Apr 16, 2024  
2015-2016 Undergraduate Academic Catalog 
2015-2016 Undergraduate Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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HU 423 - American Literature

3 lecture hours 0 lab hours 3 credits
Course Description
The objective of this course is to acquaint students with representative selections from the main periods in American literature, beginning with the Native-American oral traditions (pre-colonization) and continuing through the 21st century. The various movements in American literature are explained and discussed, as are the various social, political, religious, historical, and economic conditions which helped to produce them. Students read the works of a variety of different writers in each period, and they read essays, poetry, and short stories as well as a novel and a play. It is hoped that, as a result of their reading, students will come to appreciate how American literature has evolved to its present status as a world-class literature. (prereq: None) 
Course Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  • Identify philosophical beliefs giving rise to major periods including Calvinism, Realism, Transcendentalism. Naturalism, Romanticism, Harlem Renaissance
  • Identify important authors of each period
  • Identify representative selections of literature from each period
  • Identify the structure and characteristics of poetry, the essay, the short story, the novel, a drama
  • Identify primary components of literature such as character, figurative language, plot, prosody, setting, persona, conflict, point of view
  • Identify characteristics of American literature that make it uniquely American
  • Identify characteristics of American literature that make it a world-class literature

Prerequisites by Topic
  • No previous literature courses are necessary; however, it is expected that the student will apply language arts skills learned in EN 131  and speaking skills learned in EN 241 . An example of language arts skills required would be the ability to analyze figurative language and sentence structure. An example of speaking skills required would be the ability to participate in a group discussion on a particular work and or author.

Course Topics
  • Discussion of Native-American oral tradition (2 classes)
  • Short stories, tales, myths (10 classes)
  • Essays and speeches (2 classes)
  • Poetry (10 classes)
  • Novel (2 classes)
  • Drama (2 classes)
  • Specific movements in American Literature (2 classes)
  • Test and quizzes

R. David Kent

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