ENGL.2820.031: American Literary Traditions - Mitchell

Schedule of Topics

Date Topic Reading

Week 1

Colonial Period

Norton Anthology
Introduction, “Beginnings to 1700.”
John Smith’s “The General History of Virginia, New England, and the Summer Isles,” William Bradford’s “Of Plymouth Plantation,”
John Winthrop’s “City Upon A Hill, 1630" [Online Short Handout]
Biographical information on Thomas Morton [Online Handout] and Thomas Morton’s “New English Canaan” (in this guide)
Essays:“How to Read a Poem” and “Hybridity” [All Online Handouts]. 

Week 2 1/23-1/29 Colonial Period, continued

Anne Bradstreet’s poem “In Honor of That High and Mighty Princess Queen Elizabeth of Happy Memory” [Online Handout]
Norton Anthology
Anne Bradstreet’s poems “The Author to Her Book”, “Before the Birth of One of Her Children”, “To My Dear Children” and “To My Dear and Loving Husband”
Mary Rowlandson’s "A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson"
Biographical Information on Phyllis Wheatley and her poems “On Being Brought from Africa to America”, “To the University of Cambridge, in New England”, “Thoughts on the Works of Providence,” and “To His Excellency General Washington”, “Enlightenment Philosophy” (Online Handout)
Online Handout “The Antinomian Controversy”
“American Literature 1700-1820.”
Online Biographical Information on Annis Boudinot Stockton
Annis Boudinot Stockton, “To My Burrissa” and “An ode on the birthday. . . of George Washington” [Online Handouts].  

Week 3

American Romanticism/
Hawthorne and Romanticism: 

Norton AnthologyAmerican Literature 1820-1865”
Online Handout on “American Literary Romanticism”
Nathaniel Hawthorn’s “Definition of Romance” [Online Handout], “Young Goodman Brown”, “The Maypole of Merry Mount” and “The Birth-Mark” 

Week 4

Poe and Romanticism

 Norton Anthology: Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven”, “Annabel Lee” and “The Fall of the House of Usher”
Edgar Allan Poe’s “Ode to Science” [Online Handout]. 

Week 5

2/ 19 

Romanticism and Transcendentalism/
Emerson and Whitman)

Online Handouts on American Literary Romanticism Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay “The Poet” [Online Handout].
Norton Anthology
Walt Whitman’s “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry”,“The Wound Dresser”,“When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer,” “The Dalliance of Eagles” and “Letter to Ralph Waldo Emerson” 

Week 6
2/ 20-2/ 26)

American Literary Realism
(Sarah Orne Jewett/ Kate Chopin): 

Norton Anthology “American Literature 1865-1914” Sarah Orne Jewett’s “A White Heron”
Kate Chopin’s “The Storm” and “Desiree’s Baby”. Handouts on American Literary Realism, “Local-Color Literature” and “The Cult of True Womanhood” [Online Handouts]. 

Week 7
2/ 27-
American Literary Realism Continued
(Mary E. Wilkins Freeman/ Charles Chesnutt/Mark Twain)

Norton Anthology Mary E. Wilkins Freeman’s “A New England Nun” and Charles Chesnutt’s “The Goophered Grapevine”
Mark Twain’s “The Good Little Boy” and “The Bad Little Boy” [Online Handouts]. 

Week 8
3/ 6-3/12
American Literary Naturalism and Early Modernism

Handouts on American Literary Naturalism [Online Handouts]
Norton Anthology, Stephen Crane’s “The Open Boat”, “The Blue Hotel”
Crane’s poem “War Is Kind”
Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” and “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening.” 

Week 9
3/ 13-3/19)

Modernism (T. S. Eliot)

Norton Anthology, “American Literature 1914-1945” American Modernism [Online Handout]
T. S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” and “The Hollow Men”
T.S.Eliot’s “Tradition and the Individual Talent” [Online Handout]. 

Week 10 3/ 20-3/ 26)  Modernism Continued: The Harlem Renaissance:
(Claude McKay/Jean Toomer/
and Zora Neale Hurston):

Norton Anthology, Claude McKay’s “The Lynching”, “If We Must Die”, “America” and “To the White Fiends” [Online Handouts]
“Sweat” by Zora Neale Hurston [Online Handout]
 Online Handouts on the Harlem Renaissance. 

Week 11
Modernism’s End
(Faulkner, Hemingway, and Hughes)

William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Miss Emily”
Ernest Hemingway’s “The Snows of Kilimanjaro."
Langston Hughes’ “Mother to Son”,“I, Too”, “The Weary Blues”, “Mulatto”, “Cross” [Online Handout], “Democracy” and “A Dream Deferred” [Online Handout]. 

Week 12 4/3-4/9) Post-World War II Literature
(Gwendolyn Brooks and Elizabeth Bishop)
Confessional Poet (Robert Lowell)

 Norton Anthology “American Literature since 1945”
Gwendolyn Brooks’ “kitchenette building”,“the mother”,and “we real cool”
Elizabeth Bishop’s “The Fish,” and “At the Fishhouses”
Robert Lowell’s “Mr. Edwards and the Spider”,“Skunk Hour” and “For the Union Dead”
“The Confessional Poets” [Online Handouts]
Gwendolyn Brooks’ “A song in the front yard” [Online Handout]  

Week 13 4/10-4/16 The Confessional Poets Continued
(Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath)

Norton Anthology,Anne Sexton’s “The Starry Night” and “Sylvia’s Death”
[Look at Vincent Van Gogh’s painting “The Starry Night” 

Week 14 4/17-4/23 American Literary Postmodernism 
(Leslie Marmon Silko and Percival Everett)


“Postmodernism.” [Online Handouts]
Norton Anthology, Read Leslie Marmon Silko’s “Lullaby”
Percival Everett’s “The Fix” and “The Appropriation of Cultures” [Online Handouts]