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Course Information

Instructor Info:Michele Hardesty
Office Extension x5490
Term: 2013F
Meeting Info: Wednesday
02:30 PM - 05:20 PM Franklin Patterson Hall (FPH) 106

This course will trace a genealogy of the "American abroad" in literature from Mark Twain's time-just before the closing of the U.S. frontier in the late 19th century-up to the late 1980s, paying particular attention to the ways in which literature has represented U.S. power and "American" identities beyond the nation's borders.

Evaluation Criteria:

The short version: receiving an evaluation in this course requires, at the bare minimum, 1) active participation and no more than 2 absences; 2) at least 7 weekly forum posts; 3) an in-class presentation on the readings; 4) a revised final research essay of 10-12 pages; and 5) a  final self-eval, posted to The Hub. I will not write evaluations for students who do not meet these requirements.

Now the long version. Please read these criteria carefully now, and refer to them throughout the semester.

Participation, Preparation, and Attendance: Much of our discussion will be fueled by your questions and observations about the readings. For this course to function successfully, then, it will be crucial for you to keep up with readings and to attend class regularly. More than one absence will be noted unhappily in your evaluation. If you miss more than two class meetings (with exceptions made for truly extraordinary circumstances) you will not receive an evaluation for the course. I suggest you save your absences for illness, religious observance, and family emergencies. Three tardy arrivals (more than 5 minutes late) will count as an absence. If you know you are going to miss a class, get in touch with me as soon as possible. If you have already missed a class, it is your responsibility to find out what you missed. Please note: This course has a heavy reading load. You should expect to spent approximately 8-10 hours each week on activities outside of class: readings, notetaking, weekly assignments, research, and writing.

Readings and Electronic Devices: I expect you to bring ALL assigned readings, as well as your own notes, to class. Please plan to use the paper versions of the assigned novels. You may use devices for reading PDFs and for taking notes in class, but you may not use class time for social networking, email, messaging, or non-class-related browsing. The first time I find you engaged in such activities, I will give you a warning; the second time I will ask you to leave class and will mark you absent. Also, unless it is part of an assigned task, please resist the urge to look up things mentioned in class online; keep a list and look them up after class. Phones: turn your phone to silent (NOT to vibrate) and put it away before you arrive in class.

Weekly forums: Each week, there will be a discussion forum posted on Moodle. This forum is a place for you to reflect upon and synthesize your readings (literary texts, keywords, and secondary essays) and pose questions for class discussion. Your posts also show me you are doing the readings and help me understand where you are struggling and where you are excelling. The forum also informs what we do in class itself. Please submit each week by no later than 12:01am on Wednesdays. Posts do not have a set length, though they should be roughly 300-400 words long. These are not freewriting activities; your posts should be thoughtful and should be proofread before they are submitted. There are 11 weekly forums; you should submit a post to at least 7 of them. Excessively missed posts are grounds for a No Evaluation.

Class Facilitation/Presentation: You will sign up once during the semester to give a 10 minute presentation on one of the assigned secondary readings and to facilitate discussion of the piece.

Research essay: You will complete an 10-12 page independent research project (proposal, annotated bibliography, draft, and revision) on a topic that draws from and expands upon some aspect of the course. You will also give a presentation on your research in the end of the course, though the form that presentation will take will be decided by the class as a whole. Due dates: I expect you to turn in assignments on time. If you are concerned that you will not be able to make a due date, contact me in advance, and we will negotiate an extension. I will not grant extensions after a due date has passed, and late work will be noted unhappily in your evaluation. I expect you to submit assignments even when you have missed class.

Self-Evaluations: You are required to write a final self-evaluation of your work in the course. These self-evals should be posted to The Hub. In general, I ask that your self-evals answer these questions: What were your goals/priorities for yourself coming into this course, and how do they relate to your larger educational goals? How have you worked toward these goals? In what ways have you struggled to make progress, and why? In what ways have your goals for yourself changed or transformed over the course of the class?
A NOTE ON INCOMPLETES: It is my policy NOT to offer students "incompletes" at the end of the semester, except in the case of  extraordinary circumstances beyond a student's control. All work for this course must be completed by December 13. Under no conditions am I obligated to negotiate an incomplete with a student. In those very rare cases when a student with a solid record of progress cannot meet the final deadline due to sudden hospitalization, severe illness, or a family emergency, I may decide to negotitate a new deadline with the student. In accordance with Hampshire policy, I will record the negotiated deadline by the Course Completion Deadline (Dec. 17), at which time I will give the student an INC ("incomplete"). That new deadline cannot exceed the first day of the Spring semester. I have one month from that new deadline to evaluate and record the student's submitted work. If a student does not meet the new deadline, the INC will automatically convert to a NO EVAL.

Additional Info:


These books are available at the Hampshire College Bookstore. (If you buy them elsewhere than the bookstore, make sure to get the correct edition—the ISBN numbers are below.) They are also on 3-day reserve at the library.

  • Anzaldúa, Gloria. Borderlands/La Frontera. 25th anniv edition. ISBN # 978-1879960855 (Aunt Lute)
  • Baldwin, James. Giovanni's Room. ISBN # 978-0385334587 (Delta)
  • Bowles, Paul. The Sheltering Sky. ISBN # 978-0060834821 (Ecco)
  • Greene, Graham, The Quiet American. ISBN # 978-0143039020 (Penguin)
  • Hemingway, Ernest. For Whom the Bell Tolls. ISBN # 978-0684803357 (Scribner)
  • James, Henry. Daisy Miller. ISBN # 0486287734 (Dover Thrift Edition)
  • Larsen, Nella. Quicksand. ISBN # 978-0486451404 (Dover)
  • McKay, Claude. Banjo: A Story Without a Plot. ISBN # 978-0156106757 (Mariner)
  • Twain, Mark. The Innocents Abroad, or, The New Pilgrim's Progress. ISBN 978-0-8129-6705-0 (Modern Library)

This book is available in eBook form through the Hampshire library; it is also on 3-hour reserve at the library:

  • Burgett, Bruce and Glenn Hendler, eds. Keywords for American Cultural Studies. ISBN 978-0814799482 (NYU Press)

Other readings will be available on the website as PDFs.



Writing Center: I encourage you to take advantage of the faculty in the Writing Center (Deb Gorlin: or x5531; Ellie Siegel,, Will Ryan,, offices located in Greenwich) for help with writing and revising your essays.

Library: I urge you to meet with and send research questions to Cultural Studies and Humanities librarian Bonnie Vigeland (x5649;, Arts librarian Rachel Beckwith (x5443;, and/or Digital Pedgogy and CSI librarian Alana Kumbier ( For general help with assignments and research, stop by the PARC (Peer Academic Resource Center at the circulation desk in the library Mon-Wed 2-8pm, Thurs 12-8pm, or Fri 12-6pm, or email them at

Disability Services: If you have a disability that might affect your ability to meet the expectations of this course, please contact Joel Dansky, Disabilities Services Coordinator, at x5423 or, or stop by his office at CASA. Registering with Disability Services allows me to make specific accommodations for you in class; without registration, I cannot make accommodations.

Academic Honesty: Here is the official statement from taskforce on plagiarism at Hampshire: "All Hampshire College students and faculty, whether at Hampshire or at other institutions, are bound by the ethics of academic integrity. [The entire description and college policy can be found in Non Satis Non Scire ( under Academic Policies/Ethics of Scholarship.] Plagiarism is the representation of someone else’s work as one’s own. Both deliberate and inadvertent misrepresentations of another’s work as your own are considered plagiarism and are serious breaches of academic honesty and integrity. All sources used or consulted in the process of writing papers and examinations, or preparing oral presentations, course assignments, artistic productions, and so on, must be cited. Sources include material from books, journals, or any other printed source; the work of other students, faculty, or staff; information from the Internet; software programs and other electronic material; designs and ideas.

"All cases of suspected plagiarism or academic dishonesty will be referred to the Dean of Advising who will review documentation and meet with student and faculty member. Individual faculty, in consultation with the Dean of Advising, will decide the most appropriate consequence in the context of the class. This can range from revising and resubmitting an assignment to failing the course. Beyond the consequence in the course, CASA considers first offenses as opportunities for education and official warning. Multiple or egregious offenses will have more serious consequences. Suspected instances of other breaches of the ethics of academic integrity, such as the falsification of data, will be treated with the same seriousness as plagiarism and will follow the same process."