ENGL 801 "Introduction to Graduate Studies"

Fall 2006 ~ MWF, 10:30-11:20 a.m.

Schedule of Classes | Web Resources | Bulletin Board

Professor Karin Westman
106 English/ Counseling Services; 532-2171
Office Hours: M, W 9:00-10:00 a.m. and by app't


Required Texts
Shelley, Frankenstein. Norton Critical Edition.
Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea. Norton Critical Edition.
Garber, A Manifesto for Literary Studies (2003)
Guerin et. al., A Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature, 5th Ed.(2005)
Graff and Birkenstein, "They Say / I Say": The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing (2006)
Gibaldi, MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (2003)
Class Pack for ENGL 801. (Available at Eisenhower Copy Center.)

Course Description
As the catalog explains, ENGL 801 provides a foundation for the M.A. in English, serving as an intensive introduction to "the methods and aims of advanced-level research and scholarship in language and literature." We will read and talk about literary periods, literary genres, current conversations in English studies, and various kinds of texts.

Course Objectives

ENGL 801 is designed to help you develop the following skills:

Class Participation: Given the learning outcomes for ENGL 801, this class will foreground discussion. Class participation is therefore expected and will count for 20% of your final grade. This portion of your grade includes your contributions to our discussions in class (in large and small groups) and to our discussions on the Electronic Bulletin Board (further information below). Your goal is to be an active presence in the class: you should complete the reading assigned for each class session, think carefully about what you have read, and be ready to share your ideas -- in class and online.

Electronic Bulletin Board: Each week, each student is required to post at least one paragraph-length comment about the materials we're reading and discussing in class. I will read these discussions and assess a grade (at the end of the semester) based on the thoughtfulness of your comments, their ability to foster discussion among your classmates, and their responsiveness both to our readings and to your classmates' comments in class and on the board. I'll provide some question prompts as I follow these conversations, and I may also participate, but I see the bulletin board primarily as a way for you to raise issues we haven't addressed -- or addressed fully or to your satisfaction -- during our regular class meetings. Your postings do not need to be long, but they do need to be substantive: they must be long enough to convey clearly the problem you are taking up and your point of view, connecting your comment to others' comments whenever possible. I will offer models of successful comments early in the semester.

To post to the bulletin board, follow these directions:
  1. Go to my homepage at http://www.ksu.edu/english/westmank/ and click on our course (ENGL 801).
  2. From the course web page, click on Bulletin Board.
  3. A window will pop up that asks for your user name. Type: engl801 (Be sure to use lower-case letters, since the software is case-sensitive.)
  4. Click into the password box and type the password I've distributed in class.
  5. You should see all the messages posted to date and the newest ones first. (If not, click on "Preferences" and set the options to "12 months" and "Mixed Threaded, Reversed." Click on the button that says "View Message Index." You should be able to see all the messages posted to the threaded bulletin board.)
  6. To post, you can choose to "reply" to a message you are viewing or you can "post a new message."
  7. I encourage you to select "reply," so you can engage directly in the conversation and your message can "thread" beneath the one you're responding to. I also encourage you to change the subject line so it reflects the content of your message. Whether you "reply" or "post a new message," you will have to enter your name, your email address, and the subject of the message. You can preview your message before sending it; then, click "post message."

Attendance: Your attendance is important, but I recognize that the unexpected will happen. Therefore, you will not be penalized for your first three absences. However, subsequent absences will lower your final course grade; excessive absences (six or more) may result in failure of the course. While I appreciate your offering explanations for absences, the only way to excuse an absence is to provide me with an official letter from the Graduate School or an official notice of illness from the Health Center or your doctor.

Writing Assignments: ENGL 801 is predominately a skills class, so you will be practicing various writing skills over the course of the semester. Writing assignments will include the following:

Reserve, Online, and Video Resources: Along with some required reserve reading and one required film (Jordan's The Crying Game), I will refer you to additional resources available on reserve at Hale Library, online, or on video to complement our readings and discussions. Links within the online "Schedule of Classes" will take you to related online resources. I will add and update these resources as the semester progresses; if you locate a site or page which you find valuable, please let me know, and I'll consider adding it to the existing links.

Conferences: I want you to succeed in this course, and I am happy to meet with you about your work 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 9:00-10:00 a.m.) or contact me by phone or email to arrange a time to meet.

Honor Code: When you turn in written work, 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. Otherwise, you have plagiarized. If you have any questions, please ask. If you do plagiarize, you will fail this course.

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.
Class Participation 20%
In-class 10%
Postings 10%
Two Abstracts 10%
Responses 15%
Paper #1 15%
Paper #2 40%
Annot. Biblio 10%
Abstract 5%
Paper 25%

Schedule of Classes (Subject to change.)

Note: All assigned reading should be completed by the date listed.
[CP]= Class Pack [R]=Reserve

August M 21 Introduction to ENGL 801
The Profession: What's at Stake in Literary Studies?
W 23 Altick, "Vocation" (3-13); Graff, "The Scholar in Society" (343-362); Strausbach, "Eggheads' Naughty Word Games"; Pullum, "It's Your Choice at the MLA"; Malesic, "Yielding to Convention"; Fish, "The War on Higher Education" and "Make 'Em Cry" [CP]
F 25 Graff and Birkenstein, "They Say / I Say"... (ix-xviii; 1-14); Garber, A Manifesto for Literary Studies: "Asking Literary Questions" (3-14)
Close Reading, Ways of Reading
M 28 Marvell, "To His Coy Mistress" [CP]; Guerin, Handbook: "The Formalist Approach" (90-116, 149-150) and "First Things First: Textual Scholarship, Genres, and Source Study" (15-21, 29-35, 46-49)
Response paper (2 pp.) on Marvell due in class
W 30 Marvell, continued; Guerin, Handbook: "Historical and Biographical Approaches" (51-57) and "Moral and Philosophical Approaches" (77-80); Garber, Manifesto: "Historical Correctness: The Use and Abuse of History for Literature" (45-69)
September F 1 Rossetti, "Goblin Market" [CP]
M 4 Labour Day
W 6 Rossetti, continued; one of the following chapters from Guerin, Handbook: "The Psychological Approach: Freud" (152-181); "Mythological and Archetypal Approaches" (182-221); "Feminisms and Gender Studies" (222-274); "Cultural Studies" (275-349); "The Play of Meaning(s): Reader-Response Criticism, Dialogics, and Structuralism and Poststructuralism, Including Deconstruction" (350-380)
Response paper (2 pp.) on Rossetti and your selected chapter due in class.
F 8 Entering the Conversation: "From Close Reading to Persuasive Argumentation."
Preparation for Paper #1 (4 pp.): Keats, "To Autumn" (Option #1) and Atwood, "Spelling" (Option #2) [CP]; Gibaldi, MLA Handbook: "Thesis Statement" (49-51), "The Mechanics of Writing" (77-130), and "The Format of the Research Paper" (131-138); Graff and Birkenstein, "They Say / I Say"... (39-47; 99-132)
Reminder: Meet the Track Heads, 3:30 p.m. in ECS 017
M 11 Keats, "To Autumn" [CP]
Paper #1 (Option #1) due in class
W 13 Atwood, "Spelling" [CP]
Paper #1 (Option #2) due in class
F 15 Shelley, Frankenstein (1-101)
M 18 Frankenstein (103-156); Veeder, "The Women of Frankenstein" (271-273); Mellor, "Possessing Nature: The Female in Frankenstein" (274-286)
W 20 Frankenstein; Guerin (87-89, 141-149, 168-169, 208-209, 249-257, 314-325)
F 22 Entering the Conversation: "MLA International Bibliography and MLA Style."
Gibaldi, MLA Handbook: "Conducting Research" (8-37) and "Documenting Sources" and "MLA Style" (142-144)
M 25 Entering the Conversation: "Finding the Critical Imperative" and "Writing an Abstract"
Graff and Birkenstein, "They Say / I Say"... (17-38); read and identify thesis claim and sub-claims of Rose, "Custody Battles: Reproducing Knowledge about Frankenstein" [CP]
Textual Scholarship and Scholarly Editing
W 27 Textual editing of Frankenstein: Joseph, "The Composition of Frankenstein" (157-160); Mellor, "Choosing a Text of Frankenstein to Teach" (160-166); Shelley, "Introduction to Frankenstein, Third Edition" (169-173)
Abstract of Zonana, "'They Will Prove the Truth of My Tale': Safie's Letters as the Feminist Core of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein" (170-184) [CP] due in class
F 29 Nash, "The Culture of Collected Editions: Authorship, Reputation, and the Canon" (1-15); Bruccoli, "What Bowers Wrought: An Assessment of the Center for Editions of American Authors" (237-244); McGann, "Textonics: Literary and Cultural Studies in a Quantum World" (245-260); Howard, "Call Me Digital" [CP]
October M 2 Fall Break
W 4 Guest Speaker: Philip Nel, The Annotated Cat
Seuss, The Cat in the Hat and The Cat in the Hat Comes Back [R]; brief annotation exercise due in class.
F 6 Guest Speakers: Anne Phillips and Greg Eiselein, Norton Critical Edition of Little Women; brief textual studies exercise due in class.
Boundary Crossings (1): Genre
M 9 Children's Literature, Cross-Reading, and Audience: Clark, "Kiddie Lit in Academe" (149-157); Byatt, "Harry Potter and the Childish Adult"; Green, "Letter to the Editor"; Donnelly, "Paperback Writer"; and Pullman, "Carnegie Medal Acceptance Speech" [CP]
W 11 Cobley, "Genre"; Murfin, "Genre"; Abrams, "Genre"; Goldman, from On Drama: Boundaries of Genre, Borders of Self (1-10)
F 13 Dramatic Poetry: Frost, "Home Burial" (792-4); "Two Complimentary Critical Readings: Poirier and Kearns" (1007-9) [CP]
Response on Frost (2 pp.) due in class
M 16 Sanders, "Frost's North of Boston, Its Language, Its People, and Its Poet"; Vogt, "Narrative and Drama in the Lyric: Robert Frost's Strategic Withdrawal"; Bell, "Robert Frost and the Nature of Narrative" [CP]
W 18 Entering the Conversation: "Print and Online Resources for Scholarly Research"
Gibaldi, "Research and Writing" (1-63) and "Plagiarism" (65-75)
Paragraph-length description of selected research topic due in class.
F 20 No class -- read ahead and work on Paper #2.
M 23 Entering the Conversation: "Interventions: Identifying Your Critical Imperative"
Graff and Birkenstein, "They Say / I Say"... (49-97); list of five scholarly resources (print or online, formatted in MLA style) for your proposed topic due in class.
W 25 Redefining Realism: Johnson, "Rambler No. 4"; Woolf, "Modern Fiction" [CP]
F 27 Poetic Prose: Woolf, "Kew Gardens" [CP]
Su 29 Showing of Neil Jordan's The Crying Game
M 30 Entering the Conversation: "Refining Your Focus and Developing Your Thesis Claim"
Abstract of and response to one scholarly article for your paper due in class
November W 1 Political Thriller or Old-Fashioned Love Story?: Jordan, The Crying Game; Jordan, "Introduction to The Crying Game" and Giles, from The Crying Game [CP]
U 2 Draft Abstract and Annotated Bibliography for Paper #2 due by 5 p.m. to my mailbox in ECS 119.
F 3 The Crying Game, continued; Chumo, "The Crying Game, Hitchcockian Romance, and the Quest for Identity"; Daly, "Post-Colonial Carnival (?): Neil Jordan's The Crying Game"; Wynne, "Crossing the Border: The Post-Colonial Carnival in Neil Jordan's The Crying Game"[CP]
Boundary Crossings (2): Literary Periods, Anthologies, and the Canon
M 6 Rhys, Wide Saragasso Sea (9-64)
W 8 Wide Sargasso Sea (64-112)
F 10 Wide Sargasso Sea; excerpts from Bronte's Jane Eyre (119-132 ); excerpts from Rhys' letters, unpublished mss. & facsimile of mss. (135-149, 155-156); Thorpe, "'The Other Side': Wide Sargasso Sea and Jane Eyre" (173-181); and Rody, "Burning Down the House..." (217-225)
M 13 Emery, "Modernist Crosscurrents" (161-173); Ramchand, "The Place of Jean Rhys and Wide Sargasso Sea"(181-187); Drake, "Race and Carribean Culture as Thematics of Liberation in Jean Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea" (193-206); and Erwin, "History and Narrative in Wide Sargasso Sea" (207-216). Cover designs for Rhys's novel.
Response on critical readings (2 pp.) due in class.
W 15 Entering the Conversation: "Integrating Other Voices into Your Argument" Bring working thesis claim for Paper #2 to class.
F 17 Besserman, "The Challenge of Periodization: Old Paradigms and New Perspectives" (3-27) and one of the following three chapters from Besserman: Griffin, "A Critique of Romantic Periodization" (133-146); Daleksi, "Thomas Hardy: A Victorian Modernist?" (179-195), and Vendler, "Periodizing Modern American Poetry" (233-244)
M 20 Entering the Conversation: "Outlining and Drafting"
Writing Workshop: Bring two copies of your introduction with your thesis, your outline, and your "Works Cited" to class.
W 22 No Class --
F 24 Thanksgiving Break
M 27 Entering the Conversation: "Revising"
Writing Workshop: Bring two copies of your full paper and your "Works Cited" to class.
T 28 Paper #2 (10-12 pp.) and revised abstract due by 5 p.m. to my mailbox in ECS 119.
W 29 "Roundtable: Reviews of The Longman Anthology of British Literature and The Norton Anthology of English Literature" (195-214); Donadio, "Keeper of the Canon" [CP]
Speech Acts
December F 1 Entering the Conversation: "Preparing for a Conference Presentation"
M 4 Panel Presentation #1 Panel 1 Abstracts
W 6 Panel Presentation #2 Panel 2 Abstracts
F 8 Reflections on ENGL 801 and Literary Studies


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Department of English | Kansas State University
Email: westmank@ksu.edu
Last updated 4 December 2006