Below you will find our course calendar – you can access all readings through the “Course Readings” page of this website

Date What’s Going On Readings & Due Dates
T Aug 28  Introduction: “Great” Works of “American” “Literature” – what are we doing here?
R Aug 30 Syllabus Day Read: the syllabus
T Sep 4 Close reading & canonicity Read: T.S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”
R Sep 6 Our texts and their value – in-class writing
R Sep 13 How do things get onto your syllabus? Read: Norton intro & table of contents; QC goals for English 152

Post: Weekly Writing 1

UNIT 1:  Great Works of American “Literature” 

R Sep 20 What do we mean by “literature”? Read: Ellison,Invisible Man, Prologue

Post: Weekly Writing 2

T Sep 25  “Literature” and genre, “literature” and fun Read:Ursula K. LeGuin, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”

Post: Weekly Writing 3

R Sep 27 “Literature,” performance, and politics Read: Amiri Baraka, Dutchman
T Oct 2 Peer Review Day Rough Draft: Assignment 1
R Oct 4


“Literature” and the visual, “literature” and subculture Read: Jaime Hernandez, Love & Rockets, “Locas” 84
T Oct 9  In class – watch film Get Out
R Oct 11 “Literature” and popular dialogues Turn In: Assignment 1

UNIT 2: Great Works of “American” Literature

T Oct 16 What do we mean by “American”? Read:Robert Frost, “Mending Wall”

Post:Weekly Writing 4

R Oct 18 The “American” literary voice Read: Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass, 6 & 7
T Oct 23 Immigration and the “American” author Read:Vladimir Nabokov, Transparent Things, chs. 1 & 3

Post:Weekly Writing 5

R Oct 25  Indigenous cultures and “American” culture Read: The Winnebago Trickster Cycle, “Trickster and the Talking Bulb”
T Oct 30 “American” literature and its languages Read: Pat Mora, “Sonrisas,” and Gloria Anzaldua, “How to Tame a Wild Tongue”
R Nov 1


Peer Review Day Rough Draft: Assignment 2

Post: entry in collective syllabus

T Nov 6 Optional Individual Conferences, 1:40pm-4:20pm, in Klapper 533
R Nov 8 Our syllabus Read: our collective syllabus for Unit 3

Turn In: Assignment 2 and compile Unit 3 syllabus by adding in your group’s choice of reading

UNIT 3: “Great” Works of American Literature

T Nov 13 What do we mean by “great”? Read:Adrienne Rich, “Diving into the Wreck”

Post:Weekly Writing 6

R Nov 15


Group 1 – “Greatness” as “Universal”

Reporting on: Miguel Samano & Eliane Mitchell

Watch: “This is Me” from The Greatest Showman
T Nov 27


Group 2 – “Greatness” as Revealing the World – Representing and Reflecting Culture, History, & Ideology

Reporting on: James T. Farrell

Read: Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapter 1

Post:Weekly Writing 7

R Nov 29


Group 3 – “Greatness” as Influencing or Affecting Culture

Reporting on: Moshin Hamid and Francine Prose

Read: Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire, Scene 5

Post:Weekly Writing 8

T Dec 4 Group 4 – “Greatness” as Stylistic Mastery

Reporting on: John Keene

Look at materials on: The Divinity: Original Sin 2
R Dec 6 Peer Review Day Rough Draft: Assignment 3
T Dec 11 Group 5 – “Greatness” as Enduring through Time

Reporting on: Italo Calvino

Watch: The Stanford Prison Experiment
Scheduled Final

R Dec 20



This course has no final, and we will not meet at the time of the final exam, but you can make an appointment to meet with me on campus that day if you need to. You will submit all remaining work by this date at 8:00pm, digitally, through the Dropbox submission link on the “Assignments” page of this site. Turn In: Assignment 3; Portfolio and Reflection