LITR235 A Century of Literature by American Women

Department of Language & Literature: Literature

I. Course Number and Title
LITR235 A Century of Literature by American Women
II. Number of Credits
3 credits
III. Number of Instructional Minutes
IV. Prerequisites
V. Other Pertinent Information
During the first week of class, the instructor provides students with a weekly suggested reading schedule for the semester.

This course meets the General Education requirement in Arts/Humanities.
This course meets the General Education requirement in Critical Thinking.
This course meets the General Education requirement in Diversity.

VI. Catalog Course Description
This course features novels, short stories, poems, and plays by women writers in America from the late 19th century to the present. Students examine the portrayal of women's lives and changing roles, the expression of multi-cultural developments, and major movements in American literature alongside new perspectives created by women's voices.
VII. Required Course Content and Direction
  1. Course Learning Goals

    Students will

    1. analyze literature through discussion and writing [Critical Thinking & Arts/Humanities];
    2. demonstrate an understanding of such literary terms, themes, strategies, and issues as are relevant to the works being studied;
    3. express their understanding of the relationship between literature and the historical/cultural contexts in which it was written [Arts/Humanities];
    4. examine the historical and social conditions of women, and of gender roles, as exemplified and reflected in literature by women during the past century [Diversity];
    5. recognize the way women writers revise, reflect upon, and resist stereotypes of women in literature;
    6. identify the connection between the works of women writers and the various literary movements in America; and
    7. recognize the various perspectives explored in multi-cultural literature by American women [Diversity].
  2. Planned Sequence of Topics and/or Learning Activities

    This course focuses on novels, short stories, plays, and poetry by American women writers. Starting with the time of the first wave of the Women's Movement in the late 19th century, the course moves through the turn of the century, the Wars and the Depression era, the Harlem and Southern Renaissance, and the racial and feminist movements of the 60s' and 70s', and conclude with the multi-cultural awareness of the present. By examining the diverse and powerful voices of American women writers, various themes emerge: women's roles in society, male/female relationships, the domestic versus the public sphere, the immigrant experience, and the experience and impact of racial differences.

    In addition:

    1. Students enter the course both with and without training in verbal analysis of literature; therefore, a subsidiary set of objectives dealing with literary analysis may be imported as individual student needs dictate.
    2. Reading remains the basic learning method available to students although various means of instruction are employed: lectures, group discussion, mock trials, role playing, individual or group presentations to the class, team teaching, library research, etc.
    3. Through reading, writing, discussion, and various class activities, students identify, explain, and analyze the following: formal elements of the literature, particularly images, image patterns, narrative strategies, diction, and structural divisions of the work; themes and thematic patterns; literary periods, movements, and terms as appropriate to the literature.
    4. The writing requirement complies with Department standards for literature courses, a minimum of 2,500 words. Writing assignments reflect the course goals that students can comprehend, interpret, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate the literature.
    5. Because there are no prerequisites for literature courses, it is important that students understand the kind and quality of the writing expected.
    6. Students use various critical approaches as ways of assigning the meanings in the work; these include but are not limited to the major critical schools--humanistic, ethical, socio-cultural, historical (both the history of events and the history of ideas), psychological, mythical, and formal.
  3. Assessment Methods for Course Learning Goals

    To evaluate all learning goals and objectives, instructors may determine the depth and quality of student comprehension and critical thinking through several analytical essays (2500 words total required), exams, quizzes, journals, oral or multi-media presentations, class discussions, conferences with individual students, service learning projects, and other methods as necessary to course content.
  4. Reference, Resource, or Learning Materials to be used by Student:

    An anthology of selected works of American women writers, which may include novels, short stories, drama, poems, essays, letters, journals, religious tracts, and other writing, is assigned. This may be supplemented by additional readings.

    See individual course syllabi.

Review/Approval Date - 11/00; Core Goals/Objectives added 4/04; Revised 5/2010; New Core 8/2015