ENG 372: Readings and Assignments

Note: Page numbers are those of the Norton Fifth Edition of the anthology; when only the first page is given, read the full selection. On-line text links will be useful for our discussions, but most people prefer reading printed texts. 

Week 1: T, 8/27  Introduction to course:Read and discuss these poems of pre-Romantic William Cullen Bryant: "Thanatopsis," 1039,"To a Waterfowl," 1041, "Sonnet," "The Poet," from this study text  [Discussion on Blackboard]
R, 8/29 Washington Irving  from "A Tour on the Prairies,"( 973-80), Bryant "The Prairies," (1042), Whitman and Dickinson on prairies. Definitions of American romanticism
On-line discussion of romantic elements in Irving and Bryant
Further reading: article on Nature and the American Identity


Week 2: T, 9/3  Philosophical base for Transcendentalism. [there are many useful resources on this site] Emerson, "Self-Reliance," (1126). Reading questions.

Unit I: Nature, man, and God

R, 9/5    On Man and Nature
Read: Emerson poems: "The Rhodora," (1219), "Each and All," (1215).  "Hamatreya", (1217), "Two Rivers" 
Thoreau: "The Concord River" (chapter 1 of A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers)
Week 3:  T,9/10 Emerson, Nature 1072) Introduction to Nature; Read Web Study Hypertext (you may need to reread the first three chapters, at least)
R 9/12 Walden: "Economy," "Where I Lived..." & "Reading," (1768). Then read Web Study text of these chapters and study questions.

Week 4  T 9/17 Nature chapters of Walden
Walden: nature chapters,  "Spring" & "Conclusion" (Chapters 4, 5, 9, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, 18)  Then read Web Study text of these chapters. Thoreau Site with Introduction to Walden and study questions.

R  9/19 Nature/Science: Poe, "Sonnet--to Science," (1483), Whitman, "When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer,"  (2168), Hawthorne, "Rappaccini's Daughter" (1285)
Essay on Criticism of "Rappaccini's Daughter"


Week 5  T,9/24  The darker side
Thoreau, Ktaadn passage from The Maine Woods  Read text on line, then read Web Text
Hawthorne, "Young Goodman Brown" (1236) Criticism and Re-reading Study text

R  9/26 Emerson, "Fate" (1184) & Emily Dickinson (#130, 258, 314, 324, 978, 1593, 1624; begin p. 2492)


Week 6  T 10/1  Re-Reading Paper Due
R  10/3 Comparison Essay and Test 1

Unit II. Subjectivity & Art

Week 7: T, 10/8  Individualism: Point/Counterpoint in Emerson
"Circles" and "Illusions" [these are on-line but are not in your text]
R  10/10 Organic expression and rhetoric: Poe: "The Philosophy of Composition,"  "The Raven" [ Essay on these works ] "The Poetic Principle"
Week 8: T, 10/15  Poe: "The Fall of the House of Usher"  Re-read in Web Study text
R  10/17 Emerson: "The Poet" (1144) [study text]; Melville, "Art"; Emily Dickinson, #441, 448, 709, 1129; Holmes, "The Chambered Nautilus"

Week 9 : T 10/22  Whitman, "Preface" (2080) with Study text of selections ;"Out of the Cradle" (2161) with Webtext.

10/24 Song of Myself(2198) with webtext. Read all, then re-read Stanzas 1-7, 48-52.


Week 9  T 10/29 Re-reading Papers due: Class Critique 
R    10/31 Thoreau, "Resistance to Civil Government"  (1752) Read the Web text of the essay. Here's a paper surveying criticism of the essay

Unit III. Individualism and social reform

Week 10: T 11/5 Essay and Test II [does not include "Resistance..."]

R 11/7 Melville, "Bartleby the Scrivener" (2330)with Webtext. You might also be interested in this Univ. of Texas class site.


Week 11: T 11/12 Fuller, "The Great Lawsuit" (1590); Dickinson, # 754, 528, 593, 732 and read hypertext of #303.
R 11/14 Social reform: Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance, [Read at least halfway through] "Transcendental Wild Oats" (2562) 

Week 12: T 11/19 Finish The Blithedale Romance  
R 11/21 Frederick Douglass (1992)  & Harriet Jacobs(1717) 

T 11/26 Melville, "Benito Cereno"  (2372) Here's a great study site on the story. 

Thanksgiving break

Week 14: T 12/3  Melville's war poems selection (2428); (2168);"When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd" (2175) 
R 12/5  Final re-reading papers due for class critique [final due to drop box by midnight]; discuss essay for exam 

Final exam, 9:00 A.M. Dec. 10--in-class test on unit III and course essay. [some extra credit points possible on course] 

2002 - Virginia Commonwealth University