This course attempts to fill some of the gaps left by the other courses in the sequence, and to revisit older authors and topics of particular importance, while helping to build a greater synthetic understanding of literary operations and theory, and a stronger proficiency in writing. Accordingly it includes some French classicism, the Russian novel, German proto-romanticism, and the English gothic as well as more Shakespeare, Greek tragedy, Hawthorne, Melville, and Austen.
We will primarily read modern literature in the western tradition, with a few excursions into areas that seem too important to ignore - some of which are also specially noted as relevant in the College Board's AP materials.
The other point of this class is to address the requirements of the College Board Advanced Placement English program, leading to the AP exam. Taking the AP Exam, however, is not required.
Note: The College Board has begun to audit all curricula offered with the AP label. Having examined their standards, I have decided not to pursue their approval: it seems clear to me that meeting their expectations would entail dumbing the course down considerably. We cannot call this course AP English, therefore, but its substance is basically unchanged from the days when we did. It has provided solid preparation for students intending to take the AP Exam.