American Poetry to WWI with Professor McAleavey

A course to consider for Fall 2015!

Walt Whitman
(Library of Congress)

ENGLISH 3620.10   FALL 2015                  American Poetry to WW I
TR 4:45-6:00                        CRN: TBA                  Room: TBA
David McAleavey     Rome 655      202-994-6515           Office Hours: TBA
This course satisfies the CCAS Oral Communication G-PAC requirement.
(Syllabus still subject to change.)
General Description:
This is the first half of a broad survey of American poetry from its beginnings to the present. In 3620, we will read from the 17th century up into the very early 20th century. (In 3621, offered in Spring 2016, we will continue forward chronologically, ending with vital living poets.) The two most important poets we’ll be examining in 3620 are Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman, both of whom did crucial work from mid-century through the Civil War and in the decades after. However, we will start with earlier poets whose work has continuing artistic appeal and historical relevance, Anne Bradstreet (17thcentury) and Phillis Wheatley (18th century) among them. From the earlier part of the 19th-century, we will consider William Cullen Bryant, Edgar Allan Poe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and John Greenleaf Whittier; later poets we will read include Emma Lazarus, E. A. Robinson, and Paul Lawrence Dunbar.
Because this course is designed to address the CCAS oral communication requirement, students will be expected to deliver multiple brief informative presentations about specific poems throughout the semester. These presentations will be graded in terms of their effectiveness. There will be a midterm and a final (formats to be determined), as well as a documented persuasive paper (8-10 pp., prior to Thanksgiving).

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