English 199: Survey of British and American Literature
Professors Virginia Zimmerman and John Rickard

Spring 2013

Faculty Offices and Office Hours

Virginia Zimmerman, Vaughan Literature Building 207B; Office Hours: TBA

John Rickard, Vaughan Literature Building 231; Office Hours: W 2:00-4:00 pm; F 11:00 am-12:00 pm; and by appointment



English 199 explores the historical, generic, and transnational range of literature in English. Since a “complete” survey of English and American literature in one semester is impractical, the course has been designed to introduce students to texts that resonate with the most provocative and foundational questions animating these disciplines of study. Weekly guest lectures by faculty in the department will offer a range of perspectives and cumulatively will introduce key concepts and broader issues. Among these are issues of canon formation, periodicity, literary value, and national identity. We will explore both literary value (What is literature? Who decides what gets read? Why and how are some texts designated as "classics?") and the values that literature supports (ie. perspectives on race, class, gender, and sexuality). Though organized chronologically, the course will give students a variety of ways to conceive literary history including but not limited to concerns of literary production (questions about authorship, the emergence and transformation of genres), reception (the composition of reading publics, the circulation of literary texts), and criticism. Discussion sections following the weekly Monday lecture will address problems and questions of reading and comprehension, add complementary short texts, or invite critical commentary on the lecture.

Course Materials

The Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Major Authors, Eighth Edition (NAEL)

The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Shorter Seventh Edition (NAAL)

William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Norton Critical Edition

Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre, Norton Critical Edition

PLEASE NOTE: The Bucknell Bookstore is selling all four of the Norton texts above in a "bundle" package that provides the two critical editions for free.

Various PDF files on Moodle.



Attendance is mandatory; unexcused absences will severely affect your grade.

You must bring the relevant textbook(s) to each Monday common hour lecture in COLE 221.

All reading assignments must be completed ahead of each Weekly Unit — in other words, before the Monday lecture.

Participation in some English Department functions, such as readings and lectures, to be announced in class.

Participation in class discussion.

Make sure to read all period and author headnotes in the anthologies.



Two literary analysis essays, one prior to the midterm examination and one following it.

Midterm exam, details TBA

Final oral comprehensive exam (based on readings, lectures, headnotes), date and time during finals period to be arranged.

Weekly quizzes on lectures and readings.

NOTE: All required written work and both examinations must be completed in order to pass ENGL 199. Failure to turn in either of the two required essays or to take either of the two examinations will result in an F grade.



First Analysis Essay – 20%

Second Analysis Essay – 20%

Midterm – 20%

Final Exam – 25%

Attendance, Quizzes, and Class Participation – 15%



Attendance and active participation are crucial parts of your experience in English 199 and are integral elements in your grade for the class. You are expected to attend every Monday lecture session. Repeated absences from class will result in a significant lowering of your grade; more than six unexcused absences will result in a grade of F for the class.



A different member of the English Department will lecture on the week's reading every Monday; for more background on our lecturers, please follow the links on the English Department's "Faculty and Staff" web page at http://www.bucknell.edu/x925.xml



Week 1

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Lecture:  Professor Alf Siewers, Monday, January 21

Reading: "The Middle Ages to ca. 1485" (NAEL 1-23) and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (NAEL 112-165)


Week 2

William Shakespeare, The Tempest

Lecture:  Professor Jean Peterson, Monday, January 28

Reading: "The Sixteenth Century: 1485-1608" (NAEL 319-347); Shakespeare headnote (NAEL 493-496); and Shakespeare, The Tempest (Norton Critical Edition), pp. 3-77



Week 3

John Milton

Lecture: Professor Alex Block, Monday, February 4

Reading: Headnotes on "The Early Seventeenth Century (1603-1660); "John Milton" headnote (NAEL 693-696); Paradise Lost headnote and Book 1 of Paradise Lost (NAEL 723-743); and excerpt from Paradise Lost Book 9, lines 404 to end (NAEL 819-835) and Genesis 1-3 (also on Moodle)




Week 4


Early American Literature

Lecture:  Professor Michael Drexler, Monday, February 11

Reading: "Beginnings to 1700" headnote in NAAL; Mary Rowlandson, headnote in NAEL and "A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson"; Phyllis Wheatley, headnote and "On Being Brought from Africa to America" and "To the University of Cambridge, in New England"(NAAL 419-421)





Week 5


The English 18th Century

Lecture:  Professor Greg Clingham, Monday, February 18

Reading: “The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century (1660-1785)” (NAEL 853-878), “Alexander Pope” (NAEL 1120-1123), Pope, “The Rape of the Lock” (NAEL 1136-1155), and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (NAEL 1197-1201) and "Verses Addressed to the Imitator of the First Satire of the Second Book of Horace" (online at http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~jlynch/Texts/montagu2.html)

Paper 1 due Feb 22




Week 6


English Romanticism

Lecture:  Professor Ghislaine McDayter, Monday, February 25

Reading: Headnote on “The Romantic Period, 1785-1830” (NAEL 1363-1387); “Mary Wollstonecraft” headnote and A Vindication of the Rights of Women: Introduction, Chapter 2, and excerpt from Chapter 4 (NAEL 1456-1484); and “William Blake” (NAEL 1406-1409, and "The Garden of Love" and "London" (NAEL 1422-1423)

Midterm Examination on Friday, March 1




Week 7


American Romanticism: Frederick Douglass, Emily Dickinson, and Walt Whitman

Lecture:  Professor Saundra Morris, Monday, March 4


Douglass: "Frederick Douglass" Headnote (NAAL 920-923) and "What To the Slave is the Fourth of July" (NAAL, pp. 988-991)

Whitman: ìWalt Whitmanî (NAAL 991-995) and excerpts from Whitman, Song of Myself, sections 1 through 11 and 48 through 52 (NAAL 1011-1018 and 1048-1055); also, read "I Hear It Was Charged Against Me" and "Strange Vigil I Kept" (extra reading PDF on Moodle);

Dickinson: ìEmily Dickinsonî (NAAL 1197-1200) and selected poems (NAAL 1201-1221) with special attention to poems 202, 236, 260, 269, 409, 519, 620, and 1263; also, read poems 360, 445, 466, and 1433 (extra reading PDF on Moodle)





Week 8

Victorian Literature

Lecture: Professor Virginia Zimmerman, Monday, March 18

Reading: Headnote on "The Victorian Age" in NAEL and Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre





Week 9


Modern Fiction: James Joyce

Lecture:  Professor John Rickard, Monday, March 25

Reading: "The Twentieth Century and After" (NAEL 2293-2316); James Joyce, NAEL headnote and "Araby" and "The Dead"






Week 10


The Harlem Renaissance

Lecture: TBA, Monday, April 1

Reading: Headnote "American Literature 1914-1945"(NAAL); Zora Neale Hurston (NAAL, 2157-2169) and Langston Hughes (NAAL, pp. 2263-2271)





Week 11


Modernist Drama

Lecture: Professor Meenakshi Ponnuswami, Monday, April 8

Reading: Samuel Beckett, headnote and End Game (NAEL)




Week 12

Modern Short Stories

Lecture: Professor Claire Watkins, Monday, April 15

Reading: Headnote "American Literature Since 1945" in NAAL; "Fleur," by Louise Erdrich; "Babylon Revisited," by F. Scott Fitzgerald; "Good Country People," by Flannery O'Connor (NAAL)

Paper 2 due April 19



Week 13


Contemporary Poetry

Lecture: Professor G. C. Waldrep, Monday, April 22

Reading: Selections TBA





Week 14


Final Common Hour -- No Reading Assignment or Lecture

Final Oral Exams -- Schedule to be arranged