Introduction to Literature Syllabus

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Introduction to Literature Syllabus

    Dr. Lucy Price, Instructor

    Case 305C, ext. 8471

    Office Hours: 10:30 11:30 a.m. MWF

    2 3 p.m. TTh. and by appt.

    English 120 - Introduction to Literature

    Syllabus Spring 2009

    Course Description: This course introduces students to the major literary genres of narrative fiction, poetry, and drama and examines the interrelationships between language and aesthetic experience. Literary works will serve as the basis for study of the ways in which writers consciously employ language to create aesthetic expressions which reflect experiences of the senses, emotions, intellect, and imagination, as well as ways in which human experience itself is shaped by language. This course is listed as a writing course and as a general education course in literature (Aesthetics Perspective). Course Goals and Objectives: The purpose of this course is to make students conscious

    of the aesthetic qualities and potential of the English language and to introduce them to the various ways in which writers have employed and responded to the major literary genres and their traditions as they create literary works of art. At the completion of this

    course students will demonstrate ability

    ; to understand the ways in which writers employ and respond to the conventions of

    the major literary genres through the study of significant representative texts;

    ; to analyze and evaluate works of literature based on their understanding of literary

    language and genre forms;

    ; to interpret and evaluate literary works, using textual evidence to support their

    ideas, in both oral class discussion and written critical essays.

    Assignments: The schedule of assignments provides an outline of the reading

    assignments to prepare for each class period and the dates for the midterms exam and

    essays. Since this class develops skills of reading and literary analysis, the final exam

    for this class is comprehensive in the sense that students will have the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to analyze and interpret a variety of types of literary texts. Students may also expect occasional short quizzes and/or writing assignments. Some

    writing assignments will be completed as homework to be handed in; some writing assignments will be completed in class. These writing assignments are designed to permit students to demonstrate that they have read and reflected on the assignment and will provide the class as a group with initial ideas for discussion. In-class quizzes and writing assignments cannot be made up.

    Students are expected to read the assigned literary works carefully and thoughtfully. A single hurried or casual reading will not suffice for our in-class writing assignments or

Introduction to Literature

    Spring 2009 Syllabus

    our discussions. Many more facets of the works or layers of meaning can be discovered through rereading and further reflection on our class discussions.

    Finally each student will be expected to prepare poems to present and discuss in

    class. Not every student will be asked to present a poem each time this assignment is scheduled, but everyone will present at least once during the course of the semester. Required Text: There is one textbook required for this class:

    Abcarian and Klotz, eds. Literature: Reading and Writing the Human Experience. Shorter

    9th Ed. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2006.

    Students are expected to bring the textbook to each class meeting as we will want to

    look at specific texts and poems in the course of our discussions.


    ; 3 essays 15% each = 45%

    ; Midterm exam = 15%

    ; attendance and class participation (including discussion of poems) = 10%

    ; daily quizzes, writing, and assignments on Blackboard = 10%

    ; final exam = 20%

    ; Total = 100%

    Attendance and Academic Expectations:

    Since the quality of class discussion is in part a function of both the quality and quantity of student participation, attendance and participation are expected of all students at

    all sessions. If an absence is unavoidable, it is the responsibility of the student to check with the instructor regarding missed work and possible make up. Make-ups are unavailable except in the most extraordinary cases, subject to the instructor's approval, and must be completed within one week of an absence. More than three absences will result in a lowering of the class participation grade by 5% for each additional absence. Absence from more than 25% of the class sessions, i.e., 10 absences for a MWF class, will result in course failure.

    The discussion format of this course means that the class is student-centered. Students will have ample opportunity to ask questions, to participate in dialogue, and to argue for positions they are taking while listening and responding to arguments of others. Thus, the abilities to think, communicate, and listen are equally valued as we focus on the assigned topics and issues.

    Attention to and participation in the class discussion is expected of everyone; activities and behavior that distract from participating in and listening to the discussion, including private conversations and use of electronic devices, late arrivals and early or unnecessary


Introduction to Literature

    Spring 2009 Syllabus

    departures from the classroom, and eating, are unacceptable and will result in a lowered class grade.

    Each student is expected to adhere to the standards of academic integrity outlined in the Student Handbook. Any work determined to be plagiarized or counterfeit in any part represents an instance of academic misconduct will result in penalties up to and including

    a grade of "F" for the course.


    Students with documented disabilities that will affect their work in this class should contact me to discuss their needs. You should also meet with Cindy Novelo, Coordinator of Disability Resources, to arrange for accommodations for this course. The following is a tentative schedule of readings and assignments for the semester and is subject to modification as needed.

    26 Jan Syllabus Available on Blackboard

    28 Jan Read pages 3 - 6 and 22 - 30 in our textbook on “Responding to

    Literature” and “Reading Drama” no class meeting

    30 Jan Read Sophocles, “Oedipus Rex”

2 Feb Discussion of Sophocles, “Oedipus Rex” continued

    4 Feb “Reading Poetry”; Robert Browning, “My Last Duchess”; Thomas

    Hardy, “The Ruined Maid”

    6 Feb William Blake, “The Chimney Sweeper”; John Keats, “On First

    Looking Into Chapman‟s Homer”; Gerard Manley Hopkins, “Spring

    and Fall”; A.E. Housman, “When I Was One-and-Twenty”; Stevie

    Smith, “Not Waving but Drowning”

9 Feb “Reading Fiction” and Hemingway, “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place”

    11 Feb “Reading Essays” and Langston Hughes, “Salvation”

    13 Feb

16 Feb Herman Melville, “Bartleby the Scrivener”

    18 Feb Herman Melville, “Bartleby the Scrivener”

    20 Feb Herman Melville, “Bartleby the Scrivener”

23 Feb First Essay Due

    Ursula LeGuin, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”

    25 Feb Wordsworth, “The World Is Too Much with Us”; Claude McKay, “If

    We Must Die”

    27 Feb Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “Ulysses”

2 Mar Henrik Ibsen, “A Doll‟s House”


Introduction to Literature

    Spring 2009 Syllabus

    4 Mar Henrik Ibsen, “A Doll‟s House”

    6 Mar Henrik Ibsen, “A Doll‟s House”

9 Mar Midterm Exam

    11 Mar Looking Deeper, From History to Literature

    13 Mar Martin Luther King, Jr., “Letter from Birmingham Jail”

16 20 Mar Spring Break

23 Mar William Faulkner, “A Rose for Emily”;

    25 Mar Alice Walker, “Everyday Use”

    27 Mar Sherman Alexie, “This is what it means to say Phoenix, Arizona

    30 Mar T.S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” ; 1 Apr e.e. comings, “The Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls”;

    Henry Reed, “Naming of Parts”; M. Carl Holman, “Mr. Z; Etheridge

    Knight, “Hard Rock Returns to Prison from the Hospital for the

    Criminal Insane”

    3 Apr Second Essay Due

    Kate Chopin, “The Storm”

    6 Apr Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper” 8Apr Joyce Carol Oates, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” 10 Apr. Good Friday no class

13 Apr Shakespeare, „Sonnets” numbers 18, 29, 130

    15 Apr John Donne, “The Flea”; Theodore Roethke, “I Knew a Woman”;

    Sharon Olds, “Sex without Love”

    17 Apr William Shakespeare, “Othello”

20 Apr William Shakespeare, “Othello”

    22 Apr William Shakespeare, “Othello”

    24 Apr William Shakespeare, “Othello”

27 Apr William Shakespeare, “Othello”

    29 Apr Third Essay Due

    1 May John Donne, “Death Be Not Proud”; Robert Frost, “Nothing Gold Can

    Stay, Emily Dickinson, “After great pain, a formal feeling comes”

    4 May Dylan Thomas, “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” 6 May Woody Allen, “Death Knocks”

    8 May Last Class Day Review for Final Exam

    TBA Final Exam time and date to be announced


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