Search | Directories | Reference Tools
UW Home > Discover UW > Student Guide > Course Catalog 

Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Jim C Chin
ENGL 250
Seattle Campus

Introduction to American Literature

Survey of the major writers, modes, and themes in American literature, from the beginnings to the present. Specific readings vary, but often included are: Taylor, Edwards, Franklin, Poe, Hawthorne, Melville, Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman, Dickinson, Twain, James, Eliot, Stevens, O'Neill, Faulkner, Hemingway, Ellison, and Bellow.

Class Description

For SUMMER 2003: This course examines the trope of American belonging in select works of literature. Most works will address themes of race and gender.

We will begin with works from authors of the early antebellum period, including pieces by Jefferson and Crevecoeur, and David Walker's Appeal. Then we jump ahead to the turn of the 20th century and engage with questions of race and nation. Works will include Mark Twain, Pudd'nhead Wilson; short pieces by Jack London; and Sui Sin Far, Mrs. Spring Fragrance. Next we will examine racial themes in two modernist novels: Nella Larsen, Passing; and Younghill Kang, East Goes West. Then we will explore literary engagements with alienation in Asian America in the post-World War 2 years with Hisaye Yamamoto, Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories; Peter Bacho, Dark Blue Suit; and Fae Myenne Ng, Bone. The course concludes with three recent works of various genres: Stephen Sondheim's musical drama Assassins; Chuck Palahniuk's satirical novel Survivor; and Leonard Chang's mystery novel Over the Shoulder.

Discussions and class presentations. Students will have opportunities to lead class discussion.

Recommended preparation

PLEASE NOTE: Students are responsible for reading all assigned works. Some texts have explicit language, mature subjects, and potentially "unpatriotic" themes. Students who are not prepared to engage with all materials will have difficulty with the course itself and may prefer not to enroll in this section.

Class Assignments and Grading

In addition to the heavy reading load, course requirements include but are not limited to outside research for class presentations of critical commentary, a summary of this research, several short response papers (2 pages), one longer term paper (8 pages), and a final essay exam.

Class participation and quality of written assignments

The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional ENGL course descriptions.
Last Update by Sherry May Laing
Date: 05/21/2003