August 30: Introduction to the major & literary studies

Hemingway, “Hills Like White Elephants”

Whitman, Leaves of Grass

Literary Devices / Canon, Genre, Period

HW: (1) Letter to the Professor & revision; (2) Read Leaves of Grass and linked essays below.

September 6: building Close readings

Building Close Readings: Whitman, Leaves of Grass & Hemingway, “Hills Like White Elephants”

Read Wimsatt and Beardsley, "The Intentional Fallacy" (here)

Cleanth Brooks, "The Heresy of Paraphrase" (here)

HW: (1) Finish reading Leaves of Grass (2) Read, print, and annotate poetry packet (3) Make a glossary to study for the literary devices quiz

September 13 : Morgan Library Trip

***Class meets at 7 pm at The Morgan Library, 225 Madison Avenue between 36th and 37th Streets.***

(4 train to 42nd Street or 6 train to 33rd Street)

Free Fridays at The Morgan Library: Walt Whitman Exhibit

See also The Walt Whitman Initiative online

HW: (1) Field Report (2) Study for Literary Devices Quiz (3) Readings for Sep. 20

SEPTEMBER 20: Poetry & Scansion

Literary Devices quiz

Field Reports due (in hard copy)

Print out, read, and mark up the following readings:

  1. Poetry packet (here): Christopher Marlowe, Sir Walter Raleigh, Edgar Allan Poe, William Shakespeare, Harryette Mullen, and Langston Hughes

SEPTEMBER 27: Historicizing contexts

HW: (1) Make sure each group emails me their poetry from class.
(2) Read and analyze Shakespeare Sonnet 130 along with Haryette Mullen. Write out a short analysis/close reading of the two together to hand in at class.
(3) Choose one Hispanic Heritage Month to attend and write up a report of in lieu of our 11/11 class.
(4) Borrow or buy any major anthology of English Literature and bring it with you to class.
(5) Work through any grammar problems using the link above. Bring any questions you have to next week’s class.

Timelines Activity in groups. (Finish for homework).

Harryette Mullen, "European Folktale Variant" (here)

Dictionary of National Biography

October 4: Crafting the English Essay

HW: 1) Complete Timelines Activity to hand in next week. 2) Research and jot down some biographical info on Ernest Hemingway, Christina Rossetti, Herman Melville, Mary Shelley or any of our poets using the DNB or an anthology. How does this change your reading of a text? 3) Read and annotate your copy of “Bartleby the Scrivener.” Bring it with you to class.

Herman Melville, “Bartleby the Scrivener”

Timelines Activity due.

Critical Essay assigned.

HW: (1) Choose one Hispanic Heritage Month event to attend and write up a report of in lieu of our 11/11 class. Schedule is linked here. The last event is on 10/15!

(2) Start drafting Critical Essay. Rough drafts due in hard copy 11/1.

October 11: Library Session — Historicizing & adding contexts

Class meets in the lobby of Leonard Lief Library!

Be sure to have your Lehman I.D. on you or you will not have access to the library.

Essay Grading Rubric (here)

Below are links on preparing critical editions and scholarly editions from Vanessa Arce:

October 18: THEORY I—Psychoanalytic READINGS

Quiz on last week’s library session. (Please review your notes.)

Read Barry, Psychoanalytic Criticism (Chapter 5)

Anthology Project assigned.

In-class writing activity: “Virtue Essay”

HW: 1) Write up a keyword paragraph for psychoanalytical criticism. 2) Finish up and proofread your Virtue Essay.


Read Barry, Marxist criticism (Chapter 8)

Print out, read, and annotate George Orwell, “Bookshop Memories”

Lesson on incorporating quotes

HW: 1) Write up keyword paragraphs for Marxist criticism.

November 1: No Class (hispanic heritage month)

November 8: Theory III—feminist readings

Read Barry, Chapter 6

Christina Rossetti, Goblin Market

HW: 1) Write up keyword paragraph for feminist criticism.

November 15: THeory IV—postcolonial readings

Read Barry, Chapter 10

George Orwell, "Shooting an Elephant" (here)

Browse the Every Single Word Spoken by a Person of Color versions of Lord of the Rings and Maleficent.

HW: 1) Write up keyword paragraph for postcolonial criticism.

November 22: The Literary Essay

Reread and bring George Orwell, “Bookshop Memories”

Print out, read, and annotate Anne Fadiman, “The Literary Glutton”

HW: (1) Start your Final Essay (Option A or B) using your in-class writing spurts. Continue work on Anthology Project.

(2) Bring your Anthology and Essay drafts to your conference and workshop.

(3) Check your email and fill out the Course Evaluation before it expires! A link should have been sent to you from the Vice Provost. 

(4) We were too exhausted to cover this in class, but this presentation may be useful to scroll through: Citation & Grammar Presentation. (This includes some sample intros of Anthology Projects)

november 28: No class - happy Thanksgiving!

Work on your Anthology Project. Revise Literary Essays.

December 6: Writing Workshop & Conclusions

Literary Essay due in hard copy.

Bring ALL materials to workshop with your partner and to show me in your Exit Conference: (Final Essay draft, Anthology Project, and Field Report for grammar)



HW: (1) Work extensively on your Anthology Project.

(2) Bring a first draft of your Final Essay to your conference and workshop.

(3) Check your email and fill out the Course Evaluation before it expires! A link should have been sent to you from the Vice Provost. 

Final Essays and Anthology Projects are due emailed as a PDF or Word attachment. Late assignments will not be accepted.
I am happy to provide feedback and comments on drafts and final work handed on or before December 7. 

Anthology Projects due December 13.