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ENG 212H: British
Literature, Romantic to Modern
Instructor: Dr. Brad Sullivan
Office: McIver 115
Office hours: M W 3:15-4:45, F 1-2:30, and by appointment
Class meeting times: M W F 10:00-10:50 McIver 139A
Course Texts: Damrosch et al. Longman Anthology of British Literature. Volume II
Handouts as needed.
“Open Door” Policy
I have regular office hours, and would love to discuss your
work, your concerns, and your successes during those hours. I also try my best
to make appointments at other times when students need them, and to be readily
available for questions, comments, and concerns via email and phone. When you
are pleased with the way things are going, I am always delighted to hear it. If
you are frustrated, I NEED to hear it. Don't rely entirely on scheduled
conferences. My door is always “open,” and I hope to see you often.
In this honors section of English 212, we will examine
British literature in its cultural contexts from 1780 to 1940 or so. The aim of
literary study is to bring “patterns that matter” to the attention of ourselves
and others--to focus and assign value to human experience. To facilitate that
process, we will focus on several “threads of inquiry” this term: points of
entry into the 19th- and 20th-century world of British literature and culture.
Each of the following areas raises questions central to the understanding of
this period in British history and how it has influenced us:
· Environment and Technology (How were both changing? How did technology and industrial development change not only the landscape, but the way people perceived “nature”?)
· Self and Other (How did the idea of the “self” become predominant? How did science handle the idea of the “self”? What sorts of relationships were imagined and constructed between men and women, between individuals and societies, and between culture and nature?)
· Art and Life (What was the role of art in an industrializing nation? How could art have “utility”? Could art “shape” life? inform it? or merely mirror it? Should art aim for acceptance among a broadening audience? Or offer alternative visions to a select few?)
The Learning Community Concept
ENG 212 is not a lecture-centered class that “delivers instruction.” It is a structured learning environment that can best be seen as a “learning community.” While the “learning community” concept is generally applied to interconnected classes, it is a useful concept for reorganizing our approach to learning in individual classes as well.
In a learning community, all members are responsible for the learning of the group. Each member contributes their ideas, energy, and writings for the better understanding of their colleagues. Each member must play the roles of both teacher and learner, leader and follower, speaker and listener, as the needs of the community dictate. Some general “rules of engagement” make it possible for a learning community to grow and develop effectively:
RESPECT other viewpoints and
opinions, both written and spoken.
LISTEN to what others have to say and to write.
SHARE what you have to say and to write.
LEARN from your interaction with people, texts, and contexts in this class.
From these “rules of engagement” come some more particular guidelines that will help you to succeed in this class:
· Remember that none of us have all the “right answers,” but all of us have some valuable ones to share with others.
· Ask questions! Repeatedly! A well-considered question is worth a thousand trivial answers.
· Show consistent effort and engagement in all class activities. Attendance and participation are very important! I believe that we only learn by trying things, by DOING. So I expect to see you giving every activity your best effort.
· Read closely and carefully, take notes as you read, and compose thoughtful reactions to share with the class via our discussion board.
· Find one or more issues of genuine interest to you, and pursue better knowledge of that issue or those issues with passion!
Members of a learning community support each other by respecting and listening to each other, by suggesting resources to each other, and by providing positive feedback to each other. But members of a learning community also challenge each other by expecting their colleagues to be responsible, to participate fully, to love learning and to work hard at it, and to deepen and broaden their understanding as the semester progresses. As the facilitator of this learning community, I will model these behaviors.
Course Learning Outcomes
Working together, we will achieve the following learning outcomes:
· Learners will demonstrate a broad knowledge of the major events, issues, and ideas of British Literature and Culture in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (up to World War II).
· Learners will demonstrate clear understanding of major themes, concerns, and literary techniques of significant nineteenth- and twentieth-century British authors.
· Learners will formulate textual and cultural interpretations that connect literary study to broader contexts such as philosophy, religion, gender relations, and the social and natural sciences.
· Learners will construct and communicate clear, well-considered analyses and interpretations of texts and cultural contexts.
· Learners will demonstrate proficiency in using technology (word processing, Blackboard, Internet, e-mail) effectively for composition and communication.
This class will share UNCG's commitment to the use of learning tools provided by new technology. I don’t believe in using computer technologies just because they are trendy, but I believe that your learning experience in this class will be enhanced by the use of several technological tools. We will use the Internet and the online discussion function of Blackboard extensively, and we will use electronic mail (email) as needed.
Blackboard will serve as our communications center, and it will also serve as a source of information and ideas for your writing. On the Announcements page, I will post important notices about changes in the reading or writing assignment schedule, announcements of special events or assignments, and other information vital to your success in the course. Resources for the course, including this course overview, can be found on the External Links page.
Email provides a valuable channel of one-on-one communication for us—above and beyond conferences, office hour chats, and class time. Please make use of e-mail to communicate with me and your classmates whenever necessary.
It is your responsibility to use Blackboard and the Internet effectively and to stay informed of class developments via these technologies. You should be comfortable using email as well. I will be glad to provide assistance in the use of these technologies if you are unfamiliar with them. But I expect that you will let me know if you are having difficulties using them!
Reading and Discussion Board Postings
Your success in this class will depend largely on your engagement with the readings and the discussions of those readings we hold in class. We will facilitate these discussions by doing some homework in preparation for them. Before coming to class for each session, you need to read the assigned readings and make an entry on our class discussion board. These entries must be 100 or more words in length, and should offer thoughtful critical reactions to the text. You might offer some analysis that focuses on a particular character, on a theme that you see developing, on a passage that seems significant for the text as a whole, or on a repeated image or symbol that seems to be important in the text.
Then, after each week of discussion and consideration, you will post a reflective entry to the discussion board. This entry will take a broader view, connecting earlier entries and responses, connecting different authors and readings with each other, or connecting authors and readings with the broader contexts we're discussing in class.
These discussion board postings will provide evidence that you are doing close reading and thinking about the texts, and they will contribute to the class's understanding as we proceed. The discussion board can be a place for discussions that we will not have time to hold in the classroom as we hasten through this survey--it can add an exciting and enriching dimension to the class. Let's work together to make it so.
This section of ENG 212 is not formally “writing intensive,” but writing will still be an important component of your learning process. The discussion board is an extended writing assignment that will help you develop ideas for the essays and exams that you will write in the class. The short analysis assignments are designed to help you reach two important outcomes: developing your critical analysis skills and developing your awareness of the ways social, intellectual, and natural contexts shape the making and understanding of literature.
In addition to the discussion board work and the examination essays, you will work throughout the semester on refining your skills at writing short analysis essays. These brief essays may explicate a short poem or provide a well-focused analysis of a feature of a longer work from our reading list. Ideas for these papers may come from discussion board entries, and you should feel free to develop ideas sketched out there (by yourself or others). Your aim is to identify a significant pattern in the text (of symbols, character issues, events, narrative styles, and so on), to explain why the pattern is significant, and to suggest how it informs the text, serves central themes, and/or makes the text meaningful.
In order to facilitate the development of your interpreting and writing skills, you will complete two short analysis essays, revising at least one--and probably both--of them. The initial version of each paper you turn in will be treated by me as an advanced draft. I will provide you with comments and guidance on this draft, and you will then revise it into a final “product” that will receive a grade. By the end of this process, you should understand the work at hand and be using an effective draft-and-revise approach to writing essays.
Guidelines for Essay Submission
Essays should be word-processed and double-spaced, allowing room for comments and suggestions. Despite the objectivity of the reader, neatness never hurts the presentation of good ideas (hint, hint).
An initial deadline is really a deadline. Unless I make official changes, all papers will be due at the beginning of our scheduled class meeting on the day listed in the course syllabus.
In the case of personal illness, an emergency, or a death in the family, it is your responsibility to
1. Have a friend deliver your work to me at class or at the English Department Office (McIver 133) before 4:30 pm on the due date
2. Contact me by phone or e-mail to make arrangements to complete and/or deliver the assignment either 1) on the due date (in the case of personal illness) or 2) as soon as possible thereafter (in the case of emergencies or deaths in the family).
Attendance and Participation
Your attendance and involvement in class activities are important not only for you, but for your fellow learners. Many minds are better than one, and if we all contribute we all learn that much more. Absences (class meetings which you do not attend at all, attend late by more than 10 minutes, or leave early) will be reflected in your class participation grade. If you accumulate four or more absences, each absence up to nine will reduce your final grade average by 3 points (4 absences = 12 points off, 6 absences = 18 points off, and so on). Nine or more absences provide sufficient grounds for failing the course. You are always responsible for making up work missed during absences.
I am willing to make exceptions for legitimate circumstances that require your absence, but to have “excused” absences you must communicate with me in advance of the class or classes missed (unless you face a verifiable emergency).
My evaluation of your work in this class will be based on two complementary areas of judgment: (1) Completion of assignments (on time and with evidence of ongoing effort), and (2) Quality of completed assignments. To receive a C or better in this course, you must satisfactorily complete all course requirements: discussion board postings, writing projects, and examinations.
The class grade will be divided into portions as follows:
25% Discussion board postings
15% Mid-term examination I (Romanticism)
15% Mid-term examination II (Victorianism)
15% Final examination (Comprehensive)
30% Short Analysis papers
A 90% - 100% Excellent
B+ 87% - 89.9%
B 80% - 86.9% Very Good
C+ 77% - 79.9%
C 70% - 76.9% Satisfactory
D 60% - 69.9% Unsatisfactory results, but good effort sustained and progress made
F 0% - 59.9% Failing
(Always subject to revision with advance notice)
Please read the brief introductions of each author provided in Longman.
M Aug 19 Introductions
and opening comments. Technology orientation.
W Aug 21 Course overview, goals and expectations.
Reading (done before class): Course Outline
F Aug 23 Introduction to Romanticism
Reading: “The Romantics and Their Contemporaries” (pp 3-28).
[Discussion board entry #1]
M Aug 26 Major Contexts: The
French Revolution and The “Rights of Man.”
Readings: E. Burke, from Reflections on the Revolution in France (57-66)
M. Wollstonecraft, from A Vindication of the Rights of Men (67-75).
W Aug 28 TBA
F Aug 30 Anna Laetitia Barbauld.
Readings: Introduction (29), “To a Little Invisible Being” (32),
M Sept 2 LABOR DAY. No
W Sept 4 Barbauld.
Reading: “The First Fire” (43-44).
F Sept 6 William Wordsworth.
Readings: Introduction (312-314), “We Are Seven,” “Lines Written in Early
Spring,” “Expostulation and Reply,” & “The Tables Turned” (317-27)
M Sept 9 Wordsworth.
Reading: Preface to Lyrical Ballads (selections)
W Sept 11 Wordsworth
F Sept 13 Wordsworth.
Readings: “Nutting” (342), “Composed Upon Westminster Bridge . . .” (360),
“The world is too much with us” (360).
M Sept 16 Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
Reading: Introduction (476), “This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison” (480), “Kubla
Khan” (501), “Frost at Midnight” (518).
W Sept 18 Coleridge
F Sept 20 Coleridge.
Reading: “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” (482-498).
First Short Analysis Essay (Initial draft for comments) due.
M Sept 23 John Keats.
Reading: Introduction (746-48), “On First Looking into Chapman's
Homer” (748), “La Belle Dame Sans Merci” (768), “When I
have fears” (758).
W Sept 25 Keats.
Reading: Letters to Benjamin Bailey, George and Thomas Keats, John
Hamilton Reynolds, and John Taylor (794-97)
F Sept 27 Keats.
Reading: “Ode on a Nightingale” (773), “Ode on a Grecian Urn” (775).
M Sept 30 Percy Bysshe Shelley.
Reading: Introduction (651), “To Wordsworth” (653), “Ozymandias” (659)
W Oct 2 Shelley.
Reading: “Ode to the West Wind” (670-72).
F Oct 4 TBA
M Oct 7 Romanticism
wrap-up and catch up.
W Oct 9 Examination #1: Identifications
F Oct 11 Examination #1: Essays
M Oct 14 FALL BREAK. No class
W Oct 16 Introduction to “Victorianism.”
Reading: “The Victorian Age” (1032-57).
F Oct 18 TBA
First Short Analysis Essay due for grade.
M Oct 21 Major Context: Darwin and
the Theory of Evolution.
Reading: Darwin Introduction and selections (1282, 1293-1303).
W Oct 23 Alfred, Lord Tennyson.
Reading: Introduction (1184-87), “The Kraken” (1187), “The Lady of Shalott”
(1189), “Break, Break, Break” (1201), Huxley selection (1334-39)
F Oct 25 Tennyson
M Oct 28 Tennyson.
Reading: Intro to “Idylls of the King” (1245) and “The Passing of Arthur” (1270-80),
“Crossing the Bar” (1281).
W Oct 30 Christina Rossetti.
Reading: Introduction, “After Death” (1707), “In an Artist's Studio” (1709),
“An Apple-Gathering” (1710)
F Nov 1 Rossetti
Reading: “Winter: My Secret” (1711), “Up-Hill” (1712), & “Sleeping at Last” (1727).
Second Short Analysis Essay (advanced draft) due.
M Nov 4 Robert Browning
Reading: Introduction, “Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister” (1349-51), “My Last
W Nov 6 Browning
Reading: “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came” (1362-67).
F Nov 8 TBA
M Nov 11 Dickens, A Christmas Carol (1394-1443).
W Nov 13 Dickens
F Nov 15 Victorian Wrap-up
M Nov 18 Examination #2: Identifications
W Nov 20 Examination #2: Essays
F Nov 22 Introduction to the Twentieth Century.
Reading: “The Twentieth Century” (1990-2012).
M Nov 25 Thomas Stearns Eliot.
Reading: Introduction, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” (2420)
Second Short Analysis Essay Due for Grade
W Nov 27 THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY. No Class Meeting.
F Nov 29 THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY. No Class Meeting.
M Dec 2 T.S. Eliot
Readings: “Journey of the Magi,” “The Hippopotamus” (handout)
W Dec 4 William Butler Yeats.
Reading: Introduction, “No Second Troy,” “The Second
Coming” (2312), “Crazy Jane Talks with the Bishop” (2326) and “The
Circus Animals Desertion” (2328).
F Dec 6 Yeats.
M Dec 9 Semester wrap-up.
Comprehensive Final Examination, 8-11 am