Course Descriptions

American Literature I - ENGL 2131


This course surveys American Literature from the Pre-Colonial Period through the mid-nineteenth century. It begins with the Age of European Exploration and interaction with Native American cultures and continues through the 18th century Enlightenment, the American Renaissance, and the Romantic movement, ending with the beginning of American Realism.

The literature is studied within the context of history and culture and with an emphasis on literary periods. Students will utilize various critical approaches and reading strategies as they examine important authors and themes of these periods.

ENGL 2131 - Summer 2024

Course Instructor
ENGL 2131 1AGElizabeth Steere
ENGL 2131 1BGAndrew Attana
ENGL 2131 1CGTimothy Whelan
ENGL 2131 1DGAshleigh Whelan
ENGL 2131 1EGTodd Hoffman

Credit Hours


  • See your home institution's prerequisite requirement.

Free Textbook

  • Open educational resources (OER)

Course Equivalency

After completing this course, you will be able to

  • Identify the genres, major writers and important schools in American literature from the pre-colonial era to the opening volleys of the Civil War.
  • Summarize, interpret, and infer hypotheses regarding selected texts.
  • Use and extend reading, writing, technological, and critical thinking skills developed in ENGL 1101 and ENGL 1102.
  • Identify the cultural factors that shaped American literature and define the common concerns of humanity as expressed through literature.
  • Unit 1: Introduction to course
  • Unit 2: Pre-Colonial America and Colonial Settlements
  • Unit 3: Toward a National Literature
  • Unit 4: The American Renaissance: Romanticism and Transcendentalism
  • Unit 5: Nineteenth Century Critical Perspectives

Your final grade will be based on the following breakdown. Please note that each instructor may choose to make modifications.

  • Attendance Verification - 1%
  • Discussions - 9%
  • Quizzes - 20%
  • Major Project (Video Assignment) - 14%
  • Response Paper 1 - 18%
  • Response Paper 2 - 18%
  • Final Exam - 20%

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