"Arguments have no chance against petrified training; they wear it as little as the waves wear a cliff."
--Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Important Places on Conway Campus
View Important Places on the Conway Campus in a larger map
Read It. Know It. Live It.
(1) Tuesday, August 26
Introduction to American Literature
The Power of Stories—Common American Myths
(2) Thursday, August 28
“The Diary of Christopher Columbus”
Iroquois Creation Story
Two Blackfoot Creation Stories
NC 1: How are the Indian creation stories similar to other creation stories you’ve heard? What are the differences and how does that possibly help us to understand these Native American people? How do the creation stories compare to Columbus’ account?
Friday, August 29--LAST DAY TO DROP/ADD
(3) Tuesday, September 2
In-class discussion about the central tenets of the Puritans’ theology
“Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” (Edwards) Note: you can skim the “Application” portion.
“The Indians Must Worship . . .” (Red Jacket)
The Age of Reason excerpt (Paine)
NC 2: What is your opinion of Edwards’ sermon? Why do you think people have seen Red Jacket’s lecture as a brilliant response to the early American missionaries? What do you think are Paine’s most interesting claims?
(4) Thursday, September 4
“The Declaration of Independence” (Jefferson)
Letter to John Adams (Abigail Adams)
On Female Education (Wheatley)
NC 3: What do you find interesting/problematic about the excerpt from "The Declaration"? How do the letters from the two women show potential problems?
(5) Tuesday, September 9
Letters from an American Farmer—“Letter III”
NC 4: What does the excerpt from the third letter show us about America? Does the author contradict himself in any places and why might that be important?
(6) Thursday, September 11
“Rip Van Winkle” (Irving)
NC 5: Many people have seen the similarities between this story and the founding of the USA. What does this story have to tell us about this significant historical moment?
(7) Tuesday, September 16
Introduction to Transcendentalism
NC 6: Emerson lists two problems that keep us from being self-reliant. Explain what you think he is trying to tell us about these problems.
(8) Thursday, September 18
"The American Scholar" (Emerson)
NC 7: Is Emerson's lecture still applicable to the 21st-century world?
(9) Tuesday, September 23
"Civil Disobedience” (Thoreau)
NC 8: Does Thoreau’s message help us with our own problems today?
(10) Thursday, September 25
Walden’s “Economy” excerpt (Thoreau)
NC 9: Is Thoreau's message still applicable to 21st-century America?
(11) Tuesday, September 30
In-class Movie--Take Notes!
Wednesday, October 1--GRADUATION APPLICATIONS DUE
(12) Thursday, October 2
In-Class Movie and Discussion--Take Notes!
NC 10: How does the first part of the movie help to explicate Transcendental philosophy? Explain.
(13) Tuesday, October 7
Review for Midterm Exam
NC 11: After watching the rest of the movie, what do you think the movie shows and/or teaches us about Transcendentalism?
(14) Thursday, October 9
(15) Tuesday, October 14
Final Paper Discussed
(16) Thursday, October 16
“Young Goodman Brown” (Hawthorne)
NC 12: What is the point of this story? If it's allegorical, then who or what does it help us to understand?
Monday, October 20--REGISTRATION FOR SPRING BEGINS
(17) Tuesday, October 21
NC 13: Research Paper--Ideas Workshop
(18) Thursday, October 23
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass excerpt
NC 14: What did you find most interesting about this narrative? What did you learn about slavery?
(19) Tuesday, October 28
Excerpt from Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (Jacobs)
NC 15: How does Jacobs’ slave narrative differ from Douglass’? What did you learn about slavery?
(20) Thursday, October 30
Online Slave Narratives—follow the instructions on the assignment sheet for this day.
NC 16: After reading a few of the seemingly endless online slave narratives, what have you learned about slavery? Be sure you can explain how three different slave narratives led to your new understanding of slavery.
Monday, November 3--LAST DAY TO WITHDRAW
Tuesday, November 4--NO CLASSES--ELECTION DAY
(21) Thursday, November 6
NC 17: Paper Workshop
(22) Tuesday, November 11
In-class Movie and Discussion
(23) Thursday, November 13
In-class Movie and Discussion
(24) Tuesday, November 18
Life in the Iron Mills—1st Half (Davis)
NC 18: This story contains a lot of description about the town and the people? How does this description help us to understand the point of the story (as you see it at this point in the novella)?
Thursday, November 20
(25) Thursday, November 20
Life in the Iron Mills--2nd Half (Davis)
NC 19: Now that you've completed the story, what do you think is the point of the story, and how do some of the events (including the ending) help create that meaning?
(26) Tuesday, November 25
NC 20: Final Workshop for Research Paper
Thursday, November 27
Thanksgiving Holiday--NO CLASSES
(27) Tuesday, December 2
Final Feedback Opportunity for Research Papers--Informal Conferences
No Attendance will be taken on this day.
(28) Thursday, December 4--LAST T/TH CLASS
RESEARCH PAPER DUE on the exam day between the hours of 8-noon!
NOTE: There are 28 class days.
You are allowed 3 absences. Each absence over 3 will result in a W, WF or F. Please see the syllabus for more information.
Each notecard that you turn in needs to have the following elements.
FINAL RESEARCH PAPER--Will Be Released on or before Oct 14
Helpful Video for Paper Construction
How to Access One of the Many Research Databases
Supplemental Resources and Videos You Might Find Interesting
People Upset about Columbus Day
The 21st-century Thomas Paine--Talib Kweli
Taylor Mali on Education
Here's a Response You Should Try to Avoid Receiving on Your Final Research Paper.
Lupe's Newest Song--One with an Extremely Relevant Critique of American Society
A Modern-day Thoreau?
Please visit the "Guide to Basic Essay Construction" in the menu above for a refresher on the components of a successful essay.