Saturday, May 8, 2010

End of the course

Grades have been submitted for English 368, so this is the official end of the course.  I will be out of town and not available on email for several weeks, but if you have questions, you can contact me next fall.

Have a great summer!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Papers have been emailed to you

You should have received the graded copy of your Paper 2 or wiki project by now; if you haven't, please let me know.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Papers are not quite done

Although I'm in the office (Avery 357, 335-4831) as I mentioned in my email last week, I haven't finished grading all the papers yet.  Those of you who did web projects or who turned in electronic copies will be receiving your papers/feedback on your projects by email before the exam.

If you turned in a hardcopy of your paper but would like to see the comments before the exam, please email me and I'll scan it to a .pdf file and send it to you by email.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Paper/project 2 received

I've now responded to all of you who sent me an e-version of Paper 2 or a link to your wiki. If you didn't get a response, I didn't receive your paper.

Final Exam Day and Time

The final exam for English 368 will be held on Thursday, May 6, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. in our usual classroom. Please make a note of this date and bring your own paper to the exam.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Lecture notes

Information from today's lecture is here.

End of blog posts

Posting to the blogs for this semester is now closed, and the points have been recorded.  I'm looking forward to reading your papers and to listening to class presentations next week.

Final (optional) blog post due tonight; bring in some artifact of "conspicuous consumption"

At the end of class on Tuesday, I asked you to bring in a reference (maybe a news article or a picture) to something from current culture that represents the concept of "conspicuous consumption" addressed in class--that is, something that is designed primarily to show off the owner's wealth rather than to have any function. (One example: the "I am rich" app for iPhones that cost $1,000 and did absolutely nothing.) You don't have to hand anything in, but today in class we'll discuss what you found.

In addition to Paper 2, the final (optional) blog post and comments are due tonight.  For this post, you don't have to confine yourself to the texts we've read but can speculate about other things:
  •  If Edith Wharton were writing today, what would her work look like? What would she be writing about? Do we have an Edith Wharton writing now--someone who addresses the same issues?
  • A lot of "chick lit" authors such as Candace Bushnell have cited Edith Wharton as an inspiration.  Is Wharton the precursor of "chick lit"? 
  • What 19th-century American novel would you like to have read in this course that we didn't get a chance to read?
  • If you could adapt one of the books we've read into a movie, how would you do it? Whom would you cast as the leads, and who would you choose to direct it?  What changes would you have to make?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Paper 2 and presentation dates

Your second paper for this class is due on Thursday, 4/22, even if you are not presenting on it until next week. If you are handing in a paper version, which is optional, the paper is due in class; all electronic versions are due to me via email (  by 9 p.m. If you're doing a wiki or web project, you need to send me the link and the rationale by the due date (Thursday at 9 p.m.)

If you have not yet used your automatic extension option and wish to do so on this paper, please contact me. You can find information about citing sources here:

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Presentation Schedule for Final Projects

The presentation schedule for the final projects is here: .

If you have not signed up yet, you need to do so right away. The only available slots are for this Tuesday, April 20.

You do not need to supply a fact sheet for these final presentations, and we will not be filling out comment sheets on them. As before, if you want to use PowerPoint, you either need to bring your own laptop or email me the presentation no later than the night before your presentation (which for most of you will be next week).  If you're doing a wiki, I can bring it up on the screen on my laptop for you.

Please let me know if you have any questions.  I will be on campus Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday this week, so let me know if you'd like to meet with me.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

No class April 15; presentation schedule for final projects

Just a reminder: There is no class on April 15.

The presentation schedule for your final projects is here: .

Each time slot represents 5 minutes. If you are doing a web project with someone else and signed both names in the same slot, that means that you anticipate using just 5 minutes for your presentation.  If you anticipate needing more time, or if you have not yet signed up for a presentation time, there are still several slots open on Thursday, April 22.

Here is the schedule of readings for April 20 for which you signed up in class today.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Extra blog posts

Last night was the last "official" blog post, although one additional "extra" blog post is on your syllabus.  I've decided that instead of one extra blog post (and set of comments) for credit, you'll be able to write two:


If you'd rather, you can also write on something other than The House of Mirth for these last two  posts: a book that you  think would fit well into this class that we didn't get to read, for example, or some other aspect of the material that you'd like to discuss.

As mentioned earlier, each post counts 2 points and a week's comments (must be done within that week) counts 1, for a perfect score of 30 by the end of the semester (10 posts x 2 + 10 comments x 1 = 30).

Those of you who have already kept up with blog posts by writing each week can opt not to do these extra posts, since they won't give you any extra points if you're already at 30.

Monday, April 5, 2010

How to get to the MLA Bibliography

Go to and click on Databases A to Z.  When the search box comes up, type in MLA.

Precis assignment

If you have any questions about the precis assignment due tomorrow, please email me or talk with me on Google chat (drcampbell6676).

Friday, April 2, 2010

Mark Twain: An Interview with Shelly Fisher Fishkin

Bookserf has an interview with Shelly Fisher Fishkin, Twain scholar, about her new Twain anthology. She talks a bit about Twain and racism and also about Pudd'nhead Wilson.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Signup form for final presentations

I will also be bringing a paper version of the form to class in a couple of weeks, so you can sign up then, if you prefer.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Stephen Crane poem; no class on April 15

The actual text of the poem I put on the board the other day is as follows:

A man said to the universe:
"Sir I exist!"
"However," replied the universe,
"The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation." 

You can find this and other poems from War is Kind and Other Lines here

Also, I need to make a change in the syllabus.  There will be no class on April 15; instead, we'll discuss criticism on The House of Mirth on April 20.  We will not have a workshop for Paper 2, although you're welcome to discuss your papers with me ahead of time.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Reports tomorrow

We have four reports tomorrow: Alyssa Tanhueco, Rebekah Roberts, Natalie Bryant, and Matt Mosteller. 

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Reports on Tuesday

In addition to reading and discussing the first half of Iola Leroy, we have a number of reports being presented on Tuesday, March 9 (  If you are presenting on that day, remember to bring enough "fact sheets" for the people in the class (28 students + 1 instructor); also, if you're using PowerPoint, you need to email me your presentation no later than tomorrow night, 3/8, by 9 p.m. so that I can load it onto my computer.  You can also use your own computer, if you'd rather. If you're not using PowerPoint, please let me know that, too, so that I can group the presentations accordingly.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Paper 1 received

By now you should have received an acknowledgment message from me that I've received your e-version of Paper 1.  If you didn't receive a message, I haven't received your paper, and you should contact me.

Thanks especially to all of you who took the time to write a courteous message when you sent your paper; I appreciate it.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses

The reading I mentioned today that I'd like you to read for Thursday, Twain's "Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses," is available from these links.  It's short (6 pages), so I'd like you to print a copy to bring to class.


If you are having trouble with these links, you can also find a good copy online here:

Friday, February 26, 2010

Worksheet from Thursday's class

The "Ten Items to Watch" overhead from Thursday's class is available here:

You can find information on MLA Style at the Citing Sources link and at the Purdue OWL.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Extended office hours

My usual office hours today are from 12-1, but I'll be in the office, 357 Avery, from 10:30 on in case you have any questions about the midterm or the paper. You can also email me ( or call (335-4831).

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Mark Twain and racism

After Amanda's report on Twain and racism, I thought that some of you might be interested in this Los Angeles Times article about a prominent Twain scholar, Thomas Wortham, and his thoughts on Huckleberry Finn.  (This is optional; you don't have to read it.)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Blog posts and comments

In case you're wondering how the blog posts and your comments on others' blogs are recorded: each blog post counts as 2 points and each week of comments (regardless of the number) as 1 point, so each week of blog post and comments is worth 3 points of a possible total of 30 points.  As I've mentioned to some of you in passing, there is an optional blog post and comment opportunity on 4/21, at the end of the semester to make up any points that you may have missed. 

Friday, February 19, 2010


If you sent me a prospectus, I've returned it with comments by now. If you didn't receive yours, please let me know.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

MASC, midterm, blog posts, and absences

As I mentioned in class, on Thursday we will meet in the MASC.  Go down the stairs when you enter the library, and you'll see the MASC ahead of you.

The midterm for this class will be held on February 23, as your syllabus indicates.  The study guide is available at this link. Please note that your class notes and your books will be your best guide; the study guide is simply a reminder of what should already be in your notes.

Blog posts are due as usual tomorrow night by 9 p.m. You should comment on a classmate's blog by then, too. 

If you are not sure how many absences you've accrued thus far, please ask me.  Some of you are at or are approaching the 4-absence limit, after which your grade will drop.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


The slides from today's presentation (and the Alcott presentation) are available on the Lectures page.

Remember the change in the reading assignment

As I mentioned in class the other day, because the date for our visit to the MASC has changed, the reading assignment for The Rise of Silas Lapham has also changed. It's now pp. 3-136.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

"Behind a Mask"

As I mentioned in class yesterday, for tomorrow's class you only need to read the novella Behind a Mask, pp. 3-104 in the book of fiction by Alcott. 

You'll also find any changes to the syllabus that I mention on our online syllabus (click on the link at right).

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Your emails with useful resources

Most of you will have received an email back from me about the useful resources you found in the AML today; however, if you sent your message from the AML, I wasn't able to respond since the email was sent from a generic address.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Paper 1 assignment

The assignment for Paper 1 is now available here: We'll be looking at it in class tomorrow.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Comments on blog posts

By now, all of you who are keeping blogs should see at least one comment (from me) on your post.  If you have a blog but it's not listed, or if I missed your blog, please let me know.

Also, please put your name (first and last) somewhere on your blog, in User Profile or somewhere else, so that I can credit your blog posts and comments.

Meet in AML 105 on Tuesday

This is just a reminder that we'll meet in the AML, room 105, on Tuesday instead of meeting in our regular classroom. Since there are 26 seats and 29 of us in the class, if you have a laptop, you may want to bring it to the AML so that you can follow along.  We'll be looking at web sites, including databases available at WSU.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Date change for visit to the MASC

Your syllabus has February 11 listed as the date for our visit to the MASC, but we won't be able to visit until February 18.  This will mean that we'll begin reading The Rise of Silas Lapham earlier.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Updates to blogroll and report schedule

I've updated the blogroll and the report schedule, so if you sent me information and don't see it listed, please let me know.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Blithedale Romance bibliography

For those of you who may be planning to write a paper on The Blithedale Romance, I've updated the bibliography here:

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Louisa May Alcott documentary

Here's a link to the PBS documentary on Louisa May Alcott that I mentioned in class: . The site includes video clips and interviews.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Updates and announcements

Although I sent you all an email last night (and if you didn't get it, you should check your MyWSU email address), I won't typically be sending email unless there's some sort of major announcement like class cancellation. Instead, I'll post the information and links here, so you should make it a practice to check this blog on a regular basis.

You can check it on the web at the above address, by becoming a "follower" if you have a blog in Blogger, or by using an RSS feed reader like Bloglines or Google Reader.  If you want to check it on your iPhone, you could use an app like Bylines or Reeder, or you could use Viigo or another such application if you have a Blackberry.

 About blogs and reports: you need to sign up for either a blog or a report (or both) by next Tuesday, January 19.


The information on American Transcendentalism from yesterday's class is available here: .

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Send me your blog links!

Those of you who are planning to keep a weblog should send me the link before next Tuesday.

Also, if you plan to do a report, you need to sign up by next Tuesday as well. You can see which slots are open by clicking on the Reports link, .

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Influential books

Here's a compilation of your responses to the question I asked yesterday about influential books or favorite works of American literature:
  • Bill Simmons, The Book of Basketball
  • Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (2 people)
  • Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends
  • The Catcher in the Rye (2 people)
  • Scott Westerfeld, Uglies series
  • Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights (2 people)
  • The Declaration of Independence
  • Frank Herbert, Dune
  • C. S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia
  • Jules Verne, Journey to the Center of the Earth
  •  Hunter S. Thompson, A Generation of Swim
  • Thoreau
  • Herman Racher, The Summer of '42
  • Charles Brockden Brown, Edgar Huntly
  • Stephanie Meyer, Host
  • Bram Stoker, Dracula / Anita Diamant, The Red Tent
  • Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
  • The Giver
  • Dumas, The Three Musketeers
  • Paul Bernard, Hell in a Very Small Place
  • Sarah Dessen, The Truth About Forever and Just Listen
  • Catch-22
  • Gloria Naylor, The Women of Brewster Place
  • Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises
   You can set up your own blog by going to or (or another site).  Send me the link ( and I'll add you to the blogroll.