The Mason Library maintains an English Page of relevant resources for English majors. In addition, the “Blogroll” on this course web site provides resources for students.
When you have questions about in-text citation please consult Joseph Gibaldi, ed., MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. (A useful book for all English majors to have; there are copies available at the reference desk of the Mason library.)
The Oxford English Dictionary (OED): If you are looking for the definition or the history (etymology) of a particular word, or you would like to cite a definition or particular usage, consult this dictionary. You can link to the OED from any campus terminal or from your laptop. The multi-volume edition is available in the reference section in the Mason Library.
Whenever you are introduced to a new author or literary movement, and you are inclined to do some background reading, please consult the concise and reliable entries in the multi-volume Dictionary of Literary Biography in the reference section. The call number is REF PN451 .D52. There are over 350 volumes to date.
For an excellent resource on literary form and history, consult The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics. (Ramzani et al. eds.)
Recommended Electronic Resources Whenever you are introduced to an unfamiliar text, author or literary movement—or you are interested in gathering more information about a text, context or critical debate—please consider using the thousands of monographs, scholarly journals and reference texts in the Mason Library. The library makes available a range of electronic sources, subdivided into discipline-specific portals to the ongoing scholarly conversation about literature. The e-sources are available Here. It is your responsibility to know where the information is coming from. E-sources include peer-reviewed journals, web sites on particular literary sources, blogs and wikis, class notes, and so on.
Cambridge History of English and American Literature Overview essays ranging from poetry, fiction, drama and essays to history, theology and political writing. 303 chapters and 11,000 pages on a wide selection of writing on orators, humorists, poets, newspaper columnists, religious leaders, economists, Native Americans, song writers, and non-English writing, such as Yiddish and Creole.
Twayne’s US Authors Series Online Provides concise book-length overviews of an author’s life and work. Each work includes a preface to the online edition, a chronology, a list of primary works by the author, a bibliography and citation information. For example, if you were interested in the life and work of the American poet William Carlos Williams, you will find the online version of Thomas R. Whitaker’s excellent overview William Carlos Williams first published in print by Twayne in 1968.
Literary Criticism Online Includes The Dictionary of Literary Biography overviews (7500-10,000 word) of the life, work and critical reception of literary authors. The Dictionary series runs to more than three hundred volumes and is organized by topic and period. The hardbound volumes are on the shelf in the reference section of the Mason Library (as explained in the Recommended Resources list above) or you can read entries on your desktop.
The Collected Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson This collected works is the result of a fifty-year editorial process with the publication of the tenth and final volume of The Collected Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson (Harvard Belknap, 1971-13). The publication of the critically edited texts is a landmark for Emerson studies, and an indispensible resource for students and scholars of nineteenth century literary and cultural history. Each volume has an introduction that offers reliable and authoritative textual and historical information.
We are fortunate that Keene State College has added, at my request, this definitive edition to its holdings. The call number is PS1600 .F71. The edition is now a resource for you as a student of Emerson. Whether you are interested in his early sermons, essays and lectures, correspondence, or antislavery writing, you now have all of this textual material available.
Here is the information about the contents of the 10 volumes
v. 1. Nature, addresses, and lectures — v. 2. Essays: first series — v. 3. Essays: second series — v. 4. Representative men: seven lectures — v. 5. English traits — v. 6. The conduct of life — v. 7. Society and solitude — v. 8. Letters and social aims — v. 9. Poems: a variorum edition — v. 10. Uncollected prose writings ; addresses, essays, and reviews
Vol. 2-3: Introduction and notes by Joseph Slater ; text established by Alfred R. Ferguson and Jean Ferguson Carr
Vol. 4: Joseph Slater, general editor, Douglas Emory Wilson, textual editor, editorial board, Ralph H. Orth, Robert E. Spiller, Wallace E. Williams
Vol. 5: Historical introduction by Philip Nicoloff ; notes by Robert E. Burkholder ; text established and textual introduction and apparatus by Douglas Emory Wilson
Vol. 6: Historical introduction by Barbara L. Packer ; notes by Joseph Slater ; text established and textual introduction and apparatus by Douglas Emory Wilson
Vol. 7: Historical introduction, notes, and parallel passages by Ronald A Bosco ; text established and textual introduction and apparatus by Douglas Emory Wilson
Vol. 8: Historical introduction by Ronald A. Bosco ; notes and parallel passages by Glen M. Johnson ; text established and textual introduction by Joel Myerson
Vol. 9: Historical introduction, textual introduction, and poem headnotes by Albert J. von Frank ; text established by Albert J. von Frank and Thomas Wortham
Vol. 10: Historical introduction, textual introduction, text established, and textual apparatus by Ronald A. Bosco and Joel Myerson ; notes and parallel passages by Glen M. Johnson
Primary and Secondary Sources in the Mason Library A general key term search in the Mason Library holdings turns up 286 entries. An author search turns up 53 entries.
For example, Journals and miscellaneous notebooks of Ralph Waldo Emerson, edited by William H. Gilman et al., is an important resource for students and scholars of Emerson; Walter Harding’s Emerson’s Library offers a catalog of Emerson’s personal library based on M.C. Haviland’s card catalogue of the collection, now in the library of the Concord Antiquarian Society. Or, if you are interested in Emerson’s poetry, you can read John Q. Anderson’s The Liberating Gods: Emerson on Poets and Poetry (U Miami P 1971) and you can read the e-book by John Michael Corrigan American metempsychosis: Emerson, Whitman, and the new poetry (Fordham UP 2012)
During the second half of the course we will spend time together in the stacks. There is much to discover.
Electronic Resources and Archives
There is a vast archive of materials on the web. Some of it is useful. Some of it is not. For example, we have on order but have not received in the Mason Library two recent studies of Emerson and the abolition movement. Both of these studies are available in limited preview at google books: Virtue’s Hero: Emerson, Antislavery, and Reform by Len Gougeon (U of Georgia P 2010) andLen Gougeon and Joel Meyerson’s Emerson’s Antislavery Writings (Yale YP 1995)
Here are a few additional links:
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/emerson/ A reliable and dynamic encyclopedia. All entries and substantive updates are refereed to maintain high academic standards while evolving and adapting in response to new research.
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/emerson/ A digital edition of the Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Centenary Edition, edited and with notes by Edward Waldo Emerson.
http://www.rwe.org/ Emerson’s Complete Works comes from the 12 volume Centenary Edition, originally published in 1903-04. The digital edition of the Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Centenary Edition, can be searched by single word and phrase; by combinations of two or three words in a single document, page, or paragraph; co-occurrence of two or three words or phrases; or by title.