Twentieth-Century American Literature
|Instructor: Shusmita Sen
||Office: Old Main 211R
Phone # 533-7367
1. The American Tradition in Literature, Volume
II, Ninth Edition,
by George Perkins and Barbara Perkins
2. Any Handbook of your choice (optional but preferred)
|Supplies: 81/2 x 11 loose-leaf,
ruled papers for all in-class writing
This course is designed to introduce you to recent American authors and their works.
The time span will cover roughly from 1850s to the present. Course content will
include not only literature, but also history, philosophy, science, religion, and social
movements including racial, labor, political, and legal issues. No particular belief will
be exempt from scrutiny. Even though this is not a writing-intensive course, it will help
sharpen your skills as a writer as you will discuss and write about literature and the
various elements that helped shape the literature. I hope that by the end of the quarter,
you will have learned more than just the "facts of literature, but also
something about yourselves and how literature can affect your lives.
A. Through assigned readings in all three
genresfiction, poetry, and drama, you will learn
- to appreciate and analyze the works of major authors during the19th
and 20th centuries
- to discover the connections between the imaginary and the real world
- to isolate the themes and central ideas of literary pieces
- to critically review the content and the style of a written work
B. Through assigned writing, you will
- to explore your understanding of literature and life
- to research the cultural contexts surrounding a piece of writing
- to discover the connections between an author and his/her writing
- to intelligibly critique what you read
Outline of the Course:
The course material will be learned through the following
Lectures: On literary terms,
significant elements and characteristics of the various genres, writing formats, etc.
Other aids include films, videos, and guest lectures
Weekly writing assignments:
- On literary themes, plot structures, characterization, symbolism, style, and tone (based
on the reading) and how the works relate to life
- You will be expected to contribute actively and in a meaningful way, so being prepared
with the reading is a key to success in this course.
- You will write (both in and out of class) short expressive responses to assigned
- Out-of-class papers need to be typed and handed in on due dates
- You will also learn to synthesize quotations from the text and other sources with
documentation according to the MLA (Modern Language Association) format.
Will be occasionally given, unannounced, on the reading assignments.
Group presentations: You may be asked to work in
groups of five/six to do one of the following:
- Three times during the quarter, you will take a mastery-learning exam to
demonstrate your understanding of the elements of the various genres.
- These short tests will include both objective (multiple-choice questions,
fill-in-the-blanks) and essay-type questions (short paragraphs and essays etc.)
- Present a writer and his works to the class.
- You will use the library resources to help you with this project and
present it to the class preferably in a unique and interesting way.
- The group project would demand hard work, extra time, and commitment. If
you take the group activities seriously, enjoy them, and be creative, you efforts will
help you tremendously in the learning process.
- A responsible group leader will be appointed for each group to organize,
supervise, and evaluate the process; as a member of a group, you will be expected to
accept his/her leadership.
Student Learning Outcomes:
The Student Learning
Outcomes Initiatives at Spokane Community College is committed to enriching the
educational environment so that the power and growth of learning are valued by all members
of the college. We are dedicated to seeing our students demonstrate . . . critical Student
Learning Abilities as they relate to our institution and the larger community. (SCC
Outcomes Mission Statement)
The final grade for overall performance in this class will include assessment of the
four SCC Outcomes Abilities:
You will be graded on your ability to manage your time, keep up with your educational
commitments, set priorities, work individually and in groups, and turn in acceptable,
will learn to present/offer your point of view (written and verbal) clearly, freely, and
effectivelywith logical reasoning strategies and adequate evidences to support your
claimso that others in the class can understand the materials being presented.
You will be accountable for synthesizing necessary information (facts, evidences, and
expert opinions) in your writing assignments, learning to ask the right questions for
clarification, demonstrating your knowledge of analytical methods and the ability to
arrive at reasonable conclusions/solutions, and recognizing the connections between what
you learn, your learning styles, and real-life skills.
You will be expected to demonstrate your awareness of and respect for human diversity and
differences of opinion in class, keeping your mind open to fresh/new perspectives and
displaying the willingness to listen to other view points
Note: Your performance on these learning outcomes will be assessed through regular
self-analysis, group evaluation, and instructor-generated evaluation methods.
Attendance and Late-Work Policies:
Because so much of what you learn and receive credit for must be completed within the
class hour, your attendance is important. Being late for class or leaving early is
disruptive, so please be on time and in class for the scheduled class periods.
- Papers and assignments are due at the beginning of the class period, unless otherwise
directed. If you miss a class, please make sure to give your assignment(s) to a friend or
to me on or before the due date. Late papers are not "excused" due to absences.
- You are responsible for all information covered during class during your absence. Please
do not expect me to cover the information given in class. Choose a classmate from
whom you can get the missed notes, assignments and handouts.
- Your contribution to the class will enhance the learning environment for you and your
classmates. If your behavior disrupts others or the learning environment, you will be
asked to leave, and you will not receive credit for that days work or attendance.
- As a rule, you should expect to spend two hours of additional time on studying and skill
development per hour in class, per night. This is a standard college course expectation.
- I will encourage you to take responsibility for your attendance, behavior, and work.
- Make-up work is not an option under any circumstances
Note: If you miss the in-class writing activities or a test, the maximum points you
can earn will be 50% of the total points possible for that assignment. (For
example, if the assignment is worth 50 points and you miss either of the workshops, you
will receive 25 points maximum.)
Your grade will be based on the total points earned on the activities you choose to
complete. As indicated above, it can also be affected by your attendance. Keep
these guidelines in mind:
- The grading system for this course is included at the end of this syllabus. Refer to it
for information on conversions from percentages to letter grades and grade point averages.
- Homework (with the exception of the reading assignments) and in-class activities cannot
be made up.
- No time extensions will be given for in-class work done for credit or for certain
assignments specified by the instructor during the quarter.
- As a rule, extra-credit work is not assigned. If an exception is made, it will be an
opportunity allowed the entire class, not for individual cases.
- An approximate idea of the possible points is as follows:
|Short weekly papers (8
|Mastery Learning Exams
*For the Group Presentations, group members may receive different grades
based on their contributions.
SCC Grading Scale: Your final course grade may be based on a slightly different scale.
||A (Superior achievement)
||B (Above average achievement)
||C (Average achievement)
||D (minimum achievement)
It is recommended that you see your instructor and /or
advisor if you consider withdrawing from this class. In the event you stop attending, have
not formally withdrawn, and do not complete the course, you will receive a grade of 0.0
A grade of "Z" or "I" (Incomplete) may be given,
when requested by the student, under justifiable circumstances and solely at the
An "I" will only be considered under the following
circumstances:Passing work must have been achieved prior to the student not being
able to complete the course and
The student is not able to complete the course due to circumstances
beyond his/her control.
Withdrawals and "Z" Grades:
The American with Disabilities Act is
designed to ensure that students with disabilities have an equal opportunity to access
academic programs and successfully complete their educational goals. Spokane Community
College is committed to providing accessibility to all students. Any students with
disabilities who have accommodation needs must contact Disability Support Services located
in the Learning Resources Center (Library) or call Laura at 533-8872 to make an
appointment to complete the intake process. This information will remain strictly
Classroom Visitors: Washington Administration
Code 131, 12.010 Section 3 specifies that children are not allowed in classes
with a parent. Because of this regulation, please make other arrangements if school
schedules or illnesses are a problem.
Cheating: WAC 132Q-04-060
Plagiarism Policy: WAC 132Q-04-061
- Any student who, for the purpose of fulfilling an assignment or task
required by the faculty as part of the students program of instruction, shall
knowingly tender any work product that the student fraudulently represents to the faculty
as the students work product, shall be deemed to have cheated. Cheating shall be
cause for disciplinary action.
- Any student who aids or abets the accomplishment of cheating
as defined in subsection (1) of this section shall also be subject to disciplinary action.
Please review this SCC English Department Plagiarism Policy:
Plagiarism (from the Latin word for "kidnapper") is the
presentation of someone elses ideas or words as your own. You plagiarize
deliberately if you copy a sentence from a book and pass if off as your writing, if you
summarize or paraphrase someone elses ideas without acknowledging your debt, or if
you buy a term paper to hand in as your own. You plagiarize accidentally if you carelessly
forget quotation marks around anothers idea because you are unaware of the need to
acknowledge the idea. Whether deliberate or accidental, plagiarism is a serious and often
* Fowler, H. Ramsey. Little, Brown Handbook, 3rd ed. (Boston: Little,
To encourage academic excellence and honesty, we have established
the following policy:
Penalties for Deliberate Plagiarism or Cheating:
First Offense: Automatic failure of the paper or test and possible
failure of the course.
Second Offense: Automatic failure of the course.