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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "EN 315"
COURSE NAME: "Selected Topics in American Literature: American Literature and Counter Culture since 1945"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2018
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Lewis Samuel Klausner
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MW 3:00-4:15 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 is a reading and writing intensive course. Students in 300-level literature classes are required to produce 5-6,000 words of critical writing. 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 is a reading and writing intensive course. Students in 300-level literature classes are required to produce 5-6,000 words of critical writing. 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. 
LEARNING OUTCOMES:
This is a reading and writing intensive course. Students in 300-level literature classes are required to produce 5-6,000 words of critical writing. 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. 
TEXTBOOK:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
On the Road Jack Kerouac Penguin 978-0142437254  
LolitaVladimir Nabokov Penguin 978-0141182537  
Howl Allen GinsbertCity Lights 978-0872860179  
Desert Solitaire Edward Abbey Ballantine 978-0345326492  
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
NONE

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
Paper One: On the Road and the BeatsA short paper analyzing either Kerouac's autobiographical novel or the poetry of a beat poet such as Allen Ginsberg or Gary Snyder 15
Paper two: On either Lolita or The Crying of Lot 49  20
Midterm Exam Comment on passages from the readings 25
Paper ThreeShort Paper analying one of the works we read from the 60s, such as Baldwin, Mailer, or Barth20
Final Exam Identify and comment of Passages from the readings for the course 20

-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:
This is a reading and writing intensive course. Students in 300-level literature classes are required to produce 5-6,000 words of critical writing.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. 
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

This is a rough, preliminary schedule:

 

WEEK ONE:   THE BEATS 1945 THROUGHT THE  1950s  

GITLIN 1 -  77; Godfrey Hodgson, "The Ideology of the Liberal Consensus" (from America in Our Time, middle of 74 - top of 90 ( = 13);

Allen Ginsberg,“Howl” and “Footnote to Howl”;  you can listen to part of “Howl” at http://www.poetryarchive.org/poetryarchive/singlePoem.do?poemId=1550;

Allen Ginsberg, “America,” “Sunflower Sutra,” "A Supermarket in California"

 Jack Kerouac: from On the Road

WEEK TWO : BEATS CONTINUED

William Burroughs from Naked Lunch

Gary Snyder, poems

Kerouac, from Dharma Bums

 

 WEEK THREE:

THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT BLACK AND WHITE RADICALS

GITLIN 81 - 192;

 

James Baldwin, from The Fire Next Time

Ralph Ellison, from Invisible Man

Ira Chernus, “Martin Luther King, Jr.”; King, I Have A Dream;

The Port Huron Statement http://lists.village.virginia.edu/sixties/HTML_docs/Resources/Primary/Manifestos/SDS_Port_Huron.html

(the condensed version is “selections from The Port Huron Statement”) 

 

WEEK FOUR:  BOURGEOIS SOCIETY

Joan Didion, from The White Album

ROSZAK, The Making of a Counterculture, Preface, Chapters I and VII, Appendix ;

Robert Wuthnow, After Heaven, Chapter 2: "In the House of the Lord" (Norlin reserve or e-book: see http://ucblibraries.colorado.edu/how/ebooks.htm for instructions on accessing e-book )

WEEK FIVE; ALTERNATIVE REALITIES

John Barth, from Lost in the Funhouse

WATTS,  The Book,  Chapters 1 - 3; WATTS, Wisdom of Insecurity,  Chapters I - IV;

Alan Watts, Psychedelics and Religious Experience” (The California Law Review, January, 1968)

 

WEEK SIX: AGAINST TECHNOLOGY:

Norman Mailer, from Of a Fire on the Moon

Thomas Pynchon, from Slow Learner and Crying of Lot 49

WATTS, The Book, Chapters 4 - 6;  WATTS, Wisdom of Insecurity,  Chapters V - IX; ROSZAK, The Making of a Counterculture, Chapters II and IV

 

WEEK SEVEN THE ANTI-WAR MOVEMENT:

Vonnegut from Slaughterhouse Five

Mailer, from Armies of the Night

Ira Chernus, “

Mar. 19:  Woodstock  (We will watch the film on Tuesday, March 18, 6 - 10 PM, place to be announced.)

ROSZAK, The Making of a Counterculture Chapter III;

Robert Wuthnow, After Heaven, Chapter 3, "The New Spiritual Freedom"

Chernus, "Religion as a Cultural System: The Theory of Clifford Geertz"; Clifford Geertz, "Religion as a Cultural System"

 

 WEEK EIGHT: ANTI-WAR MOVEMENT CONTINUED

Dispatches

The Things They Carried

 

Week Nine: the Folk Music Revolution

 

Bob Dylan (read and listen):

“Gates of Eden” http://www.bobdylan.com/songs/gates.html

“Ballad of a Thin Man” http://bobdylan.com/songs/thinman.html,

“Subterranean Homesick Blues” http://bobdylan.com/songs/subterranean.html

“It’s Alright Ma” http://www.bobdylan.com/songs/itsalright.html,

“Like a Rolling Stone” http://bobdylan.com/songs/rolling.html

“Visions of Johanna” http://bobdylan.com/songs/visions.html

 

WEEK NINE: NATIVE AMERICAN VOICES

Sherman Alexie

Louise Erdritch

 WEEK TEN : A Women’s Poetry

Plath, Sexton, Rich

 WEEK ELEVEN: BLACK GENRE FICTION

Walter Mosley, Octavia Butler

WEEK TWELVE: ENVIRONMENTAL OUTLAW

Edward Abbey