Instructor: Rebecca Jones
McIver 227, T&TH-12:30-1:45
Office: McIver 137, Hours: T-2-3:30 and TH-2-3:30
Lenses of Literature: Why Do We Read?
This class is about reading and thinking; culture and language; writing and discussion. We will look at basic literary genres and forms and use these to become better readers. By experimenting with different critical theories, we will look at literary texts through many lenses. This class is not about finding the correct "meaning" of the text, because each lens will offer a different reading experience.
To accomplish this we will work in groups, write weekly, and talk through and with the texts. Writing, speaking, and thinking go hand in hand, so we will use all of these tools to better understand what kind of readers we are and perhaps why we continue to study literature.
Student Learning Goals:
Literature and Its Writers (Compact Second Edition), Ann Charters and Samuel Charters
White Noise, Don DeLillo
Raisin in the Sun, one ticket to university performance in February
Critical Theories on e-reserve
On Thursdays, you will turn in a one page (at least) typed reading response. This response should address the week's reading and should NOT summarize the texts. You can comment on class discussion, explore connections in the texts, or use critical theory as a way of reading. Late responses not accepted.
Two short papers are required and both can be revised until you are satisfied with the work. However, you must revise one paper at least once.
There will be a midterm and final exam. Coming to class, writing thoughtful responses, and keeping reading notes should make the exams a breeze.
This course will depend on group work to assure that all students are engaged in the material. Though groups will meet at least once a week, there will be a few specific projects.
1 Groups will choose a poet for one of the poetry days toward the end of the semester.
2 We will often read poetry aloud in groups and perform parts of Oedipus.
3 Each group will read with a different critical theory in mind as they explore White Noise. The discoveries will be offered to the whole class.
Each day of class beginning January 29, we will have two discussion leaders. As discussion leaders, you are responsible for reading the texts extra carefully and doing a bit of research to offer a background on the time period of the texts or the authors. Please bring at least three discussion questions to class on the day you are leader. I encourage you to work with your partner to minimize repetition and divide the research work. I will be happy to talk with all groups before your day arrives.
Recommendations: I suggest you either get comfortable writing notes in the margins of your text or keeping a reading journal (See page 10). I would be happy to discuss any text in my office and to consult on paper topics. Also, I encourage you to revise your writing and to go the Writing Center. I will be especially happy to discuss papers and revisions in conference.
Respect: Since this is a discussion based class, respect for both your peers and your instructor is necessary. I hope that everyone will feel comfortable speaking freely. By "freely" I mean, thoughtful and compelling discussion that does not directly insult other students. Conflict is fine, but insult is not. I will respect you as intellectuals and expect the same in return.
No Tolerance for Plagiarism: Plagiarism is simply not accepted. Plagiarism means stealing all or parts (even sentences) from other authors and passing it off as your own work. This includes another student's work.
*This syllabus is subject to change. You are responsible for keeping up with the changes.
T Jan 15 Introduction
TH Jan 17 Read: Critical Theories 1543-1551
Amy Tan 537-540
Everyday Use 490-497
T Jan 22 (Last day to drop for refund)
Read: Hills Like White Elephants
TH Jan 24 Read: The Lesson 92
Battle Royal 162
T Jan 29 Read: The Red Convertible 173
In the Cemetery Where Al Johnson is Buried 238
Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? 379
TH Jan 31 Read: The Rocking-Horse Winner 316
A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings 188
T Feb 5 Read: No Name Woman e-reserve
Little Miracles, Kept Promises 148
TH Feb 7 Read: The Yellow Wallpaper 194
Commentaries 510 and 512
T Feb 12 Paper Due (Movie)
TH Feb 14 (O'Connor)
T Feb 19 (O'Connor)
TH Feb 21 Read: Oedipus the King 1015-1032
Aristotle 1453 & Fergusson 1462
T Feb 26 Read: Oedipus the King finish
TH Feb 28 Read: A Raisin in the Sun 1354
T Mar 5 A Raisin in the Sun response due
TH Mar 7 Midterm
Choose poet for group work
T Mar 12 Spring Break
TH Mar 14 Spring Break
M Mar 18 Conferences or e-mails about midterm grades
T Mar 19
TH Mar 22 Read: White Noise
T Apr 2 White Noise
TH Apr 4 White Noise
T Apr 9 White Noise
TH Apr 11 Read: To Autumn 635, We Real Cool 765, Oread 685, Sonnet in
Primary Colors 670
Look through Elements Sections 609-626 & 627-641
and read about poetic elements
New Criticism e-reserve
T Apr 16 Paper Due
TH Apr 18 Read: Choice
T Apr 23 Read: Choice
TH Apr 25 Read: Choice
T Apr 30 Read: Choice
TH May 2 Read: Choice or recitation
Review for final
T May 7 (Friday Class Schedule) NO CLASS
TH May 9 Final Exam
Last Chance to turn in paper revision