University of Mobile
Spring 2011
College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Humanities

FACULTY:  Katherine Abernathy, Ph.D., Associate Professor of English       
Adams Nursing Building #7  


OFFICE HOURS: 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. MTTF and 9:30 – 11 TT


EN 230 American Literature Survey
3 Semester Hours


PREREQUISITE:           EN101 and EN102 and three additional semester hours in English above the freshman level


COURSE DESCRIPTION:   A survey of the major American writers from Colonial times to the present.



The student will demonstrate knowledge of:


1.                   reading, contemplating, analyzing, and conversing about major writers and literary works from colonial times to the present

2.                   the political, historical, philosophical, ethical and spiritual values and implications with assigned works;

3.                   American literature including poetry, short stories, as well as political and religious writings;

4.                   major secondary works on at least one of the major authors covered;

5.                   regional authors such as Faulkner, Welty, Wright, O’Connor, and others with attention to dialects as expressions of cultural diversity in America, which will be assessed through essays and quizzes;




The student will

1.                   read comprehensively and analytically all assigned reading;

2.                   successfully complete all assignments including essays, reports, and examinations;

3.                   participate in class discussions by defending personal viewpoints.


TEXTBOOKS: American Literature Vol. 2.  Ed. William Cain.  New York: Penguin Academics.  

Also works linked to the class webpage on MyUM.



10 Discussion Forum Posts and 10 Responses to Classmate Posts

2 Exams (on campus)

1 Annotated Bibliography

1 Researched Essay


EVALUATION:  90-100=A; 80-89=B; 70-79=C; 60-69=D; 0-59=F



ATTENDANCE POLICY: “Attendance” is considered prompt responses to the readings and replies to your classmates posts. Posts and responses should appear during the week of the assigned reading. Excessive late posts and responses will be counted against your grade as absences would.

ADA STATEMENT: It is the policy of the University of Mobile to provide reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities as defined in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.  Eligibility for services requires prior documentation of the disability.  The Academic Adviser and Certification Officer coordinates support services for students with disabilities and is an accommodation resource for faculty and administration.

Reading and Assignment Schedule


WEEK 1: Get familiar with the MyUM website; print out this syllabus for next week.

Unit on Early Writings and Romanticism

Main readings (stories, etc.) for this unit are found in the links at the bottom of the web page for this class.

WEEK 2: Colonial Readings (Mayflower Compact, Delclaration of Independence, works by Columbus, de las Casas, and Jonathan Edwards.

View the powerpoint on these works and any related links, and post a response to the reading based on the assignment. Assignments will be given weekly with powerpoints.

WEEK 3: Melville's “Bartleby the Scrivener”; powerpoint; post and response.

WEEK 4: Hawthorne and Poe linked selections; powerpoint; post and response.

Unit on Realism and Naturalism

Main readings (stories, poems, etc.) are found in your book from now on, but do watch for extra links related to the works that I will assign.

WEEK 5: Read William Howell's “Editha”; powerpoint; post and response.

WEEK 6: Kate Chopin's “The Storm”; powerpoint; post and response

WEEK 7: James's “The Pupil”; powerpoint; post and response


WEEK 8: London's “To Build a Fire”; powerpoint; post and response

Unit on Modern Poetry

WEEK 9: Frost, Dickinson, Stevens and H.D. Selections to be announced; powerpoint; post and response.


WEEK 10: Eliot's “Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” and Pound's “In a Station of the Metro”; powerpoint; post and response.

Unit on Southern Literature

WEEK 11: Faulkner's “That Evening Sun”; powerpoint; post and response.

WEEK 12: O'Connor's “Revelation”; powerpoint; post and response.

Each week you will need to read the assignment, read/watch the powerpoint that I post as well as any critical material or other articles that are posted related to the reading. Then post a reflection on the reading that is substantive and scholarly. I will provide a prompt to help you get started on your post each week. Then you need to post a reply to someone else's post. Please be polite, but seriously consider ways to develop or even oppose another student's post.


Also, we will schedule two exams during the semester. These exams will be given on campus, but we will plan them to work with your schedules. The first will be given around Week 8 or 9 on the first two units. The second will be at the end of the semester. We will schedule the exact date after we discuss your personal available times.


You will write an annotated bibliography including 5 sources on one of the readings. An annotated bibliography is a list of sources from the UM licensed academic databases, with a short summary of each of the sources. As we get closer to the due date, I will direct you on how to do this.


Finally, you will write a 600-word essay using two scholarly sources (like the ones in your annotated bibliography). The analytical essay should be on one of the works we are reading. I will provide a guide for this essay as we get closer to time.


There are no Readings for this portlet.