the first a conference-length (8-9 pages) treatment of a topic, and the second an extended paper (15-18 pages; page limits are flexible) suitable for submitting to the journal of your choice or for using as the basis of a dissertation chapter. The first paper can be based on your presentation topic, if you wish, or it can form the basis for your longer paper. The presentations at the end of the course will be based on the longer paper, which you’ll need to edit down to conference length.

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 to failing the course. If you turn in a plagiarized paper, at a minimum you will receive a grade of F (0 points). You will not be allowed to rewrite the paper, and the incident must be reported to the Office of Student Conduct (http://www.conduct.wsu.edu/academicIntegrity.asp).

Presentations. Each member of the class will give a 30-minute presentation at one point during the semester. This might take any one of several forms: preparing information about the author or authors assigned for that day and presenting a set of new ideas or questions for the class to consider; giving a new interpretation of the work; providing a contextual overview of an author or work; or analyzing and critiquing current critical perspectives. You will need to provide a brief handout for the class, preferably one that includes a short annotated bibliography of your sources, an outline, and relevant quotations or information from your sources. During the last week of class, you'll present a conference-length version of your second paper to the rest of the class.

Approximate weights for grades : Paper 1, 15%; Presentations, 20%; Paper 2, 50%; Attendance and Participation, 15%

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.

WSU Statement on Disabilities . Reasonable accommodations are available for students who have a documented disability. Please notify the instructor during the first week of class of any accommodations needed for the course. Late notification may mean that requested accommodations might not be available. All accommodations must be approved through the Disability Resource Center (DRC) located in the Administration Annex Room 205, 335-1566.