EN301 – American Political and Social Nonfiction
Student Course Guide
Fall 2002: Professor Paul M. Volpe
Course Overview
EN 301 examines American nonfiction from pre-colonial to modern times, using autobiographies,
essays, treatises and speeches to gain insight into American origins and foundations; political
and social movements; the “American experience;” community and civic responsibility; and
globalization. Using a variety of texts from diverse sources, this course should provide access to
significant nonfiction writing that both reflected and helped to shape the national culture and using
close reading and discussion, allow students to analyze texts within historical and contemporary
contexts and examine their cultural, social or political influence on national development.
Contacting Me:
I plan to interact regularly and hope that you will not hesitate to contact me via the Internet at any
time. I am available by e-mail and will respond in a timely manner. If we need to have a phone
conversation, I will provide a phone number and establish a time on an case-by-case basis.
Professor Biography and Contact Information
Professor: Paul Volpe
E-mail: [email protected]
U.S. Mail:
Paul Volpe is a writer and researcher for the editorial department at The Washington
Post. He received his MA in English with a concentration in American Studies from the
University of Virginia, where his thesis focused on the political, social and economic
history of the Erie Canal. Studying in a program that promotes the educational function
of new technologies, Paul has published academic web sites on Franklin Roosevelt's
New Deal and 19th century theater, among others. Additional research topics and areas
of interest include American expansion, legal and political history and 20th century
American culture. Born in Rochester, NY, Paul received his BA in English from Wake
Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC.
Required Textbooks:
Friedman, Thomas, L. Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization.
McMichael, George. Anthology of American Literature Vol. 1: Colonial through Romantic 7th ed.
Prentice Hall PTR, 2000
Twain, Mark. Life on the Mississippi. Viking Penguin, 1985