English 105-06 Syllabus
Introduction to Narrative
Fall 2001 MW 6:00-7:15
Instructor: Lee Templeton
Office: 01K Petty Science
Office Phone: 334-3294
Office Hours: MW 2:00-3:15, or by appointment
". . .This is what the great critics do. They put different books in touch with each other in order to discover more about the world."
- Roberto Controneo
"I hate it that Americans are taught to fear some books and some ideas as though they were diseases."
- Kurt Vonnegut
Course Description and Goals:
This class is an introduction to narrative literature. As such, we will practice critical reading and thinking skills through the study of narrative literature and the critical discussions relating to its study. Special attention will be given to such aspects as plot, character, setting, point of view, theme, style, tone, and language with the intent of observing how various authors employ these elements.
As a focus for our discussion of narrative, we will examine several texts that, at one point in time or another, were the target of book-banning campaigns. These challenged or "controversial" books rest at the center of debates concerning the First Amendment and free speech, and as such provide an opportunity for investigating the moral, social, and political impact literature has on American and global society. Some of the larger issues we will address this semester include: How does literature affect public opinion? Should constitutional protection of free speech stop at the media and arts? Are the objections to these books legitimate? What role do writers play in a society?
Student Learning Goals:
At the completion of this course, you will be able to:
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain
The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger
The Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie
Selections on reserve in Jackson Library
Paired Presentation (details to be given in class)
Exams:Exams will be a combination of identification and discussion questions that will examine your understanding of individual works, terminology, and general thematic issues. We'll usually review the class before. Note: You are responsible for all the reading assigned.
Reading Journals:Throughout the semester, I will ask you to write a one to two page typed critical response to one of the works we are reading at that time. (Check class schedule for specific dates). I have read the works, so you should avoid summarizing the material. Instead, focus on some element of the work that you present in a thesis statement and develop in the paper using concrete evidence from the text (use at least two pieces of concrete evidence in your discussion). An alternative approach would be to do some kind of creative writing (write a new scene, a new ending, a letter from one character to another, a poem, a newspaper account, etc). You could also compare the text with a film or television adaptation. Responses do not require secondary research. If you use research, make sure you use it correctly. These journals should be typed double-spaced with standard margins and no bigger than a 12-point font. Journals will be due at the beginning of class and will not be accepted late.
Daily Grade:This part of your grade is really where your effort pays off and basically refers to your level of class participation as well as your "ethos" as a student. In other words, your "ethos" refers to how you present yourself as a student. For example, an excellent attendance record and consistent contributions to class discussion are behaviors that project a good ethos. Looking bored, not following directions, being late are all examples of negative behaviors. Class participation is basically the consistent pattern that emerges. Another part of this grade will be determined by an in-class assignment that you'll do. Within the first week of class, I'll pass around a sign up sheet for you to choose a work that you would like to lead discussion on. Basically, you'll be responsible for bringing in three typed questions/ comments that you would like for the class to explore in a discussion. These can range from asking people what they thought about a critical scene, asking about events and characters or making comparisons with other texts. You can also ask things that you don't know the answer to. The reason we'll be conducting class this way is to allow you to express your opinion and explore issues of concern to you. Also, these questions may form the basis of exam questions. You'll receive a check plus (exceptional), check (average to good), or a check minus (below average). The distinction will be made based on the quality of the questions, how specific and thoughtful they are. For example, the question "I didn't like Rappacini because his obsession with his work makes him forget his personal relationships. In the garden scene where Giovanni learns of the secret, what did you think about his reasoning? Did you find it convincing" works well because it is specific. If you would like some advice about your questions in advance, please let me know.
You are expected to be here and to be on time. This course involves a great deal of in-class discussion that is impossible to make up outside of class. If you miss more than three classes (excused or unexcused), I will subtract 5% from your final grade for each absence. Excessive tardies and absences will significantly and negatively affect your grade, and if you miss work, you will not be allowed to make it up. If, however, you know that you will have to miss class, make arrangements with me prior to your absence. Deadlines will be adhered to strictly, and late work will be accepted only in the most extreme circumstances.
Since this course involves a significant amount of class participation and feedback, thoughtless and rude behavior (to your classmates or to the instructor) will not be tolerated. All work for this class must be done in the spirit of the UNCG Academic Integrity Policy, which can be fund in your student handbook.
Plagiarism is strictly prohibited.
Learning is an active process, and what you do affects the quality of your education. Your job as a student is to think seriously about literature, to read the assigned materials, to discuss the materials in class, and to write intelligently in response to what you learn and know. If you do these four things, you will find yourself a better reader, thinker, and student at the end of the semester.
Learning involves interacting with others. I expect each student to participate in discussion, for in those discussions you try out your ideas and arguments on a live audience, who will respond to your opinions and make you develop your points more thoroughly. I do not wish to lecture; I want you to participate in creating a learning community in the class by constantly responding to each other.
Finally, learning can only thrive in an atmosphere that encourages the honest and fair exchange of ideas. As I stated before, the taking of another
Class Schedule (subject to change)
Mon. 8/20: Introduction/Expectations
Wed. 8/22: What is Narrative?
"A Banned Book: One Hundred Years of
Mon. 8/27: Huckleberry Finn, Chapters 1-9
Wed. 8/29: HF, Ch. 10-16
Mon. 9/3: Labor Day
Wed. 9/5: HF, Ch. 17-22
Mon. 9/10: HF, Ch. 23-29
Wed. 9/12: HF, Ch. 30-37
Reading Journal #1 Due
Mon. 9/17: HF, Ch. 38-43 (Chapter the Last)
Wed. 9/19: Review for Exam #1
Mon. 9/24: Exam #1
Wed. 9/26: The Catcher in the Rye, Chapters 1-5
Mon. 10/1: CR, Ch. 6-10
Wed. 10/3: CR, Ch. 11-15
Reading Journal #2 Due
Mon. 10/8: Fall Break
Wed. 10/10: CR, Ch. 16-19
Mon. 10/15: CR, Ch. 20-24
Wed. 10/17: CR, Ch. 25-26
Mon. 10/22: Review for Exam #2
Wed. 10/24: Exam #2
Mon. 10/29: The Satanic Verses, pages 3-52
Wed. 10/31: SV, p. 52-103
Reading Journal #3 Due
Mon. 11/5: SV, p. 103-154
Wed. 11/7: SV, p. 154-206
Mon. 11/12: SV, p. 206-259
Wed. 11/14: SV, p. 259-310
Reading Journal #4 Due
Mon. 11/19: SV, p. 310-367
Wed. 11/21: Thanksgiving Break
Mon. 11/26: SV, p. 371-422
Wed. 11/28: SV, p. 423-476
Reading Journal #5 Due
Mon. 12/3: SV, p. 476-521
Wed. 12/5: SV, p. 525-561
Mon. 12/10: Review for Exam #3
Mon. 12/17: Exam #3, 7:00-10:00 pm
Articles on Reserve in Jackson Library
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Leonard, James S., Thomas A. Tenney, and Thadious M. Davis, eds. Satire or Evasion? Black
Perspectives on Huckleberry Finn. Durham: Duke University Press, 1991.
- Jones, Betty H. "Huck and Jim: A Reconsideration." 154-172.
- Williams, Kenny J. "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; or, Mark Twain
Sloane, David E. E., ed. Mark Twain
- Fiedler, Leslie A. "Huckleberry Finn: The Book We Love to Hate." 217-234.
- Smith, Henry Nash. "A Sound Heart and a Deformed Conscience." 235-264.
Twain, Mark. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Ed. Thomas Cooley. New York: W. W. Norton &
- Fishkin, Shelley Fisher. "Jimmy." [from Was Huck Black?] 375-383.
- Morrison, Toni. "This Amazing, Troubling Book." 385-392.
- Smiley, Jane. "Say It Ain
The Catcher in the Rye
Salzberg, Joel, ed. Critical Essays on Salinger
- Heisserman, Arthur, and James E. Miller, Jr. "J. D. Salinger: Some Crazy Cliff." 32-39.
- Kaplan, Charles. "Holden and Huck: The Odysseys of Youth." 39-44.
- Schriber, Mary Suzanne. "Holden Caulfield, C
Salzman, Jack, ed. New Essays on The Catcher in the Rye. Cambridge: Cambridge University
- Baumbach, Jonathan. "The Saint as a Young Man: A Reappraisal of The Catcher in the Rye." 55-64.
- Edwards, Duane. "Holden Caulfield:
- Oldsey, Bernard S. "The Movies in the Rye." 92-99.
- Shaw, Peter. "Love and Death in The Catcher in the Rye." 97-114.
The Satanic Verses
Pipes, Daniel. The Rushdie Affair: The Novel, the Ayatollah, and the West. New York: Carol
- "How is the Book Blasphemous?" 53-69.
- "Blame Rushdie for the Furor?" 70-86.
- "Why Fundamentalist Muslims Picked on Rushdie." 106-120.
- "Censorship and its Costs." 195-213.