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2022/2023

Literature of the United States I: 19c.

Code: 106304 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2504212 English Studies OB 2 2
2504380 English and Catalan Studies OB 3 2
2504386 English and Spanish Studies OB 3 1
2504393 English and French Studies OB 3 2
2504394 English and Classics Studies OB 3 2
The proposed teaching and assessment methodology that appear in the guide may be subject to changes as a result of the restrictions to face-to-face class attendance imposed by the health authorities.

Contact

Name:
Laura Gimeno Pahissa
Email:
laura.gimeno@uab.cat

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
english (eng)
Some groups entirely in English:
No
Some groups entirely in Catalan:
Yes
Some groups entirely in Spanish:
No

Teachers

Nicholas Livingston Spengler

Prerequisites

  1. Prior to do this subject, it is highly recommended that students have taken the following subjects: “Introducció a la literatura anglesa” from the First Year and “Literatura del Romanticisme britànic” from the Second Year – First Semester.
  2. It is necessary to have a C2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching and Assessment."A C2 level of English allows students to: understand with ease virtually everything heard or read; summarize information from different spoken and written sources, reconstruct arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation; express themselves spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in the most complex situations.

Objectives and Contextualisation

  1. This subject fosters the analysis, debate and interpretation of fiction, essays and poetry written in the United States during the 19th century with a brief outlook at literature produced under the colonial period. 
  2. The academic preparation deriving from this subject is essential for all remaining subjects within the degree relating to US literature and culture.
  3. On successfully completing 19th century American Literature, students will be able to: show a good level of reading comprehension and analysis of American literature; produce written analyses of literary texts studied in class; manage secondary bibliography and databases; express an informed opinion on the texts studied throughout this course

Competences

    English Studies
  • Act with ethical responsibility and respect for fundamental rights and duties, diversity and democratic values. 
  • Apply scientific ethical principles to information processing.
  • Apply the methodology of analysis and critical concepts to analysing the literature, culture and history of English-speaking countries.
  • Identify and analyse the main currents, genres, works and authors in English and comparative literature.
  • Students must be capable of communicating information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialised and non-specialised audiences.
  • Understand and produce written and spoken academic texts in English at advanced higher-proficient-user level (C2).
  • Use current philological methodologies to interpret literary texts in English and their cultural and historical context.
  • Use written and spoken English for academic and professional purposes, related to the study of linguistics, the philosophy of language, history, English culture and literature.
    English and Catalan Studies
  • Act with ethical responsibility and respect for fundamental rights and duties, diversity and democratic values.
  • Critically evaluate the literary and cultural production in the Catalan and English languages and their historical and social context.
  • Identify and interpret literary texts in different languages, analysing the generic, formal, thematic and cultural characteristics in accordance with the concepts and methods of comparative literature and literary theory.
  • Make correct use of written and spoken English for academic or professional purposes, related to the study of language, history, culture and literature.
  • Recognise the most significant periods, traditions, tendencies, authors and works of literature in the Catalan and English languages in their socio-historical context.
  • Students must be capable of communicating information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialised and non-specialised audiences.
  • Understand and produce oral and written academic texts with appropriateness and fluency in distinct communicative contexts.
    English and Spanish Studies
  • Act with ethical responsibility and respect for fundamental rights and duties, diversity and democratic values.
  • Correctly use written and oral English and Spanish for academic and professional purposes, related to the study of linguistics, history, culture and literature.
  • Critically analyse linguistic, literary and cultural production in English and Spanish, applying the techniques and methods of critical editing and digital processing.
  • Interpret literary texts in English or Spanish within their cultural and historical context using current philological methodologies and textual and comparative strategies.
  • Recognize the most significant periods, traditions, trends, authors and works of literature in English and Spanish languages in their historical and social context
  • Students must be capable of communicating information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialised and non-specialised audiences.
  • Understand and produce oral and written academic texts with appropriateness and fluency in distinct communicative contexts.
    English and French Studies
  • Act with ethical responsibility and respect for fundamental rights and duties, diversity and democratic values.
  • Critically apply the different current philological methodologies to interpret literary texts in English and French and their cultural and historical context.
  • Recognize the most significant periods, traditions, trends, authors and works of literature in English and French in their historical and social context.
  • Students must be capable of communicating information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialised and non-specialised audiences.
  • Understand and produce oral and written academic texts with appropriateness and fluency in distinct communicative contexts.
  • Use spoken English and French correctly for academic and professional purposes related to the study of linguistics, history, culture and literature.
    English and Classics Studies
  • Act with ethical responsibility and respect for fundamental rights and duties, diversity and democratic values. 
  • Apply the methodology of analysis and knowledge of genres, metrics and stylistics to comment on literary texts and analyse the culture and history of English-speaking countries and the ancient world.
  • Recognize the most significant periods, traditions, trends, authors and works of Greek, Latin and English literatures in their historical and social context.
  • Students must be capable of communicating information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialised and non-specialised audiences.
  • Understand and produce oral and written academic texts with appropriateness and fluency in distinct communicative contexts.
  • Use written and spoken English correctly for academic and professional purposes related to the study of English linguistics, history, culture, and literature.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Critically analyse American texts in order to understand the complexity of American literature and its historical and cultural context.
  2. Express oneself effectively orally and in writing using expository and argumentative techniques.
  3. Express oneself orally and in writing in English in an academic register, using appropriate terminology in relation to the study of American literature.
  4. Identify and describe the characteristics of the American texts studied.
  5. Incorporate ideas and concepts from published sources into work, citing and referencing appropriately.
  6. Interpret, comment and write essays on texts written by American authors and be able to distinguish their most relevant characteristics.
  7. Understand and analyse the diversity of the United States in terms of culture, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and linguistic and ideological identity.
  8. Understand specialised academic texts (C2) on research in fields related to American authors and texts.
  9. Understand specialised academic texts at higher-proficient-user level (C2) on research in fields related to American authors and texts.
  10. Understand specialised academic texts on research in fields related to American authors and texts at Mastery level (C2).
  11. Understand specialised academic texts on research in fields related to American authors and texts.

Content

UNIT 1 – The Native American Question. Captivity Narratives. Mary Rowlandson’s A True History of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson (selection of passages)

UNIT 2 – The American Rennaissance. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter; Herman Melville’s "Bartleby, the Scrivener"Henry David Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience.

UNIT 3 - American Poetry. Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman (selection of poems)

UNIT 4 – Slavery and Racial Relations in America. Frederick Douglass’s Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave; Mark Twain’s text (title to be announced later)Kate Chopin’s “Desiree’s Baby”

UNIT 5 – The American Gothic. Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Black Cat” and “The Tell-tale Heart”

UNIT 6 – American Feminism. Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”; Margaret Fuller (selection of passages); Elizabeth Cady-Stanton (selection of passages); Sojourner Truth (selection of passages)

 

Methodology

Sessions will be organized around close reading of the texts. A historical, social and cultural context of nineteenth century America  provided in class (or on Moodle) will reinforce the textual analysis. Texts will be discussed in class (or on Moodle), so it is PARAMOUNT for students to have read the texts conscientiously before class sessions. Students are required to PARTICIPATE ACTIVELY in class discussions. 

The teaching methodology and the evaluation proposed in the guide may undergo some modification subject to the onsite teaching restrictions imposed by health authorities.

Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.

Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.

Activities

Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Lectures, readings and debates 50 2 1, 7, 2, 3, 4, 6
Type: Supervised      
Writing academic texts, assessment activities in the classroom 25 1 1, 7, 2, 4, 5, 6
Type: Autonomous      
Reading and studying 50 2 7, 8, 10, 11, 4

Assessment

Assessment is based on:

  • Academic essay = 45% - Date: week 5-7 April. 
  • Exam = 45% - Date: week 31May-2 June.
  • Forum Participation = 10% (There will be a specific deadline for each forum contribution required)

Please, note:

  • All the subjects in this degree follow continous assessment.
  • All the exercises are COMPULSORY.
  • The submission of either the paper or the exam invalidates the student to get a final mark of "No Avaluable".
  • The student's command of English will be taken into account when marking all exercises and for the final mark. It will count as 25% of this mark for all the exercises.
  • On carrying out each assessment activity, lecturers will inform students (on Moodle) of the procedures to be followed for reviewing all grades awarded, and the date on which such a review will take place.

RE-ASSESSMENT CONDITIONS:

  • The reassessment exam is a two-hour content-synthesis test scheduled by the Faculty.
  • The student must previously have completed two thirds of the exercises in the continuous assessment.
  • Students whose final average mark is 3,5 or higher can go to reassessment.
  • The reassessment exam is only awarded a pass/fail mark. The maximum grade than can be obtained through re-assessment is 5.
  • Students cannot attend the reassessment exam to improve their marks.
  • Forums cannot be reassessed.
  • If the student can't attend the exam because s/he is sick, they will have to agree on an alternative date with the teacher. 

VERY IMPORTANT : Partial or total plagiarising will immediately result in a FAIL (0) for the plagiarised exercise (first-year students) or the WHOLE subject (second-, third- and fourth-year students).PLAGIARISING consists of copying text from unacknowledged sources -whether this is part of a sentence or a whole text - with theintention of passing it off as the student'sown production. It includes cuttingand pasting from internet sources, presented unmodified in the student's own text. Plagiarising is a SERIOUS OFFENCE. Students must respect authors' intellectual property, always identifying the sources they may use; they must also be responsible for the originality and authenticity of their own texts.

In the event of a student committing any irregularity that may lead to a significant variation in the grade awarded to an assessment activity, the student will be given a zero for this activity, regardless of any disciplinary process that may take place. In the event of several irregularities in assessment activities of the same subject, the student will be given a zero as the final grade for this subject.

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Essay 45% 4 0.16 1, 7, 8, 9, 10, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Exam 45% 4 0.16 1, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Forum and class participation 10% 17 0.68 1, 7, 9, 10, 11, 2, 3, 4, 6

Bibliography

Bibliography

Compulsory Reading:

ROWLANDSON, Mary. A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson

HAWTHORNE, Nathaniel. The Scarlet Letter (*) We recommend the following editions: Oxford (ISBN: 9780199537808) or Penguin (ISBN: 9780142437261) 

MELVILLE, Herman. "Bartleby, the Scrivener" 

THOREAU, Henry David. Civil Disobedience (Complete essay)

DOUGLASS, Frederick. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave (*) We recommend the folowing editions: Oxford (ISBN: 9780199539079) or Penguin (ISBN: 9780140390124)

TWAIN, Mark. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. (*)
 
CHOPIN, Kate. "Desiree's Baby" 
 
GILMAN, Charlotte Perkins. "The Yellow Wallpaper" 
 
POE, Edgar Allan. "The Tell-Tale Heart" and "The Black Cat" 
 
DICKINSON, Emily. Poetry (Selections)
 
WHITMAN, Walt. Poetry (Selections)
 
 

1) Students must buy the texts marked (*).  Teachers will give you the rest of texts.

2) ALL texts can be found via Project Gutenberg http://www.gutenberg. org or Many Books http://manybooks.net

 

Secondary Bibliography: 

Crow, Charles (ed.). A Companion to the Regional Literatures of America. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2003.

Fisch, Audrey (ed.). The CambridgeCompanion to the African American Slave Narrative. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Gray, Richard. A History of American Literature. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2004.

Gray, Richard (ed.). A Companion to the Literature and Culture of the American South. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2004.

Lamb, Robert Paul (ed.). A Companion to American Fiction: 1865-1914. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2005.

Pizer, Donald (ed.). The Cambridge Companion to American Realism and Naturalism: Howells to London. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.

Spengemann, William. Three American Poets: Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, and Herman Melville. Notre Dame, IN: The University of Notre Dame Press, 2010.

Sollors, Werner (ed.). A New Literary History of America. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2009.

 

Specific bibliography will be provided by the teacher throughout the semester.

 

Websites: 

American Literature Sites (Washington State University), http://public.wsu.edu/~campbelld/amlit/

American Transcendentalism, http://www.vcu.edu/engweb/transcendentalism/ 

The American Renaissance and Transcendentalism, PBS, http://www.pbs.org/wnet/ihas/icon/transcend.html

Documenting the American South. Slave Narratives and Southern texts. http://docsouth.unc.edu/neh/intro.html 

Software

Not applicable.