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Washington State University
Donna M. Campbell Courses & Resources

English 210, Readings in American Literature: Immigrants, Outcasts, and Exiles (Spring 2024)

English 210, Readings in American Literature: Immigrants, Outcasts, and Exiles
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:05-1:20 p.m.  

Avery 104

3 credits


Dr. Donna Campbell
Avery 357 • 335-4831

Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 11-12 in Avery 357 or via Zoom.  The link is in Canvas,


You can also schedule meetings by appointment. I’m available in my office and can meet you on Zoom during much of the day on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.


About the Course


English 210, Readings in American Literature: Immigrants, Outcasts, and Exiles, is an introduction to short fiction, poetry, and nonfiction narratives from the nineteenth- through the twenty-first centuries. It has been approved as fulfilling the American literature requirement for English Education majors.


We won’t read work from all periods and movements in American literature, but you’ll learn about important movements and trends through our course theme “Immigrants, Outcasts, and Exiles,” since many works of American literature address the issues of inclusion and exclusion from a dominant culture.


Except for the readings, which will be done on your own time, much of the written work of this course will be completed in class.


The goals for students in the course are as follows:

  • To read and analyze works of classic American literature in the areas listed above.
  • To compare the social attitudes of our own time with those in the past by analyzing how social perspectives were revealed in literature of earlier centuries.
  • To become familiar with some significant movements and trends in American literature (realism, naturalism, and modernism, for example).
  • To work with and learn to evaluate primary and secondary resources, including locating primary print sources and digitized versions online, learning to use the MLA Bibliography and other databases to find secondary sources, learning to assess web materials for reliability, and locating primary source materials.
  • To synthesize the knowledge thus gained into papers and presentations in order to disseminate those insights to the class.


English 210 satisfies the HUM requirement for WSU’s University Common Requirements (UCORE), which is designed to help you acquire broad understanding, develop intellectual and civic competencies, and apply knowledge and skills in real world settings. Upon completion of UCORE, you will have the tools needed to seek out information, interpret it, share it, and make reasoned and ethical judgements on a wide array of issues. With these broader goals in mind, English 210, Readings in American Literature, as a Humanities course, will help develop skills to analyze, interpret, and reflect on questions of meaning and purpose as they related to the human condition in all of its complexity. The learning outcomes grid at the end of this document shows the relationship between the American literature topics and assignments on the one hand, and the course- and UCORE-level learning outcomes on the other hand.



Required Text


Levine, Robert S., ed. The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Shorter Ninth Edition, Volume 2: 1865 to the Present. W.W. Norton, 2017. ISBN 978-0-393-26453-1.


Important: There is only one required text, but you will need to buy it and bring it to class with you each day. Googling the texts on your phone won’t work since many are under copyright.


Having your book in class is a vital part of class participation: you’ll be asked to read passages aloud, give page citations, and so forth. Reading the book online and then coming to class is not sufficient.


Stories and poems not in your book are available in Canvas.


Content Warning: The texts, music, and film in this course reflect the cultural attitudes of their time, and they are presented in their original form. Although these materials are not graphic in terms of sexuality or violence when judged by twenty-first century standards, they may use offensive words, may depict scenes upsetting to current readers, or may represent race, gender, or violence in ways that that run counter to current standards, even when the intent is to protest racism, sexism, or other forms of social injustice. If offensive terms occur in a text, we will not read those harmful words aloud in class.


Schedule of Assignments. This is a tentative guide to the assignments; it may change as the course progresses. Unless otherwise indicated, the numbers in parentheses are page numbers.



Date Reading Assignments
1 1/9 Introduction to the Class

Reading (in class): “Stonehenge” by Min Jin Lee

1/11 Poe and American Literature (Readings in Canvas)


·       Poe, “The Philosophy of Composition”

·       Poe, “The Raven”

2 1/16 ·       Poe, “The Tell-Tale Heart”

·       Poe,  “Ligeia”

 Sign up for Reports and/or Book Presentations
1/18 Poe and the Gothic

·       Poe, “The Fall of the House of Usher”

3 1/23 Unit 1, Lesson 2: Enslavement and Resistance (Readings in Canvas)

·       John Rollin Ridge (Yellow Bird), excerpt from The Life and Adventures of Joaquin Murieta, the Celebrated California Bandit 

·       Douglass, Chapter X, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

1/25 ·       Mark Twain, “A True Story”

·       Harriet Jacobs, Chapter 2 from Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

4 1/30 Unit 1, Lesson 3: Realism

·       Howells, “Editha” (316-326)

·       Wharton, “The Other Two” (524-539)

2/1 ·       Wharton, “Roman Fever” (540-549)

·       James, “Daisy Miller” (342-382)

5 2/6 Paper 1 Workshop


Write the rough draft of paper 1 in class.

2/8 Finish writing and revising Paper 1.


Digital Day: Bring laptop, tablet, or phone to class if you have one.

Short paper 1 due
6 2/13 Unit 1, Lesson 4: Race, Environment, and Regionalism

·       Jewett, “A White Heron” (434-441)

  • Zitkala-Sa, “Impressions of an Indian Childhood” (655-660)
2/15 ·       Chopin, “Désirée’s Baby” (441-446)

·       Chesnutt, “The Goophered Grapevine” (479-488)

·       Hopkins, “Talma Gordon” (497-509)


7 2/20 MASC Visit: Meet in Holland/Terrell Library Foyer for a Tour (date may change)
2/22 Exam 1 Exam 1
8 2/27 Unit 2, Lesson 5: Reading Poetry

·       Emily Dickinson (82-100)

Read as many poems as you would like but especially these:

  • 320 (“There’s a certain Slant of light”)
  • 339 (“I like a look of Agony”)
  • 340 (“I felt a Funeral, in my Brain”)
  • 359 (“A bird came down the Walk”)
  • 479 (“Because I could not stop for Death”)
2/29 ·       Dickinson, continued  


9 3/5 Paper 2 Workshop

Write the rough draft of paper 2 in class.

3/7 Finish writing and revising Paper 2.


Digital Day: Bring laptop, tablet, or phones to class if you have one.

Paper 2 due


10 3/11 Spring Break – No Class
3/15 Spring Break – No Class
11 3/19 Unit 2, Lesson 6: Naturalism·       Stephen Crane, “The Open Boat” (611-630) and poems (631-632)

·       Jack London, “To Build a Fire” (639-652)

3/21 Unit 2, Lesson 7: Immigration and Silent Films

Watch Making an American Citizen and The Immigrant in class.

·       Sui Sin Far, “Mrs. Spring Fragrance” (549-558)



12 3/26 Unit 3, Lesson 7: Modernism

In-class Annotation Project (next 4 class days)

·       Hemingway, “Hills Like White Elephants” (1030-1035)

·       Fitzgerald, “Winter Dreams” (973-990)

Digital Day: Bring laptop, tablet, or phones to class if you have one.

3/28 ·       Faulkner, “A Rose for Emily” (1005-1015)

·       Jean Toomer, from Cane (967-972)

Digital Day: Bring laptop, tablet, or phones to class if you have one.

Research Paper Proposal Due
13 4/2 Unit 3, Lesson 9:  Legacies of Injustice and the Harlem Renaissance

·       Dunbar, poems: “We Wear the Mask” and “Sympathy” (636-637)

·       Claude McKay, “If We Must Die,” “America,” “Africa,” “Harlem Shadows” (934-938)

Digital Day: Bring laptop, tablet, or phones to class if you have one.

4/4 ·       Langston Hughes, “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” “I, too,” “The Weary Blues” (1036-1043)

·       Music from the Harlem Renaissance

Digital Day: Bring laptop, tablet, or phones to class if you have one.

Optional Paper 3 due

Complete Annotation Project due

14 4/9 Unit 3, Lesson 10: Legacies of Injustice, continued: Reclaiming a Heritage

·       Louise Erdrich, “Fleur” (1626-1635)

·       Sherman Alexie, “What You Pawn I Will Redeem” (Canvas .pdf)

4/11 ·       Li-Young Lee, “Persimmons” (1636-1638)

·       Gloria Anzaldúa, “How to Tame a Wild Tongue” (1558-1567)

15 4/16 Unit 4, Lesson 11: Cultural Anxieties Then and Now: The Twilight Zone
4/18 Book Presentations (optional) Paper 4 (Research Paper or Project) due
16 4/23  Presentation of final projects
4/25  Presentation of final projects
17 Final Exam (Exam 2) Monday, April 29, 10:30-12:30  Final Exam


Requirements and Assignments


Attendance and Class Participation.  Class participation and attendance are important, and you should bring your book and come to class prepared to discuss each day’s reading. Since the syllabus is online, you should have no trouble in reading the next day’s assignments even if you’re absent on the previous day. If you have questions about the day’s reading, don’t hesitate to ask; chances are good that someone else had the same question.

  • UCORE courses are required to have a specific attendance policy, so here is the policy for this class: You have four “free” unexcused absences; after five absences your final grade may drop one full letter grade; after six absences (three weeks of class) you may fail the course.
  • However, don’t come to class or stop by my office if you’re ill; just email me and you can be excused from class for the day. COVID, RSV, and other contagious illnesses are still circulating, especially in the winter, and I trust you to be truthful about the reason for your absences.
  • If you’re absent, you can get the day’s class notes from someone in the class.
  • Quizzes can’t be made up, but the lowest quiz grade is dropped to account for absences.
  • Because we will be reading and analyzing passages from the readings during the class period, bringing your book with you is an essential part of class participation and will count in your class participation grade. As mentioned above, reading the assignment online and then coming to class is not sufficient.

Note: If inclement weather (snowstorms or icy roads) or a contagious but not incapacitating illness (COVID, etc.) prevent my teaching the class in person, we’ll move the class temporarily to a Zoom room. I will email you to let you know if we will meet by Zoom.

Formal Papers.  You’ll write three papers or projects in this class; two are short papers (750-1000 words) and one (final paper) is longer, 1500-2000 words. The final paper or project can be a group effort, with all members receiving the same grade. It will be the same length (1500-2000 words) whether written by an individual or by a group. All assignments are posted now in Canvas, although they may be modified slightly as the semester progresses.


Papers are evaluated on the conventions of standard written English as well as on the content, and the comments on your papers will reflect conventions such as sentence structure and punctuation. Clear sentences, a logical organizational plan, an original thesis, and good support for ideas are the goal for your papers. At the college level, great ideas require clear exposition. If the paper can’t make the “great idea” clear, it’s not a great paper.


We’ll have two workshops before each of the first two papers so that you can become familiar with the conventions. This allows you to write during class time rather than taking your own time to write.

Day 1: Bring writing materials and your textbook. You will write your first draft in class and hand it in, though the rough draft will not be graded.

Day 2: Work on your rough draft to create a final version (workshop).


Format. Papers must be neatly typed and carefully proofread. Citations should follow MLA style as outlined in the MLA Handbook. See more formatting guidelines in Canvas.


Electronic Submission. Please upload your paper to Canvas, by 11:55 p.m. on the due date.


Name your file as follows: LastnameFirstinitial_ClassNumber_Papernumber. Example: If Joan Smith turns in her first paper, the file would be called SmithJ_210_Paper1.doc. See the formatting guidelines for more information.


Late Papers and Extensions. Late papers are penalized at the rate of one letter grade (10 points) per class day late; a paper that would have received a “B” or 85% on Tuesday will receive a “C” or 75% if handed in on Thursday. If you don’t turn in a paper, you will receive a 0 for that portion of your grade. Papers received after four class days will receive half credit but will not be formally graded.


However, you have one 48-hour extension in this class, like the “get out of jail free” card in the game Monopoly. This extension means that your paper will be due on the next class day, which could be more than 48 hours, without penalty. You’ll need to request the extension ahead of time.


Exams. This course has two exams: a midterm and a final. Exams in this course will consist of objective (multiple choice, short answer, matching) questions, identification questions, and an essay written in class.


The Final Exam date is set by WSU and cannot be changed regardless of personal circumstances or travel plans; however, you have the option not to take the Final Exam if you complete both a Report and the Book Presentation assignment.


QuizzesBecause quizzes have been proven to help students with the retention of material, unannounced multiple-choice quizzes over the reading will be given frequently in this class. Their purpose is to reinforce your close reading of the material by asking you about significant points in the reading.


Quizzes can’t be made up, even if you are absent because of illness, but the lowest quiz grade will be dropped, and there’s an optional makeup quiz at the end of the course. Students who have their books with them in class will be able to look up material for the bonus questions on quizzes.


There will also be frequent in-class writings.


Reports or Presentation of a Book on Immigrants, Outcasts, and Exiles. Students in this class will either present a brief oral report to the class on a subject we’re studying or present a contemporary book on our class theme. The Book Presentation Day will occur near the end of the semester. Two books that would qualify are Tara Westover’s Educated or Tommy Orange’s There There.


If you complete both the report and the Discussion Leader assignment, you will not have to take the final exam, although you can take the final if you want to.


Annotation Project. This project will involve your working together with your classmates during class time to create an annotated version or edition of a text that explains its allusions, references to places, and narrative strategies. More details will be available later.


Weight of Assignments


Because of FERPA and privacy issues, no grades can be discussed or transmitted by e-mail or instant messaging. Emails about other matters will usually receive a response within 24 hours except on weekends, when replies will be sent on Monday morning. Please identify yourself using first and last name and use conventional email etiquette.


Exams (2 at 10% each) 20 percent
Papers (2 @ 10% each) (Draft + final version) 20 percent
Report or Book Presentation 10 percent
In-class Annotation Project 10 percent
Research Paper or Project, Proposal, and Presentation (25%) 25 percent
Quizzes, class participation, group presentations, and in-class writings 15 percent


Class Policies

Electronics Policy. Except for digital days, students won’t be using cell phones or laptops during class time without a documented accommodation.  Recent studies have demonstrated that people remember material better when they take notes by hand rather than on the computer, since typing on the computer tends to produce a transcription rather than the kind of selective note-taking that leads to understanding. Also, students participate more actively when they are not using a laptop, which benefits their class participation grade, and there are fewer distractions in the classroom without laptops.


Academic Honesty Policy. Plagiarism is the unacknowledged use of someone else’s words or ideas.

  • This definition includes not only deliberately handing in someone else’s work as your own but failing to cite your sources, including Web pages and Internet sources.
  • Plagiarism also includes handing in a paper that you have previously submitted or are currently submitting for another course.
  • A paper written by AI would be considered plagiarism.
  • For a first offense, any paper plagiarized in whole or in part will receive an “F” (0 points), and the incident must be reported to the WSU Office of Student Conduct.
  • You will NOT be allowed to rewrite the plagiarized paper for a better grade. Penalties for a second offense can range from failing the course to suspension from the university.


Grading Criteria


A note on the evaluation process in this course: Each piece of written work, from an essay on an exam to a formal paper, starts as a “0” and rises to one of the levels listed below based on the quality of its ideas, development, and writing.


Your writing does not start from an “A” and “lose points” based on certain errors; instead, grading starts from a baseline of 0 and points are added based on the quality of your work. Think of the grading scheme as you would think of a game or a job. You don’t start with a perfect score (or a high salary) and lose points by making errors; rather, you start from a baseline and gain points based on the quality of your skills as demonstrated by your performance. The same is true here.


The abbreviations and accompanying explanations on your corrected papers are available on the “Key to Comments” page in Canvas.


These are the general grading criteria for this course.

  • A / Excellent
    Shows that the writer has treated the subject matter in an original manner and has developed the thesis thoroughly and with insight, using a clear organizational plan. This essay develops its argument with incisive, in-depth analysis and supporting evidence from the text. Although outstanding and pleasurable to read, this essay is not necessarily completely flawless; it is, however, virtually free of grammatical or spelling errors. The writer demonstrates a clear understanding of her or his audience and conveys a strong individual voice.
  • B / Good
    Includes a clear focus that is supported by evidence; it also demonstrates correct sentence construction for the most part. Ideas may be good but perhaps not as insightful or well developed as those in the “A” essay. The organization is easy to follow. The essay has a good sense of individual voice and awareness of audience expectations.
  • C / Proficient
    Exhibits logical organization and a focus, but often does not provide clear evidence to support the thesis. It may demonstrate little sentence variety or careful word choice. Instead of revealing fresh and insightful ideas, the writer of this paper responds to the assignment in an adequate but highly predictable or superficial way, such as summarizing the plot of the work or stating obvious points, without developing analytical or descriptive ideas.
  • D / Deficient
    Usually demonstrates one or more of the following: it lacks adequate organization, offers insufficient or irrelevant support for its argument, lacks focus, or shows no audience awareness. In addition, a deficient essay often contains many errors in sentence construction, punctuation, word choice, and spelling, such as confusing the spelling of women (plural) with woman (singular).
  • F / Unacceptable
    Usually difficult, frustrating, or confusing to read. This paper typically contains neither focus nor support for generalizations. It generally contains numerous errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation.  A paper will receive an “F” if it is plagiarized in whole or in part.

WSU Expectations of Course Time Commitment: Academic credit is a measure of the time commitment required of a typical student in a specific course. For the WSU semester system one semester credit is assigned for a minimum of 45 hours. The anticipated time commitment for this course is 3 hours of work per week for each credit hour (a minimum of 9 hours per week). Students can expect your weekly time commitment to be as follows:

Class time (lecture, discussion, activities) = 3 hours/week

Research/write papers =                               1.5 hours/week (Note: We will do much of this work in class.)

Prepare other assignments  =                       1.5 hours/week

Reading class materials =                               3 hours/week


Total hours  =                                                  9 hours/week


Additional Important Information in Canvas (not printed to reduce paper use)


  • Detailed Grading Criteria
  • Detailed Points and Percentages for Grades
  • UCORE Goals and Course Goals
  • WSU Syllabus and Policies


Students are responsible for reading and understanding all university-wide policies and resources pertaining to all courses (for instance: accommodations, care resources, policies on discrimination or harassment), which can be found in the university syllabus.