MICHAEL PARKER 201 McIver Bldg. Office Phone: 334-4696
Office Hours: T,Th 1-2 and by appt. (Note: It is advisable to make an appointment even during office hours)
This is a survey of recent trends in the Contemporary Novel. The novels have been chosen to represent a variety of technical and thematic approaches to the novel form itself, and I will focus in my lectures and in our discussions on the ways in which these novelists represent the changing fabric of American culture through these technical and thematic means.
In addition to regular attendance and participation in class discussion, you are responsible for two papers (5-7 pages typed) a final examination, and short quizzes on the material. The quizzes will usually be given on the first day we are scheduled to talk about a novel. Needless to say, you need to have read the novel before we begin to discuss it. Your lowest quiz grade will be dropped. (NOTE: I do not give make-up quizzes.)
Since this class meets twice a week, you are allowed two unexcused absences, which of course is a full week of class. Each additional unexcused absence will affect your end- of-semester grade. I do make occasional allowances for medical emergencies when a doctor's excuse, or similarly official documents, is provided. Please come to class on time, as arriving late is disruptive to everyone, and frequent tardiness will also affect your final grade.
I will provide you with some suggestions for paper topics, but I encourage you to write about any aspect of these novels that you wish, so long as your discussion encompasses to some degree both technical and thematic considerations and how the two are related. If you would rather not write about a suggested topic, I ask that you clear your topic with me in advance. In the event that you do not turn your paper in on time, your grade will be lowered one letter grade for each day it is late. We'll both want to avoid this situation. I would like for your papers to be double-spaced, legibly typed, carefully proofread; you should number your pages and title your analysis. We will talk further about format when the time comes.
Grading Percentages: Quizzes, 20 %; Paper 1, 25%; Paper 2, 25%; Final Exam, 20%; Participation and Attendance, 10%.
At the end of this course, students will:
--be familiar with recent thematic and technical developments in the Contemporary Novel;
--be able to apply close reading skills and textual analysis to novels;
--have a broader understanding of the relationship between novel form and:
--modes of consciousness;
--conception of time;
--representations of history and community;
--have a greater understanding of stylistic variation, narrative rhythm and narrative time and the way in which these technical elements enhance theme.
--20--Class Introduction. Assignment: Stoner, and handouts.
--22--Introduction to Trends in Contemporary Novel; Discuss handouts. Read Stoner.
--03--Stoner; Revolutionary Road (Quiz)
--10- Revolutionary Rd, Outer Dark (Quiz)
--19--Lesson Before Dying (Quiz)
--24--Lesson Before Dying.
--26--Song of Solomon (Quiz)
--01--Song of Solomon First Paper Due
--03--Song of Solomon; Love Medicine
--08--Love Medicine (Quiz)
--17--Wolf Whistle (Quiz)
--24--Wolf Whistle; Disgrace.
--05--Carpenter's Gothic (Quiz)
--12--Carpenter's Gothic; Being Dead; Second Paper Due
--14--Being Dead (Quiz)
--19--Being Dead; Plainsong.
--05--Catch up, Final Exam Review.
Michael F. Parker