ENGL 310, Section C: Introduction to Literary Studies (for Majors)

Spring 2003; TU, 9:30-10:45 a.m.


Schedule of Classes | Bulletin Board

Professor K. Westman
108 Denison Hall
Office: 532-2171; Office Hours: T, U 8-9a.m. and by app't.
Email: westmank@ksu.edu

Required Texts

Course Description: This writing-intensive course provides practice in critical interpretation and serves as an introduction to literary criticism for English majors and minors. As we read and discuss a selection of novels, plays, poems, and essays, we will consider the relationship between art and life, between story and history, between the image and the word.

Course Objectives:

Requirements and General Expectations:

Readings and Class Participation: Any English literature course is a reading-intensive experience, so plan accordingly! You are expected to complete each reading assignment beforecoming to class. You are further expected to think carefully about what you read and to make notes in the text prior to each class meeting. For each class, bring the appropriate book or xeroxes and additionally mark passages that we discuss; this process will help you understand, remember, and review.

Class participation is expected and will count for 15% of your final grade. Your class participation grade will be determined by your ability to engage in productive class discussion. You must therefore be present and be an active presence in class discussion and peer review groups. This grade includes your contributions to our discussions in class (in large and small groups) and to our discussions on the Electronic Bulletin Board. I will expect at least one posting a week from each student on the Electronic Bulletin Board; the guidelines and instructions for using the Bulletin Board appear on a separate handout.

Attendance: The University requires that students attend all classes in which they are enrolled; therefore, there are no excused absences. If you are absent for more than nine classroom hours (six T/U class periods), you will fail this class automatically. If you are absent for more than two, you jeopardize your final grade for the course: each absence over those two will lower your final course grade by one grade increment (i.e.: A to B). Two tardies will count as one absence. While I appreciate your offering explanations for absences, the only way to excuse an absence is to provide me with an official letter from your Dean, advisor, or doctor.

If you wish to receive a passing grade in this class, then, attendance is very important. Classroom work or homework assignments missed due to absence cannot be made up. If you are absent, it is your responsibility to find out from another class member any announcements or assignments.

Papers: During the semester you will write two papers (ranging from 3-5 pages in length) and a short research paper (2-3 pages). You are expected to bring drafts of the three papers to class, as noted on the syllabus. Failure to produce a good faith effort on a draft will result in a grade penalty of one letter grade (i.e.: A to B) on the final version. Upon consultation with me, you may choose to revise any paper for which you receive lower than a "C-" grade; I will average the first and revised paper grades for the final paper grade.

Papers must be typed or word-processed with 10- or 12-point font and double-spaced with one-inch margins; the pages should be numbered, stapled or paper-clipped together, spell-checked, and proof-read. Keep all notes, outlines, and drafts for each paper assignment in a folder, and be prepared to turn in these materials with the final draft. Any paper not meeting the above requirements will not be accepted.Papers are due at class time or by the time and date listed on the syllabus. I do not accept latepapers. However, you have one extension to use at your discretion during the semester; you mustnotify me in advance of the paper's due date that you wish to use your extension.

A Note on Sources and the Honor Code: When you turn in a paper, you pledge that the work is your own and that you have faithfully abided by the guidelines for documenting sources. The University's Honor Code obliges you to cite the source of any idea that is not your own. If you quote, paraphrase, or use another's ideas, you must give credit to the person whose ideas you are using. For all citations, use the MLA method for documenting sources. Diane Hacker's Rules for Writers provides guidelines for MLA documentation. If you have any questions, please ask. If you do plagiarize, you will fail this course.

Quizzes/Short Response Papers: During the semester you will write between seven and nine quizzes or short response papers; some will be announced and others will be unannounced. These quizzes and responses are designed to test your knowledge of the reading assignments and the analytical skills we develop and practice during our discussions. They will be graded out of 10 points each, with 10=A and 1=D (0=F); I will average the points at the end of the course after dropping the lowest grade.

Computing: Our section of ENGL 310 will incorporate technology, which is now an important component of professional and daily life. Our work with computers is designed not only as another forum for discussing our reading, but as a way for you to sharpen your communication skills, media skills, and web skills for an increasingly technological age. We will be meeting in EH228, a computer lab classroom, and we will use the computers and related technologies to enhance our study of literature.

If you do not yet have an email account, I encourage you to activate your KSU account. I highlyrecommend email as a way of touching base with me about your work for the class - a kind ofvirtual office hours. You can send me queries about reading or writing assignments, your thesisstatement for an essay, or anything else that could be handled with a quick exchange of messages. I check my email in the morning before classes, in the afternoon, and in the evening.

Conferences: I want you to succeed in this course, and I am happy to meet with you about yourwork and your progress. I encourage you to see me before writing assignments are due, or if youhave questions about material we discuss in class. Please feel free to stop by during office hours(T, U 8-9 a.m.), or contact me by phone or email to arrange a more convenient time to meet.Note: If you have any condition such as a physical or learning disability that will make it difficult for you to carry out the work as I have outlined it or which will require academic accommodations, please notify me in the first two days of the course.

40% Papers (Paper #1: 10%; Paper #2: 10%; Critical Context Research Project: 20%)
20% Quizzes/Response Papers
15% Class Participation (in class and postings to the electronic bulletin board)
10% Midterm Essay Exam
15% Final Essay Exam
Schedule of Classes (Subject to Change)
(Unless otherwise indicated by [CP] for Class Pack or [R] for Hale Reserve,
readings are found in The Compact Bedford Introduction or another required book.)
Preparation for Class In Class
January U 16
Course Introduction
Playing with Words: Literature of Childhood
T 21
Nodelman, from The Pleasures of Children's Literature [CP]
Meyer, "Reading Responsively" (11-12, 43-46), "Writing about Fiction" (43-46), and the "Elements of Fiction": "Plot" (64-5, 69-70); "Character" (98-103); "Setting" (134-136); "Point of View" (156-161); "Symbolism" (198-201); "Theme" (220-223); "Style, Tone, Irony" (244-248)
Discuss Nodelman and selected children's books.
Review literary terms for discussing and writing about fiction.
U 23 Tatar, "Introduction" to The Classic Fairy Tales, "Introduction: Little Red Riding Hood," and all "Little Red Riding Hood" tales; Johnson, "Menagerie, A Child's Fable" [CP] Discuss Tatar and "Little Red Riding Hood" tales; discuss Johnson.

InterChange Questions for LRRH

T 28
Jarrell, from The Bat Poet [CP]
Meyer, "Reading Responsively" (497-503, 517-518), "Writing about Poetry" (530-532), and the "Elements of Poetry": "Word Choice, Word Order, and Tone" (537-544); "Images" (570-571); "Figures of Speech" (589-598); "Symbol, Allegory, and Irony" (609-618); "Sounds" (633-643); "Patterns of Rhythm" (657-661)
Selected poems [CP] and "Humpty Dumpty" from Carroll's Through the Looking Glass [CP]
Review literary terms for discussing and writing about poetry.
Discuss Jarrell, selected poems, and Carroll.
Introduce assignment for Paper #1.
U 30 Clements, Frindle
Discuss Clements.
InterChange: Conference 1, Conference 2, and Conference 3.
February T 4
Bang, Picture This; Lionni, Little Blue and Little Yellow; Lionni, Frederick; Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are; Ringgold, Tar Beach; Jonas, The Trek [all R]
Review and apply Bang's principles for discussing picture books.
Discuss selected picture books.
U 6 Prepare draft of Paper #1; bring two copies to class. Workshop for Paper #1
M 9
Paper #1 due to the box outside my office by 5 p.m.
Information about MLA style of citation for your "Works Cited".
Growing Up
T 11
Review Meyer, "Point of View" (156-161) and "Symbolism" (198-201).
O'Connor, "Everything That Rises Must Converge" [CP]; Ellison, "Battle Royal" (208-219); Marcus, "What Is an Initiation Story?" (219)
Discuss O'Connor, Ellison, and Marcus.
U 13
Meyer, "Poetic Forms" (678-684, 696) and "Open Form" (704)
Hayden, "Those Winter Sundays" (499); Roethke, "My Papa's Waltz" (671-672); Frost, "Birches" (783-784)
Review poetic forms and open form
Discuss Hayden, Roethke, and Frost.
Introduce assignment for Paper #2.
T 18
Minot, "Lust" [CP]; Updike, "A&P" (468-472); Hemingway, "Hills Like White Elephants" [CP]
Discuss Minot, Updike, and Hemingway.
U 20

Marvell, "To His Coy Mistress" (548-550); Jong, "After the Earthquake" [CP]; Olds, "Sex Without Love" (559); Atwood, "You Fit into Me" (591); Atwood, "Variations on the Word Love" [CP]

Discuss Marvell, Jong, Olds, and Atwood.
T 25
Prepare draft of Paper #2; bring two copies to class.
Workshop for Paper #2.
U 27
Chopin, "Story of an Hour" (12-15); Glaspell, "A Jury of Her Peers" [CP]
Discuss Chopin and Glaspell.
F 28
Paper #2 due to the box outside my office by 5 p.m.
Information about MLA style of citation for your "Works Cited".
T 4
Frost, "Home Burial" (780-783); Poirier, "On Emotional Suffocation in 'Home Burial'" [CP]; Kearns, "On the Symbolic Setting of 'Home Burial'" [CP]
Discuss Frost and critical commentaries on "Home Burial."
U 6
Meyer, "Reading Drama" (929-930), "Writing about Drama" (962-964), and "Modern Drama" (1125-1129)
Ibsen, A Doll House (1129-1179)
Review literary terms for discussing and writing about drama.
Discuss Ibsen.
InterChange: Conference 1, Conference 2, Conference 3.
Introduce assignment for Midterm Essay Exam.
T 11 Critical Perspectives on A Doll House: Ibsen, "Notes for A Doll House" (1179-1180); "A Nineteenth-Century Husband's Letter to His Wife" (1182-1184); Witham and Lutterbie, "A Marxist Approach to A Doll House" (1184-1186); and Templeton, "Is A Doll House a Feminist Text?" (1188-1190) Discuss Ibsen and critical commentaries on A Doll House.
U 13 Prepare outline for in-class midterm essay. Write Midterm Essay Exam in class.
17-21 Spring Break
History into Story, Life into Art
T 25 "Voices from World War I" [CP]; Brooke, "The Soldier" [CP]; Sassoon, "They," "The Rear Guard," "The General," "Glory of Women," "On Passing the New Menin Gate"[CP]; Owen, "Anthem for Doomed Youth" [CP] and "Dulce et Decorum Est" (580-1) Discuss World War I poetry.

Introduce assignment for the short research project: a critical context essay on Barker's Regeneration.

U 27
Barker, Regeneration (3-145)
Web resources on Barker.
Discuss Barker.
April T 1 Barker, Regeneration (149-252)

Make a list of your three preferred topics for short research project and bring it to class for approval.

Discuss Barker. List of some themes.

Assign topics for critical context essay.

U 3 Selected reviews of Regeneration.

Begin research for critical context essay.

Discuss selected reviews of Regeneration.

Review research strategies.

T 8 Continue research for critical context essay. In class research for critical context essay. Review format for MLA citation.
U 10 Continue research for critical context essay and begin drafting essay. No class -- work on critical context essay.
T 15 Prepare draft of critical context and "Works Cited," and bring two copies to class. Information on formatting your in-text citations and "Works Cited" in MLA format. Workshop for critical context essay and "Works Cited."
American Dreams
U 17 Sandburg, "Chicago" [CP]; Hughes, "Harlem" (820); Levine, "What Work Is" [CP]

Prepare revised draft and bring it to class.

Review revised drafts.

Discuss Sandburg, Hughes, and Levine.

F 18 Hard copy of critical context and bibliography due to the box outside my office (DE108) by 5 p.m.
T 22 Wilder, Skin of Our Teeth and "Preface" Discuss Wilder.
U 24 Review Skin of Our Teeth Discuss Wilder.

Selected online resources for The Skin of Our Teeth:

T 29 Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire Discuss Williams.
May U 1 Review A Streetcar Named Desire. Discuss Williams.
Selected online resources for A Streetcar Named Desire:
  • A range of resources are available from the page created by the Hippodrome State Theater (Gainesville, FL), "Tennesse Williams, The Playwright," including a biography and links to letters exchanged between Williams and the actress Jessica Tandy (who played Blanche in the NY premiere), discussion topics, and information about the poetic references in the play.
  • A web page on Williams' play, assembled by two instructors, includes a definition of expressionism, detailed study questions, an image of the Van Gogh painting Williams refers to in his stage directions, and a link to the transcript of a PBS discussion of the play, among other links
  • The New York Times theater review (4 Dec 1947) of the play's opening performance (notable for what is left unsaid about Williams' themes).
T 6 Hughes, "Theme for English B" (830-831); Atwood, "Spelling" [CP] Discuss Hughes and Atwood.
U 8 Review class notes, quizzes/responses, papers, mid-term in preparation for review session. Bring questions to class. Review for final exam.
T 13 Final Exam (ID, Short Answer, Essay) 2-3:50 p.m.