Fall 2004; MWF 9-9:50 p.m.; NMOR227
I am a part of all I have read. —John Kieran.
Instructor: Laura Savu
Office: McIver 137D
Mailbox: 133 McIver
Office Hours: MWF: 1-2 p.m., and by appointment
Course information is available on Blackboard at: http://blackboard.uncg.edu/webapps/login
COURSE DESCRIPTION and OBJECTIVES
This is a discussion-based literature course designed to make its object approachable and enjoyable by connecting literary texts with your own experiences and by examining them from a variety of critical perspectives. Together we will look at the way we respond to and interact with different aspects of short stories, poems, and plays by (mostly) British and American writers. My goals for this semester are to teach you to:
• identify and understand the varied characteristics of literature
• learn to apply techniques of literary theory and analysis to each of the three genres
• enhance your understanding of a given literary work by seeing it in relation to other texts
• help you understand the aesthetic, cultural, and social value of these texts as well as of the contexts in which they have been written and/or interpreted
• speak and write about literature clearly, coherently, and effectively
Kirszner & Mandell, Portable Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing. 5th edition. Thomson, 2004. Plus CD-ROM: Literature in the 21st Century
1 loose-leaf notebook for your informal writings
E-mail/Internet Access: Please activate your UNCG email account and Novell passwords as soon as possible and make sure you can get onto the Internet. E-mail is the best way to contact me, while Internet access is absolutely necessary for accessing Blackboard and online sources.
1. Reading: We will do quite a bit of reading in this class, so it is important to keep up with the class assignments and take the time to read carefully and thoroughly. Occasional quizzes will be given to check that you are keeping up with the reading. Your first job as an individual reader is to identify words, phrases, passages, and ideas you find interesting, puzzling, unsettling, etc. This means reading with a pen or pencil in hand so that you can underline, highlight, or otherwise mark the material you want to discuss. Active reading will give you the tools to recognize the formal elements of literary composition; to search for and analyze theme, structure, and image; to make connections not only between texts but between these and the real world as well.
2. Responding: In this class, you will respond to the readings individually (see below), as a class, and in smaller groups. We will also be using in-class writing as a way to discover and express your own response to the literature that we read. In-class writings will be randomly collected.
3. Double-entry journal: At least once a week, unless notified otherwise, you will write an extended response (2 pages, typed, double-spaced) to that day’s reading. The required format for this response is the double-entry: The left side of your notebook page will consist of reading notes, direct quotations, paraphrasing, summary, etc. On the right side of the page, you will write down notes about these notes, comments, analytic points, interpretive questions, tentative insights, etc. Your weekly writings will be given a check plus, a check, or a check minus, depending on the effort, completion, improvement, and depth of thought.
4. Engaged class participation: Since this class is built around discussion,
it is vital that you come to class prepared to participate. Make sure you have
carefully read the assigned reading and are ready to ask questions and make
comments. You will find out that literary works accommodate different viable
interpretations, some of which may be contradictory. Since literature raises
questions for which there is no one “right” answer, you will not
have to worry about getting things wrong. As long as you can support your idea
with textual evidence, it is a good one. Testing out your ideas in class discussion
is a large part of what this course is about (and a significant part of your
grade). Hearing what other students have to say will expose you to ways of
looking at literature you may not have thought of and thus broaden your understanding
of the work under discussion. My hope is that you will learn to trust your
ideas, perceptions, and questions.
5. Exams: You will take an exam after each unit—Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. The exam will consist mainly of short essay questions designed to test your critical reading of the assigned texts. These exams will also review facts, terms, and themes covered in each of the three units. Please bring a blue book for each exam.
6. Group Presentations: You will be responsible for presenting material that will launch the class into discussion. Presenters should: 1) work together to introduce an author, text, theme, or historical or cultural issue of relevance to the assigned reading(s); 2) raise questions and have points ready to keep the discussion going and use appropriate support materials, visuals, and handouts; 3) be clear, brief, and relevant. Some of you may choose to present biographical information about an author, but you should not present only biography (most of our reading includes brief biographical notes about each author, and you can assume everyone will have read these). Rather, if you include biography it should be clearly linked to bigger questions, about how the author's life sheds light on the work or connects to broader issues about language and culture. You should plan to speak for about 7-8 minutes, with another 2-3 minutes of question and answer and discussion.
GRADING: The final breakdown is as follows:
Informal writings (double-entry journal and in-class responses): 10%
Attendance, Participation, and Reading Quizzes: 15%
Group Presentations: 15%
Exams: 20% each
Attendance: It is imperative that you show up to class, both physically and mentally every class period. I realize emergencies may come up which prevent you from attending class, which is why you are permitted 3 absences. Please use them wisely. It is also important to attend class on time. Two tardies equal one absence.
4 absences = highest grade b
5 absences = highest grade c
6 absences = highest grade c-
More than 6 absences = consider withdrawing or risk failing the class
If you miss class, it is your responsibility to contact me, or a classmate, to find out what you have missed before the next class meeting. An absence is not an excuse for coming to class unprepared.
Conferences: The purpose of conferences is to give you individual time to talk about your reading and writing with the instructor. Take charge of these conferences; they’re designed to address your needs. Bring your questions and ideas to the conference.
Late work: Reader responses need to be turned in on the day they are due. I will not accept late entries. Missed quizzes cannot be made up either.
Plagiarism: All work for this course must be done in keeping with the UNCG Academic Integrity Policy. Plagiarism will not be tolerated and academic penalties will be pursued to the fullest extent possible. Crediting sources places your work in a textual conversation and allows you to see your own contribution to that conversation. For instructions on proper citation methods, refer to your handbook or go to http://library.uncg.edu/depts/ref/handouts/mla.html.
Additional Assistance: You may consult with me on an individual basis or visit the Writing Center, located in 101 McIver and open Mon-Thur. 9-8, Fri. 9-3, and Sun. 6-9 pm. You may make an appointment by calling 334-3125 or just drop in to have a one-on-one conference with writing consultants.
The syllabus is subject to change. You are responsible to note any such changes by checking Blackboard regularly for updates.
Course Calendar (I)
This schedule of readings and assignments is tentative and may therefore be subject to change.
08/16 Introduction to course and to each other
08/18 Read: pp. 1-5 in Portable Literature
08/20 Read: Chapter 2, “Understanding Fiction” (37-39); Atwood, “Happy Endings” (43-46) and “A Final Note” (46)
In-class exercise: Double-entry journal (DEJ)
Last day to change courses or course sections without special permission
08/23 Read: “Plot” (47-50); DEJ: Kate Chopin, “The Story of an Hour” (50-52)
08/25 Read: “Character” (71-73); John Updike, “A & P” (74-79)
Getting into groups
08/27 Read: Mansfield, “Miss Brill” (81-83)
Groups sign up for presentations
Last day to drop course for tuition or fees refund
08/30 Read: “Setting” (98-101); Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper” (102-15)
Sign up for conferences
09/01 Conferences; class dismissed
09/03 Read: “Point of view” (136-42);
DEJ: Richard Wright, “Big Black Good Man” (142-53)
09/06 Labor Day; class dismissed
09/08 Read: Poe, “The Cask of Amontillado” (153-59)
Group # 1
09/10 Read: “Symbol and Allegory” (205-09); DEJ: Carver, “Cathedral” (228-40)
Group # 2
09/13 “Theme” (241-45); Lawrence, “The Rocking-Horse Winner” (258-70)
Group # 3
09/15 Read: Critical Approaches to Literature (e-reserve)
09/17 Read: Oates, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” (290-303)
Group # 4
09/20 DEJ: Walker, “Everyday Use”
Group # 5
Study Guide for Exam One
09/22 Read: Anderson, “Hands” (e-reserve)
09/24 Review Topics for Fiction Exam
09/27 Fiction Exam
09/29 Bring in favorite poem/song lyrics for group work and class discussion
Read: “Understanding Poetry” (339-41)
10/01 Read: “Understanding Poetry” (342-48)
DEJ: “Richard Cory” (573)
10/04 Read: “Discovering Themes in Poetry” (348-51)
Group # 6: “My Papa’s Waltz” or “Those Winter Sundays”
10/06 Read: “Voice”: “I’m nobody! Who are you?” and “My Last Duchess” (370-72)
Group # 7: “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” (546)
10/08 Read: “Word Choice, Word Order”(397-403) and Checklist (419)
DEJ: “Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers” (463) and “Mirror” (569)
10/13 Read: “Imagery” (421-24) and Checklist (429)
Group # 8: poems by Emily Dickinson (540-42)
10/15 Read: “Figures of Speech” (431-33; 442-45); Checklist (453); “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” (587)
10/18 Read: “Form” (477—82; 488; 501-02)
DEJ: read and respond to either “When I Have Fears” (565) or “”Not Marble, nor the Gilded Monuments” (574)
Study Guide For Exam II
10/20 Read: “Symbol, Allegory, Allusion, Myth” (506-510; 519-21)
“ Africa” (529) and “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” (558)
10/22 Review Topics for Poetry Exam
10/25 Poetry Exam
10/27 Read: Understanding Drama (595-607) and “Reading Drama” (621-22)
10/29 DEJ: Beauty (621)
11/01 Read: “Plot” (623-26) and Trifles (627-40)
11/03 A Doll House (Act I)
Group # 9
11/05 Read: A Doll House (Act II)
Group # 10
11/08 DEJ: A Doll House (Act III)
11/10 Approaches to A Doll House; in-class viewing of selected scene
Read: “Staging” (906-10)
11/12 Read: “Character” (698-704) and The Brute (709-21)
Group # 11
11/15 Read: “Theme” (970-74)
11/17 The Glass Menagerie (first 3 scenes)
Group # 12
11/19 Read: The Glass Menagerie (scenes 4-6)
Group # 13
11/22 DEJ: The Glass Menagerie (last scenes)
11/23 Instruction ends for Thanksgiving holiday
11/29 Approaches to Williams’s play; in-class viewing
12/01 Study Guide for Drama Exam
12/03 Review Topics for Drama Exam
12/06 Drama Exam