This class will examine texts that challenge our assumptions about the nature of identity. With a special emphasis on movement, we will read literature that depicts migration through exterior and interior space. We will attempt to uncover what these texts tell us about the ways that our various identities are constructed and configured in society, culture, and history. As we do so, we’ll also ask ourselves how writers explore the complexities of identity through the narrative form. By reading texts that complicate traditional understandings of identity, we will begin to ask ourselves whether such works undermine or stabilize conventional notions of identity. Finally, students will be asked to consider whether their conclusions about identity contribute to or complicate their view of a national identity.
Student Learning Goals for English 102:
At the completion of this course, student will be able to
• Communicate effectively and clearly through speaking and writing
• interpret and evaluate argumentative discourse
• construct cogent, logical and critical arguments
• locate, synthesize, and evaluate relevant information
• demonstrate an understanding of the aims and methods of intellectual discourse
• weigh evidence and evaluate the arguments of differing viewpoints
Pudd’nhead Wilson- Mark Twain
Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man- James Weldon Johnson
Tropic of Orange- Karen Tei Yamashita
Other texts you’ll access online
Book Club novel (to be determined at a later date)
UNCG email account (that you check daily), blackboard account
Book Club Work and Presentation – 25%
Essays (2) – 25%
Participation (class discussions, workshops, quizzes, etc) – 25%
Weekly Responses - 10%
Individual Speaking Assignments – 15%
2 formal presentations (10)
Introduction to a class discussion (5)
Book Club Presentations and participation: For a large part of the semester, you will be working in a book club group. In this group you’ll be reading a novel together and presenting it to the class. All group members will be held accountable for what goes on in their time together and I will regularly monitor the groups’ progress.
Formal Papers: You will write 2 papers, each around 4-5 pages long. Specific guidelines for these papers will be given at a later date. Failure to turn in a paper will result in a failing grade in the course.
Attendance: Class discussion and participation are very important to me. In this class, your presence and participation are crucial to your success. Because this class is labeled speaking intensive, it is necessary for you to be present and ON TIME at all class meetings (with all required materials). More than two absences will negatively affect your grade. After five absences you will fail the course unless you withdraw before the deadline. An absence on the date an assignment is due is not an excuse for missing a deadline. Arrange to send the assignment via another student or be sure I have it before class begins. Work missed as a result of an absence cannot me made-up. Additionally, an absence is not an excuse for being unprepared for the next class. You are responsible for determining what you may have missed. A note on tardiness: It’s rude and indicates a lack of regard for this class. If you arrive 10 minutes late or leave 10 minutes early, you are marked absent.
Reading Assignments: Part of attendance is keeping up with your reading assignments. Please take time to not only read the assignments, but to really think about them. I expect you to come to class with ideas about what you’ve read. That’s not to say that you have to come with all the answers. Think about how it might relate to previous texts either by supporting or contradicting them. Think about any new issues it may raise, its form or structure, or anything about the text that interests or confuses you. You cannot expect to do well in class if you don’t read. To keep you honest, I will conduct regular reading quizzes that will factor into your class participation grade.
Weekly Responses: Beginning on August 30, each week you will be responsible for one single-page, single-spaced typed response to the day’s readings. In this response you will attempt a close reading of the day’s assignment. To do this you will discuss an issue that arises during your own reading or a particular passage and its importance to the text as a whole. You might begin with a brief quote from the text or a problem you may have identified (contradictions, gaps, etc). While there are different ways of going about this assignment, it is important to understand that this is NOT a plot summary. I want to know your thoughts on the text. What is particularly interesting to you and why?
These responses will be sent to me as an email attachment NO LATER than 5PM on _____________________.
Short Individual Presentations: OK! Want that speaking intensive credit? Then you have to talk in class. There’s no way around it. Though you’ll be speaking in class on a daily basis, twice during the semester you will be required to make a brief presentation to the class. These presentations will be based on your papers (note I say based on…not recited from). More on this later.
Late work policy: BOTD policy is in effect.
Academic Honor/Plagiarism Policy:
Plagiarism is theft of thought and my policy is simple...don’t do it. If you have any questions about what constitutes plagiarism please consult the UNCG student handbook. If you are still uncertain about citing something, see me.
Classroom Behavior Conduct:
The key word is respect. Have it for yourself and others. While dealing with topics ranging from race, nationality, gender, and sexuality, it is inevitable for us to get uncomfortable. Nevertheless, it is inappropriate to be disrespectful. Please refrain from inflammatory comments inside of class. Furthermore, please refrain from talking while anyone else has the floor; such behavior reflects a disregard for the other person. As my colleague says, this is not the 13th grade. Conduct yourself accordingly. I reserve the right to ask a student to leave when he/she fails to abide by these guidelines. If this occurs, the student will be marked absent. Continual offenders will be withdrawn from the class.
Students with Disabilities: If you have a disability that could affect your performance in this course, or for which you need accommodation, please contact me and/or the Office of Disability Services at 334-5400.
This free resource offers assistance in the preparation and delivery of speeches, as well as development of knowledge and skills in interpersonal communication, and overall success in group communication situations. If you visit the speaking center for assistance before your presentations, I will raise your presentation grade by ½ a letter grade. Be sure to call and make an appointment ahead of time 256-1346.
Complete schedule for the semester to soon follow.