Syllabus Change Policy:
Except for changes that substantially affect implementation of the evaluation
(grading) statement, this syllabus is a guide for the course and is subject to change with advanced notice.
Liberal Studies Descriptor:
The Liberal Studies Program at Florida State University has been designed
to provide a perspective on the qualities, accomplishments, and aspirations of human beings, the past and
present civilizations we have created, and the natural and technological world we inhabit. This course has
been approved as meeting the requirements for
Liberal Studies Area IV, Humanities and Fine Arts
and in combination with your other Liberal Studies courses, provides an important foundation for your
lifelong quest of knowledge.
This course offers students a survey of American literature from 1875 to the present.
As we read a variety of representative texts from this period, we will consider the historical, cultural, and
aesthetic forces which have influenced American literature and American literary studies throughout the
century. We will ask how the works we read reflect and/or challenge the major literary movements of
Realism, Naturalism, Modernism, and Postmodernism. We will also examine how “Americanness” has
been defined and/or challenged by the literature that both informs and reflects American society. In
addition to the specific aims of this course as outlined in this description, we will continue to hone more
general and foundational skills in literary studies such as close reading, critical thinking, engaged
discussion, and thoughtful writing.
At the end of this course, students should be able to
identify major movements in American literature between 1875 and the present, including major
tenets, literary texts, and authors appropriate to each movement.
articulate what he/she believes to be the benefit (and/or disadvantage) of periodization.
proficiency in close reading, literary interpretation, and academic writing (feedback
designed to foster students’ writing proficiency will be provided).
demonstrate proficiency in reading, synthesizing, and responding to literary criticism.
Belasco, Susan and Link Johnson, eds.
The Bedford Anthology of American Literature:1865 to
. Vol. 2. Boston: Bedford, 2008. Print. ISBN: 0-312-41208-8
Quizzes—15% | Critical Review 1—15% | Critical Review 2—20%|
Midterm Exam—25% | Final Exam—25% |
In order to encourage the timely completion of reading assignments and to instigate class
discussion, we will have brief reading quizzes at the beginning of most class meetings.
may consist of Short Answers, Short Discussions, and Quotation Identifications (see descriptions below).
Some reading quizzes may be assigned to be completed outside of class in order to provide students with