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Engl. 772-01 Literary Period:

Contemporary American

Fall Semester 2007

MWF 10:00-10:50, Grubbs 312

Instructor: Dr. K. Nichols


  • Course Description

A multi-genre course covering representative authors and literary trends from the post-World War II era to the present, with some emphasis on the postmodern challenges to traditional notions of truth and referentiality and on the emergence of multiculturalism.

  • Required Textbooks
  • Paul Lauter, ed., The Heath Anthology of American Literature, Vol. E: Contemporary Period (1945 to the Present), Houghton Mifflin, 5th edition, ISBN-10: 061853301X
  • Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun, Knopf/Vintage, ISBN-10: 0679755330
  • Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49, Harper Perennial Modern Classics, ISBN-10: 006091307X
  • David Henry Hwang. M. Butterfly, Dramatists Play Service, ISBN-10: 0822207125
  • Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon, Knopf/Vintage, ISBN-10: 140003342X
  • Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony, Penguin Classics, ISBN-10: 0143104918

  • Grading
  • Short Summary/Oral Report--10% (see directions)
  • Shorter paper--15 % (see directions)
  • Longer paper--30 % (see directions)
  • 3 essay exams--45 % (15 % each)

NOTE: All major assignments must be completed
to pass the course.

  • Absence Policy

Regular attendance is required. Everyone has four pre-excused absences for those difficult times in life that interfere with class attendance, so you do not need to clear absences with me, but it is a good idea to check with me (or a classmate) to make sure an assignment was not changed while you were gone. Students who miss more
than four classes may be dropped from the roster for "excessive absences."

  • Late Work Policy

Late papers will be graded down one letter grade for each day they are late.

Missed exams must be made up just as soon as possible. See me immediately when you return to class.

  • Plagiarism Policy

I strongly support the policies of the English Department and the University on plagiarism. Undocumented use of someone else's material (including "borrowing" their language) will result in an F on the paper or for the course.

See me if you have questions about what is or is not plagiarism. I'm always happy to help students who make a good-faith effort to do things right.

  • Course Web Pages

You can quickly access our online syllabus by typing in one of the following addresses:

NOTE: You can also access my home page (which links to all my web pages) by going to the PSU home page and then typing "Nichols Home Page" in the "PSU Search" box (top of page).

  • Instructor's Office Hours

My Office is in Grubbs Hall, Room 450. I can be available at the following times to talk with you about our course or related matters. If that time does not fit your schedule, let me know. We can arrange a more convenient time.

MWF 11:00-12:00; 1:00-3:00

TTh 1:30-2:00; or by appt.

The best ways to contact me are to leave a note on my office door or, even better, email me at the following address: knichols11@cox.net.


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