10 August 2017

The Education of Sylvia Plath, Smith College, 1951-1952

This is the second post in a series on the Education of Sylvia Plath and it reviews the courses she took during the 1951-1952 academic year.

In Sylvia Plath's second year at Smith College, she roomed with Marcia Brown (later Stern), in Room 6 of Haven House. This room was on the middle floor of the house (2nd floor American, 1st floor elsewhere). Plath's room faced the Davis Student Center this year and the room had a bay window, a nice architectural feature.

View from bay window of Room 6, toward Library

View from bay window of Room 6, toward Elm Street
1950s floor plan of Haven House

As with her first year, Plath carried six courses and received 15 credits (Physical Education did not earn her any credit). Using the finding aid to Plath mss II at the Lilly Library, I have added some of the papers that Sylvia Plath submitted for her courses. Her artwork I am unable to attribute at this time, an oversight for which I apologize. Plath's notebooks for Government 11 and Religion 14 are held by the Lilly Library.

Art 210: Development of Principles and Methods of Visual Expression. Studio and individual projects in creative pictorial organization, using various painting and graphic media and techniques. Prerequisite, 13. Students must consult the instructor before enrolling. Nine studio hours of which six must be M T W 10-12. Mr Cohen. (51)

English 211: Literature of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. M T W 9. Miss Randall and Miss Drew. (71).

English 220a, 220b: Practice in Various Forms of Writing. M T W 11, 2. Miss Page. (73)

"The Perfect Set-Up", September 1951;
"The Estonian", 30 October 1951;
"Sonnet: To Eva", before 2 November 1951;
"Sonnet: To Time", before 15 November 1951;
"Somebody and We", 15 November 1951;
"Suburban Nocturne", 15 November 1951;
"Mary Ventura", 14 December 1951;
"All I Can Tell You Is about the Fog", Spring 1952;
"The Latvian", 29 February 1952;"Though Dynasties Pass", 14 March 1952;
"Sunday at the Mintons", March-April 1952;
"The Dead", 11 April 1952; "Marie", 4 May 1952; and
"Cinderella", 1951-1952
Government 11: Introduction to Politics. Leading problems, principles, and concepts in political science. For Freshmen and Sophomores only; not open to students who have taken Social Science 192. Two lectures and one recitation. Lee. M T 12. Rec. W 9, 12, 2; Th 11, 12, 3; F 11, 2. Mr Overstreet, Mr Pierce, and members of the Department. (84)

Physical Education 2a, 2b: Dance and Sports. Three periods of one hour each. Required for Sophomores. Each term a choice of sports and dance as listed under the corresponding term for 1a and b. (111)

Religion 14: Introduction to the Study of Religion. Teachings of contemporary Judaism, Roman Catholicism, and Protestantism. Problems presented by scientific thought, nationalism, and industrialized society. Survey of certain important religious ideas. For Freshmen and Sophomores only. Lee. Th 10. Rec. (for Freshmen) Th F 3, F S 10; (for Sophomores) Th F 2, F S 10. Miss Corwin, Mr Christian. (117)

["Religious Beliefs"], circa Fall 1951?;
"Unitarianism: Yesterday and Today", 8 December 1951; and
"Religion As I See It", 3 May 1952

See the other posts in the Education of Sylvia Plath series: 1950-1951; 1952-1953; 1954; and 1954-1955.

All links accessed 2 August and 7 December 2017.

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Publications & Acknowledgements

  • BBC Four.A Poet's Guide to Britain: Sylvia Plath. London: BBC Four, 2009. (Acknowledged in)
  • Biography: Sylvia Plath. New York: A & E Television Networks, 2005. (Photographs used)
  • Connell, Elaine. Sylvia Plath: Killing the angel in the house. 2d ed. Hebden Bridge: Pennine Pens, 1998. (Acknowledged in)
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives." Plath Profiles 2. Summer 2009: 183-208.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives, Redux." Plath Profiles 3. Summer 2010: 232-246.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives 3." Plath Profiles 4. Summer 2011: 119-138.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives 4: Looking for New England." Plath Profiles 5. Summer 2012: 11-56.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives 5: Reanimating the Past." Plath Profiles 6. Summer 2013: 27-62.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. These Ghostly Archives: The Unearthing of Sylvia Plath. Oxford: Fonthill, 2017.
  • Death Be Not Proud: The Graves of Poets. New York: Poets.org. (Photographs used)
  • Doel, Irralie, Lena Friesen and Peter K. Steinberg. "An Unacknowledged Publication by Sylvia Plath." Notes & Queries 56:3. September 2009: 428-430.
  • Elements of Literature, Third Course. Austin, Tex. : Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2009. (Photograph used)
  • Gill, Jo. "Sylvia Plath in the South West." University of Exeter Centre for South West Writing, 2008. (Photograph used)
  • Helle, Anita Plath. The Unraveling Archive: Essays on Sylvia Plath. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2007. (Photographs used, acknowledged in)
  • Helle, Anita. "Lessons from the Archive: Sylvia Plath and the Politics of Memory". Feminist Studies 31:3. Fall 2005: 631-652.. (Acknowledged in)
  • Holden, Constance. "Sad Poets' Society." Science Magazine. 27 July 2008. (Photograph used)
  • Making Trouble: Three Generations of Funny Jewish Women, Motion Picture. Directed by Rachel Talbot. Brookline (Mass.): Jewish Women's Archive, 2007. (Photograph used)
  • Plath, Sylvia, and Karen V. Kukil. The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, 1950-1962. New York: Anchor Books, 2000. (Acknowledged in)
  • Plath, Sylvia, and Peter K. Steinberg and Karen V. Kukil (eds.). The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume 1, 1940-1956. London: Faber, 2017.
  • Plath, Sylvia, and Peter K. Steinberg and Karen V. Kukil (eds.). The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume 2, 1956-1963. London: Faber, 2018.
  • Plath, Sylvia. Glassklokken. Oslo: De norske Bokklubbene, 2004. (Photograph used on cover)
  • Reiff, Raychel Haugrud. Sylvia Plath: The Bell Jar and Poems (Writers and Their Works). Marshall Cavendish Children's Books, 2008.. (Images provided)
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "'A Fetish: Somehow': A Sylvia Plath Bookmark." Court Green 13. 2017.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "'I Should Be Loving This': Sylvia Plath's 'The Perfect Place' and The Bell Jar." Plath Profiles 1. Summer 2008: 253-262.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "'They Had to Call and Call': The Search for Sylvia Plath." Plath Profiles 3. Summer 2010: 106-132.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "A Perfectly Beautiful Time: Sylvia Plath at Camp Helen Storrow." Plath Profiles 4. Summer 2011: 149-166.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Proof of Plath." Fine Books & Collections 9:2. Spring 2011: 11-12.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Sylvia Plath." The Spoken Word: Sylvia Plath. London: British Library, 2010.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Textual Variations in The Bell Jar Publications." Plath Profiles 5. Summer 2012.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "The Persistence of Plath." Fine Books & Collections. Autumn 2017: 24-29
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "This is a Celebration: A Festschrift for The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath." Plath Profiles 3 Supplement. Fall 2010: 3-14.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Writing Life" [Introduction]. Sylvia Plath in Devon: A Year's Turning. Stroud, Eng.: Fonthill Media, 2014.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. Sylvia Plath (Great Writers). Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 2004.