Introduction to Literature: Reading and Writing New York City, 1850-1950



Professor Rodgers

Introduction to Literature                                                        

Reading and Writing New York City: 1850 - 1950             

                                                                                                                                  

Course Description 

As an introduction to reading, analyzing, and writing about literature, our course will focus on a study of American literature set in New York City between 1853, the date Melville's "Bartleby The Scrivener" was published and 1939, the beginning of the Second World War.  Using literary representations of the city as a lens through which to consider larger social, cultural, artistic, and economic changes occuring during this period, the course will introduce students to various tools and methods for reading, interpreting, and writing about poetry, fiction, and drama. 

 

Course Readings

Short Stories

Herman Melville, "Bartleby The Scrivener"

Poe, Edgar Allan, “The Oblong Box”

Djuna Barnes, "Maud"

Willa Cather, "Coming, Aphrodite"

Rudolf Fisher, “The City of Refuge”

Zora Neale Hurston, “Harlem Slang”

 

Novella

Henry James, Washington Square

 

Poems

Walt Whitman, "I Hear America Singing," "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry"

Hart Crane, "To Brooklyn Bridge"

Marianne Moore, "New York," "Granite and Steel"

Vladimir Mayakovsky, "Brooklyn Bridge"

Langston Hughes, "I, Too, Sing America"

 

Play

O'Neill, The Hairy Ape

 

               Additional Required Texts      

1)      Rodgers, Johannah, ed.  What Is Writing? A Brief Introduction to Writing as an Act of Communication (Open Access Edition).   

2)      A College-level English Dictionary.  You can use reliable dictionaries on the web, e.g., Merriam Webster, Oxford, and/or a dictionary that you already own.

3)      Norton LitWeb Glossary of Literary Terms

4)      Norton LitWeb Writing About Literature

5)      MNHE Introduction to Western Literature Timeline
 

Recommended Texts

Bazerman, Charles, and Harvey S. Wiener. Writing Skills Handbook

Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein, They Say/I Say:  The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing



Some Key Poetic Terms and Forms

 

Alliteration

Allusion

Assonance

Ballad

Blank Verse

Concrete Poetry

Couplet

Dramatic Monologue

Elegy

Epigram

Epigraph

Free Verse

Haiku

Imagery

Metaphor

Meter

Ode

Pantoum

Pastoral

Prose

Rhyme

Sestina

Simile

Sonnet

Terza Rima

Villanelle (o)

Visual Poetry