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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "EN 315"
COURSE NAME: "Selected Topics in American Literature: Race and American Literature"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2017
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Carlos Dews
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TTH 4:30-5:45 PM
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 45
CREDITS: 3
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: EN 110 with a grade of C or above
OFFICE HOURS:

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
This course explores in some depth a particular period, theme(s), or genre in American Literature. Students study the major historical and cultural contexts out of which the works grew. An important aim of the course is to deepen students' knowledge of a certain topic through a choice of representative writers and works.
May be taken more than once for credit with different topics. 
SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT:
This course will exam significant works of American literature, from the founding of the time of the Declaration of Independence to the present day, that were influenced by or concern for race.  
LEARNING OUTCOMES:
Students who successfully complete this course will be familiar with the major works of American literature that were written in response to concerns for race/racism/slavery in America, be able to write significant literary criticism examining the influence of race on American literature, and be able to engage is significant discussions and analyses of the intersection of race and literature in America.
TEXTBOOK:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
A Raisin in the SunLorraine HansberryVintage9780679755333 The book is available at the Almost Corner Bookshop. The remaining texts for required reading for this class will be provided electronically by the instructor.
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
NONE

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
Reading Quizzes 20
Final Exam 20
Paper #1 15
Paper #2 15
Participation 15
Paper #3 15

-ASSESSMENT CRITERIA:
AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the course.
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

-ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS:
Students are required to attend all scheduled class meetings and to participate in all classroom activities. Students are allowed only two absences (no questions asked, no excuse needed). However, each additional absence beyond the two allowed will result in the significant reduction in the final grade for the course, 10% per additional absence. Students with more than five absences will fail the course.  Student arriving at class after the class attendance has been taken will be counted as absent.  Please refer to the JCU catalog for the attendance and absence policies.

UNIVERSITY ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS AND EXAMINATION POLICY
You cannot make-up a major exam (midterm or final) without the permission of the Dean’s Office. The Dean’s Office will grant such permission only when the absence was caused by a serious impediment, such as a documented illness, hospitalization or death in the immediate family (in which you must attend the funeral) or other situations of similar gravity. Absences due to other meaningful conflicts, such as job interviews, family celebrations, travel difficulties, student misunderstandings or personal convenience, will not be excused. Students who will be absent from a major exam must notify the Dean’s Office prior to that exam. Absences from class due to the observance of a religious holiday will normally be excused. Individual students who will have to miss class to observe a religious holiday should notify the instructor by the end of the Add/Drop period to make prior arrangements for making up any work that will be missed. 
ACADEMIC HONESTY
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
STUDENTS WITH LEARNING OR OTHER DISABILITIES
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.

SCHEDULE

Week 1
Course Introduction
Week 2
Founding Documents and Racism
Week 3
The Slave Experience
Weeks 4 and 5
Civil War, Abolition, Reconstruction 
Weeks 6-7 
The Jim Crow Era
Weeks 8-9
W.E.B. DuBois and Booker T. Washington: A Debate
Weeks 10-11
World Wars and Race
Week 12
The Civil Rights Movement
Weeks 13-14
The Contemporary Legacy of Race in American Literature