ENGL 252: Introduction to Literature for Majors
Fall 2000, MWF 10:30-11:20 a.m., 11:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
Schedule of Classes | Web Resources | Listserv
Professor Karin Westman
Office Hours: M, W 9:00-10:00 a.m. and by app't
Email: westmank@ksu.edu

Required Texts and Materials
Meyer, The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature, 5th edition
Shelley, Frankenstein, Norton Critical Edition
Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire
Course Pak (Available 8/23/00 from Arts and Sciences Copy Center in Eisenhower Hall)
A two-pocket folder and an email account
Hacker, Rules for Writers, 5th edition (Strongly recommended)

This course is designed to introduce you, as English majors, to the elements of literary form and technique you will need to know in order to read and write about literature in future literature courses. We will practice literary analysis in our class discussions and through critical writing. Our readings will range across four genres (fiction, drama, poetry, and critical essays) and several periods of literary history.

Requirements and General Expectations
Readings: You are expected to complete each reading assignment before coming to class. You are further expected to think carefully about what you read and to make notes in your book prior to each class meeting. Bring the appropriate book or xeroxes to class each day and additionally mark passages that we discuss; this process will help you understand, remember, and review.

Papers: During the semester you will write three papers (ranging from 4-5 pages in length) and two in-class essay exams. 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. Grades for revisions will be counted as another grade towards your total paper grade, not substituted for or averaged with the grade received for the first version.
Papers must be typed, double-spaced with one-inch margins (one page=a page of approximately 250 words, double spaced); the pages should be numbered, stapled or paper-clipped together, spell-checked, and proof-read, and placed in a folder. Keep all your papers in a folder clearly marked with your name and section number, and hand in this folder each time you hand in a new paper. 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 late papers. However, you have one extension to use at your discretion during the semester; you must notify me in advance of the paper's due date that you wish to use your extension.

Sources and Honor Code: Use the MLA method for documenting sources. 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. Both The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature and Rules for Writers provide guidelines for MLA documentation. If you have any questions, please ask. If you do plagiarize, you will fail this course.

Response Papers: Response papers are intended to help to prepare you for class discussion, improve your writing, and generate ideas for longer papers.
For each week during the semester, you will hand in at the beginning of class a typed, double-spaced response paper (1-2 pages, 250-500 words) for one of the readings assigned for class. You may only do a response paper for a day we have reading due, so plan ahead!
For your response paper, select one line, a phrase, or even word from the reading assignment; type your selection out in full, and then write a commentary in which you aim to articulate why your selection strikes you as important or significant to your analysis of the reading. In other words, use your selected line or words to explore the text's themes and form. Your response paper may also include your personal response to the reading, or perhaps how the reading relates to other readings we have discussed in class, but your primary goal in your response is to engage closely with the chosen line or words and offer specific reasons in support of your analysis. Your response should not be a paraphrase of the reading assignment; instead, you should offer your analysis of the reading through your selection. (Please see the Sample Response Paper for an example.)
Response papers will be graded individually, on a scale of 1 to 5 points: 5=A, 4=B, 3=C, 2=D, 1=F. At the end of the semester, I will average the results, dividing by the number of response papers you are expected to write. Response papers are due the day we discuss the reading; I do not accept late response papers. Extra credit options during the semester will give you the opportunity to make up missed or poor response paper grades.

Class Participation: Attendance and class participation are required. More than three unexcused absences will be reflected in your final grade for the course; these three excused absences should be reserved for unexpected illnesses or family emergencies. Each absence over the allotted unexcused absences will lower your final course grade by one grade increment (e.g., B to B-).
You are expected to have read and to be prepared to discuss the readings assigned for each class session. Your class participation grade will be determined by your ability to engage in productive class discussion. You must be present and be an active presence in class discussion and peer review groups. If necessary, any in-class quizzes will be part of your class participation grade.
If you miss class, it is your responsibility to discover from another student what we covered or any changes to the syllabus. 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.
Computing: Over the course of the semester we will be using a listserv--more information coming soon, but here's a preview. Beginning the second week of class, I'll divide the class into two groups. On alternating weeks, you will each be responsible for contributing a condensed version of your weekly response paper to the online discussion, using your selected quotation as the subject line of the posting. The week you aren't contributing the highlights of your response paper, you are responsible for commenting on another's posted response. The online discussion is designed not only as another forum for our critical discussions, but as a way for you to sharpen your communication skills for an increasingly technological age.
If you do not yet have an email account, I encourage you to activate your KSU account. I highly recommend email as a way of touching base with me about your writing -- a kind of virtual office hours. You can send me queries, your thesis statement 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 your writing and your progress. I encourage you to see me before writing assignments are due, or if you have questions about material we discuss in class. Please feel free to stop by during office hours (M, W 9- 10 am), or contact me by phone or email to arrange a more convenient time to meet.

40% Paper #1(Fiction), Paper #2 (Drama), and Paper #3 (Poetry)
20% Response Papers
15% Class Participation (in class and postings to the listserv)
10% Midterm Essay Exam
15% Final Essay Exam

Schedule of Classes (Subject to Change)
(Unless otherwise indicated by [CP] for Course Pack,
readings are found in The Compact Bedford Introduction or another required book.)


Art is conscious and its effect on its audience is to stimulate consciousness. This is sexy, this is
exciting, it is also tiring, and even those who welcome art-excitement have an ordinary human
longing for sleep. Nothing wrong with that but we cannot use the book as a pillow.

Jeanette Winterson

M 21
W 23
F 25
Introduction: What Is a Short Story? Reading Responsively
(9-10, 40-43) and the Elements of Fiction (60, 94, 137-9,
154, 193, 211, 234-38)
Jackson, "The Lottery"[handout]; Chopin, "Story of an
Hour" (10-11)
Glaspell, "A Jury of Her Peers" [CP]
M 28
W 29
F 1
O'Connor, "Everything That Rises Must Converge" [CP]
Ellison, "Battle Royal" (199-209)
Minot, "Lust" (256-63); Updike, "A & P" (480-84)
M 4
W 6
F 8
Labor Day -- No Class
Writing Workshop: Peer Review: Draft of Paper #1 Due
(2 copies)
Hemingway, "Hills Like White Elephants" [CP]; Paper #1
M 11
W 13
Hawthorne, "The Birthmark" (277-88)
Johnson, "Menagerie, A Child's Fable" [CP]
Barthelme, "The School" [CP]; Avallon, "All This" [CP]
M 18
W 20
F 22
Shelley, Frankenstein (1-77)
Frankenstein (77-156)
M 25
W 27
Critical readings on Frankenstein: "Preface" to the 1818
edition (5-6); "Preface" to the 1831 edition (169-173);
Mellor, "Choosing a Text of Frankenstein to Teach"
(160-166); Veeder, "The Women of Frankenstein"
(271-273) (All readings in Norton Critical edition.)
Midterm: In-class essay on Frankenstein

When you watch movies you are so wrapped in the dark that you can be persuaded to believe
almost any nonsense. It's part of the fun of movies.... Live theatre is something very different.
There is all that light coming from the stage. You are never unaware of surrounding members of
the audience, or of the fact that you are observing actors impersonate other people. The result is
that you develop bifocal vision, which allows you to appreciate both the fiction taking place on
the stage and the skills of the people making it possible.

Vincent Canby, NYT theater critic

F 29
Introduction: What Is a Play? Reading Responsively (941-2,
974-76), the Elements of Drama (956-60), and a Brief
History of Dramatic Performance (982-87, 1039-43,
M 2
W 4
F 6
Glaspell, Trifles (943-954, 956)
Ibsen, A Doll House (1141-91)
A Doll House
M 9
W 11
F 13
A Doll House; Critical Perspectives on A Doll House: Ibsen,
"Notes for A Doll House" (1191-2); "A Nineteenth-Century
Husband's Letter to His Wife" (1194-1195); Witham and
Lutterbie, "A Marxist Approach to A Doll House"
(1196-1198); and Templeton, "Is A Doll House a Feminist
Text?" (1200-1204)
Writing Workshop: Draft of Paper #2 Due (2 copies)
Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire (12-142)
M 16
W 18
F 20
Streetcar; Paper #2 Due
FALL BREAK -- No Classes
The living part of a poem is the intonation entangled somehow in the syntax, idiom, and
meaning of a sentence.... Words exist in the mouth not books.

Robert Frost

M 23
F 27
Introduction: What Is a Poem? Reading Responsively
(531, 549-51, 563-5) and the Elements of Poetry;
cummings, "l(a" and Collins, "Introduction to Poetry" [CP]
Tone and Diction: 570-573, 576; Jonson, "Still to Be Neat"
(697); Hayden, "Those Winter Sundays" (532-533)
Imagery and Figurative Language: 600-601, 617-626,
635-644; Pound, "In a Station of the Metro" (614); Keats,
"To Autumn" [CP]
M 30
W 1
F 3
Sound, Rhyme, and Meter: 662-667, 668, 687-691;
Blake, "London" (609); Roethke, "My Papa's Waltz"
Poetic Form: The Sonnet: 706-707, 709, 711;
Shakespeare, Sonnet #18 ("Shall I compare thee...) (711);
Shakespeare, Sonnet #130 ("My mistress' eyes...) (712);
Rossetti, "In an Artist's Studio" [CP]
..and variations: Frost, "Design" (798-799) and "In White"
(802-803); Collins, "Sonnet" [CP]
M 6
W 8
F 10
Hollander, "Swan and Shadow" [CP]
Writing Workshop: Draft of Paper #3 Due (2 copies)
No Class -- Work on Paper #3 and read ahead.
M 13
W 15
R 16
F 17
Love and Desire: Herrick, "To the Virgins, to Make Much
of Time" (580); Marvell, "To His Coy Mistress" (581-582);
Donne, "Elegy XIX. To His Mistress Going to Bed" [CP]
Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" (844-848)
Paper #3 due in my office my 12 noon.
Yeats, "Adam's Curse" (912-913); Atwood, "Variations
on the Word Love" [CP]
M 20
W 22
F 24
Frost, "Home Burial" (792-794); Poirier, "On Emotional
Suffocation in 'Home Burial'" (812); Kearns, "On the
Symbolic Setting of 'Home Burial'" (813-814)
M 27
W 29
F 1
Frost, "Birches" (795-796)
America: "The American Dream" from The United States of
Poetry (no assigned reading)
Hughes, "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" (815-816);
"Harlem" (832-833); "Theme for English B" (830-831);
Gibson, "The Essential Optimism of Hughes and Whitman"
M 4
W 6
F 8
Whitman, from "I Sing the Body Electric" (730-731);
cummings, "next to of course god america i" (643);
Wagoner, "Breath Test"[CP]
Levine, "What Work Is" [CP]; Sandburg, "Chicago" [CP]
Review for final exam
T 12
W 13
Final Exam(ID/Short Answer and Essay):
ENGL 252C: 11:50 a.m.-1:40 p.m.
ENGL 252D: 11:50 a.m.-1:40 p.m.
Note: You must attend the exam session designated for
your section.

Web Resources


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Email: westmank@ksu.edu
Last updated 8 November 2000