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ENGL-260 - American Literature I - Adam Kaiserman

Course:American Literature I
Professor:Adam Kaiserman
  • Online
Course Length:
  • 16 Week


profile photo of Adam Kaiserman

Welcome to English 260: American Literature I. My name is Adam Kaiserman and I am Professor of English at College of the Canyons as well as the chair of our Humanities Program. In ENGL 260, we will be exploring the origins of American literature up through the Civil War. My goal in this class is to read these works both in their historical context but also as guides to our present. What that means is understanding how the social and cultural forces surrounding these texts influenced their production, but also how these texts influenced the world around them. I am also interested in what these texts can mean for us today. For instance, when we read Frederick Douglass’s Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself, I want understand not just how antebellum slavery shaped the text, but how Douglass’s first autobiography might also be relevant in light of #BlackLivesMatter. Similarly, when we read an excerpt from Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, we will want to think about first wave feminism, but also contemporary fights for gender equality. My hope in this class is that early American literature will not only seem relevant to your life today but that you will see yourself in the tableaux of early American literature.

Course Description

English 260 surveys the major movements and genres of American literature from its beginnings through the Civil War.

What to Expect in this Course

  • Canvas modules follow a week by week organization with discussion boards based on the reading.
  • Generally, each assigned reading will have a discussion board question due on Thursday  and you will be expected to respond to two of your classmates by the close of Sunday. You can expect four reading assignments per week.
  • There will be a three major papers.
  • One class presentation
  • There will be low-stakes weekly quizzes.

Types of Assessments

3 papers Weekly quizzes 1 online class presentation

Textbook Information

Norton Anthology of American Literature Beginnings to 1865 vol. 1, shorter 9th edition (ISBN 9780393264524).

The Norton is critical to your success.

Additional Resources


This course can be accessed on the first day of class via Canvas at Log into Canvas using your CanyonsID single sign-on:

  • CanyonsID Username is your COC student email address (Ex:
  • CanyonsID Password is your COC student email password

Please visit the Get to Know Your Online Classroom page for help logging into Canvas and for tips on using Canvas and Zoom. Canvas Chat Support is also available 24/7 for any Canvas related issues.

Online Education

Check out the Online Education website for more information on a variety of topics that can help you be a successful online student such as: exam proctoring, learning styles, computer skills, and tips for student success. If this is your first online course, feel free to take our online learning readiness assessment to assess your skills.

The Learning Center (TLC)

The TLC provides FREE online tutoring resources to COC students!

Academic Accommodation Center (AAC)

College of the Canyons AAC provides educational services and access for eligible students with documented disabilities who intend to pursue coursework at COC. A variety of programs and services are available which afford eligible students with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of the college programs and activities through appropriate and reasonable accommodations. For more information on their services visit the Academic Accomodation Center website.

Online Counseling

The Counseling Department offers appointments online. You can schedule an appointment by visiting the Online Counseling website. Counselors can help you map out a plan to reach your educational goals as well as advise you on course selection and registration.

Management of Stress and Mental Health

Often the pressure on our students is very strong, involving academic commitments, relationships, outside jobs and family pressure to name a few. The staff and faculty of College of the Canyons are here to see you succeed academically and care about your emotional and physical health. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including counseling and mental health services available on campus by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center in the Student Services Building (across from the bookstore). The phone number is 661-362-3259 that you can call 24/7. You can also e mail for an appointment at At the Canyon Country Campus the Health Center will be in the new Student Services Building.

Also, the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number is now 988. All students at COC are encouraged to enter that phone number in their cells. You can call it when you, or someone you know, is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress.

You can also now use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. Someone will get back to you immediately. Its free, 24/7, and confidential.

Veterans Resource Center

The College of the Canyons Veterans Resource Center is a department within the Student Services Division at the college, created to help veterans and veteran dependents with applying to College of the Canyons, enrolling in classes, and requesting VA Education or Vocational Benefits. For more information please visit the Veterans Resource Center website, email or phone (661) 362-3469.


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Last updated: 10/08/2021 Sub#: 858