LITERATURE 340:  AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE

Spring 2003 Course Syllabus

Brevard College

400 N. Broad Street

Brevard, NC  28712

 

 

Professor:  Betsy Burrows                                            Class:  10-11:15 TTH         

Office:  MG-130                                                          Office Hours:  9-10MWF, 2-3TTH

E-mail:  bburrows@brevard.edu                              And by appointment

 

TEXTS:

  • Ellison, Ralph,  Invisible Man.  NY:  Random House, 1995.
  • Gates, Henry and Nellie McKay, Editors.  The Norton Anthology of African

                American Literature.  NY:      Norton, 1997.

  • Hurston, Zora Neale, Their Eyes Were Watching God.  NY:  Harper and Row,

            1990.

  • Morrison, Toni.  Beloved.  NY:  Plume/Penguin, 1987.

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

Welcome to a study of African American literature, a study reflecting the thoughts, beliefs, customs, struggles, and visions of African American writers.   Together in lectures, class discussions, and textbook readings, we will explore ideas, historical and social contexts, themes and literary characteristics important to the building of the African American literary tradition.  We will seek to understand, appreciate, and enjoy the essays, poems, narratives, stories, and novels of African American writers.

 

COURSE OBJECTIVES:

1.      Read and discuss significant writings by African Americans.

2.      Define the major literary movements in African American writings.

3.      Explore themes and styles of the literary periods studied.

4.      Identify and understand a variety of literary forms, concepts and techniques.

5.      Provide opportunities to sharpen critical thinking and writing skills.

6.      Understand the historical and social contexts important to African American literature.

7.      Promote an understanding of the usefulness and delight literature offers.

 

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND EVALUATION:

 

1.  Reading/Writing Notebooks and Reading Quizzes                            20 percent

2.  Major Project and Presentation  (Research)                                       20 percent

3.  Mid-Term Test   (Identifications and Essay)                                     10 percent                             

4.  Final Exam   (Identifications and Essays)                                            20 percent                                        

5.  2  Short Papers  (3-4 pages)                                                                20 percent

6.  Class Participation                                                                                10 percent

 

 

GRADING SCALE:

Objective tests will be given numerical grades.  All papers and essay tests will be given letter grades.  Letter grades will be converted to numerical grades in the following manner:

 

A+ = 98       B+ = 88        C+ = 78      D+ = 69

A  = 95         B  = 85          C  = 75        D  = 65

A- = 92         B- = 82         C- = 72        D- = 62

F = 0-59

 

Note:  Students must complete all exams and submit all papers in order to pass the class.

 

CLASS POLICIES:

Written work should be turned in on time to be considered for full credit.  Late papers will be marked down one letter grade for every 24 hours that they are late.  Writing must conform to acceptable standards of grammar, spelling, punctuation, and mechanics.  Use the MLA format for documentation.

 

ATTENDANCE AND MAKE-UP WORK:

Students are expected to attend all classes and be on time for those classes.  Your presence in class is an integral part of the success of the class as a whole, your scholastic success and growth, and finally the grade you receive in this class.  Missed exams and quizzes will be counted "0".  I do not allow make-up work unless the student is participating in college-sponsored activities and has made proper arrangements in advance or the student misses class because of a major/extended illness.    

 

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY:

We will strive to maintain an atmosphere of academic integrity.  Plagiarism and cheating are violations of the Honor Code and the consequences are serious.  I expect you to read the section on plagiarism in your student handbook. This is an issue we will discuss in class as we work on our assignments. 

 

STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS:

"If you need accommodations because of a disability, if you have emergency medical information, or if you need special arrangements for building evacuation, please inform me as soon as possible.  Students with disabilities also need to contact the Office for Students with Special Needs and Disabilities (MG-203A) to arrange accommodations for this course."

 

EXAM SCHEDULE:

Thursday, May 1 @1:00