EN127 American Literature: American Identity

Section A1, Fall Semester 1998

Monday/Wednesday/Friday 9:00-10:00 a.m., CAS B6

Instructor:             Jennifer Ho

Office:             236 Bay State Road, Room 133              

Mail Box:        4th Floor English Dept.

Phone:             353-2506 (English Dept.)                                          

E-mail:             obongo@bu.edu

Office Hours:  Monday & Wednesday 10-11:30 a.m. and by appointment


The main purpose of this course is to provide both a broad overview of American literature, from the Colonial period to our present day, in order to give you an in-depth perspective on a few important American literary texts. This course is open to readers of all types—those who avidly devour books and those who are enrolled in this class to fulfill a graduation requirement. All that I ask is that you come prepared to class (which means you must keep up with the reading) and that you challenge yourself to be open to different interpretations. The theme of this course is “American Identity” and the books in this class reflect an engagement with the following questions: What does it mean to be an American? Who qualifies to identify himself/herself as an American? We will be discussing each text according to these themes, as well as other larger issues pertaining to American literature.

Required Texts

Primis Reader for En127: American Literature (includes essays by Crevecoeur, Franklin, Jefferson, the novellas Benito Cereno and Daisy Miller, and contemporary short stories by Carver, O’Brien, and Erdrich)

Participation:  10%
3 Quizzes (5% each): 15%
Paper #1 15%
Paper #2 30% 
Final Exam 30%