ENGL 801 "Introduction to Graduate Studies"

Fall 2020 ~ MWF, 10:30-11:20 a.m.

Schedule of Classes | Online Discussion

Professor Karin Westman
108B 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.
Nelson, A Wreath for Emmett Till.
Guerin et. al., A Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature, 6th Ed.(2011)
Graff and Birkenstein, "They Say / I Say": The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing (2018)
Gibaldi, MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 8th Ed. (2018)
Additional readings available on Canvas.

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 Modality: We will meet 100% online. On Mondays and Wednesdays, we will meet synchronously via Zoom. On Fridays, you will complete an asynchronous activity (due by 11:59pm).

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 asynchronous online discussions (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.

Attendance: Your attendance is important, but I recognize that the unexpected will happen, especially during this pandemic year. If you miss more than three class sessions, please contact me, so we can discuss your progress and identify the best path forward.

Online Discussions: As part of your class participation and to practice informal analytical writing, each week, each student is required to post at least one paragraph-length comment about the materials we're reading and discussing in class. These posts are intended to help you do the following:
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, their responsiveness both to our readings, and their ability to "translate" scholarly discussions for a general audience. I'll provide some weekly question prompts as I follow these conversations, and I may also participate, but I see the message 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. I will offer models of successful comments early in the semester.

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 video, I will refer you to additional resources available on reserve at K-State Libraries, online, or on video to complement our readings and discussions.

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 schedule a meeting during office hours (M, W 9:00-10:00 a.m. and by app't) or contact me by phone or email to arrange a time to meet by phone or Zoom.

Email: I highly recommend email as a way of touching base with me about your work for the class – a kind of virtual office hours. You can send me queries about readings, writing assignments, or anything else that could be handled with a quick exchange of messages. I check my email throughout the day, but please remember that I am not perpetually online.

Honor Code: Kansas State University has an Honor System based on personal integrity, which is presumed to be sufficient assurance that, in academic matters, one's work is performed honestly and without unauthorized assistance. Undergraduate and graduate students, by registration, acknowledge the jurisdiction of the Honor System. The policies and procedures of the Honor System apply to all full and part-time students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate courses on-campus, off-campus, and via distance learning. The honor system website can be reached via the following URL: www.k-state.edu/honor. A component vital to the Honor System is the inclusion of the Honor Pledge which applies to all assignments, examinations, or other course work undertaken by students. The Honor Pledge is implied, whether or not it is stated: “On my honor, as a student, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid on this academic work.” A grade of XF can result from a breach of academic honesty. The F indicates failure in the course; the X indicates the reason is an Honor Pledge violation.

Students with Disabilities: Students with disabilities who need classroom accommodations, access to technology, or information about emergency building/campus evacuation processes should contact the Student Access Center and/or their instructor.  Services are available to students with a wide range of disabilities including, but not limited to, physical disabilities, medical conditions, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, depression, and anxiety. If you are a student enrolled in campus/online courses through the Manhattan or Olathe campuses, contact the Student Access Center at accesscenter@k-state.edu, 785-532-6441; for K-State Polytechnic campus, contact Academic and Student Services at polytechnicadvising@ksu.edu or call 785-826-2974.

Expectations for Student Conduct: All student activities in the University, including this course, are governed by the Student Judicial Conduct Code as outlined in the Student Governing Association By Laws, Article VI, Section 3, number 2. Students who engage in behavior that disrupts the learning environment may be asked to leave the class.

Conceal Carry Statement: In this class, students will be asked on a regular basis to participate in activities (i.e., engaging in group work) that may require students to either be separated from their bags or be prepared to keep their bags with them at all times during such activities. Students are encouraged to take the online weapons policy education module to ensure they understand the requirements related to concealed carry.

Wearing of Face Coverings: To protect the health and safety of the K-State community, students, faculty, staff and visitors must wear face coverings over their mouths and noses while on K-State campuses in all hallways, public spaces, classrooms and other common areas of campus buildings, and when in offices or other work spaces or outdoor settings when 6-feet social distancing cannot be maintained. In addition, all students, faculty, and staff are required to take the COVID-19 and Face Mask Safety training. For more information, visit https://www.k-state.edu/provost/resources/teaching/course.html.

Statement of Copyright: Copyright 2020 as to this syllabus and all course materials and lectures. During this course students are prohibited from selling notes to or being paid for taking notes by any person or commercial firm without the express written permission of the professor teaching this course. In addition, students in this class are not authorized to provide class notes or other class-related materials to any other person or entity, other than sharing them directly with another student taking the class for purposes of studying, without prior written permission from the professor teaching this course

Class Participation 20%
In-class 10% | Postings 10%
Two Abstracts 10%
Responses 15%
Paper #1 15%
Paper #2 30%
Annot. Biblio 5% | Abstract 5% | Paper 20%
Public Scholarship 10%

Schedule of Classes (Subject to change.)

Note: All assigned reading should be completed by the date listed.

[CP] = Online class pack, posted to Canvas   [W] = web

[A] = Asynchronous class meeting

August M 17 Introduction to ENGL 801; Lang, "In Dispiriting Times, It Helps to Get 'Lost in Thought'"; Gluckman, "How a Department Chair Became America's Covid-19 Correspondent" [CP]
The Profession: What's at Stake in Literary Studies?
W 19 Altick, "Vocation" (3-13); Graff, "The Scholar in Society" (343-362); Fish, "The War on Higher Education"; Zunshine, "Why Fiction Does It Better"; Harpham, "New Mission for English" [CP]

F 21 [A]

Graff and Birkenstein, "They Say / I Say"... (xiii-xxiii; 1-16); Parry, "What's Wrong with Literary Studies"; Aubry, "Should Studying Literature Be Fun?" [CP]
Close Reading, Ways of Reading
M 24 Marvell, "To His Coy Mistress" [CP]; Guerin, Handbook: "The Formalist Approach" (74-99, 122) and "Textual Scholarship, Genres, and Source Study" (17-25, 30-34, 42-44); “Literature and Linguistics” (169-184)
Response paper (2 pp.) on Marvell due in class
W 26

Marvell, continued; Guerin, Handbook: "Historical and Biographical Approaches" (44-47); Garber, Manifesto: "Historical Correctness: The Use and Abuse of History for Literature" (45-69) [CP] Reminder: Meet the Track Heads, 3:30 p.m., Zoom

F 28 [A] Rossetti, "Goblin Market" [CP]
  M 31 Rossetti, continued; one of the following chapters from Guerin, Handbook: "Materialisms" (125-165); "The Psychological Approach" (202-224); "Mythological and Archetypal Approaches" (225-252); "Feminisms and Gender Studies" (253-300); "Cultural Studies" (305-353); "Postcolonial Studies" (361-381)
Response paper (2 pp.) on Rossetti and your selected chapter due in class
September W 2 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]; MLA Handbook, "The Mechanics of Scholarly Prose" (61-95); The MLA Style Center, "The Formatting of a Research Paper" [CP]; Gibaldi, MLA Handbook 7th Edition: "Thesis Statement" (42-3) [CP]; Graff and Birkenstein, "They Say / I Say"... (43-52; 101-140)
Reminder: Graduate Committees and Writing Projects, 3:30 p.m., Zoom
F 4 [A] Keats, "To Autumn" [CP]
Paper #1 (Option #1) due in class with completed Self-Evaluation Form
M 7 Labor Day -- No Class
W 9 Atwood, "Spelling" [CP]
Paper #1 (Option #2) due in class with completed Self-Evaluation Form
F 11 [A] Shelley, Frankenstein (3-105)
M 14 Frankenstein (107-161); Mellor, "Possessing Nature: The Female in Frankenstein" (274-286); Brantlinger, "The Reading Monster" (468-476)
W 16 Frankenstein; Guerin (58-60, 68-69, 116-121, 150-151, 186-189, 215-216, 284-290, 331-342, 376-378)
F 18 [A] Entering the Conversation: "MLA International Bibliography and MLA Style."
MLA Handbook, "Principles of MLA Style" (3-19); Gibaldi, MLA Handbook, 7th edition: "Conducting Research" (8-30) [CP]; Wayne Moe, "A Year with the New MLA" [CP] Guest Speaker: Sara Kearns, Academic Services Librarian
M 21 Entering the Conversation: "Finding the Critical Imperative" and "Writing an Abstract"
Graff and Birkenstein, "They Say / I Say"... (19-42); read and identify thesis claim and sub-claims of Rose, "Custody Battles: Reproducing Knowledge about Frankenstein" [CP]
Textual Scholarship and Scholarly Editing
W 23 Textual editing of Frankenstein: Joseph, "The Composition of Frankenstein" (157-160); Joseph, "The Composition of Frankenstein" (170-173); Mellor, "Choosing a Text of Frankenstein to Teach" (204-211); Shelley, "Introduction to Frankenstein, Third Edition" (165-169)
Abstract of Clark, "Frankenstein; or, The Modern Protagonist" (245-268) [CP] due in class
F 25 [A] Nash, "The Culture of Collected Editions: Authorship, Reputation, and the Canon" (1-15); McGann, "On Creating a Usable Future" (182-195) [CP]
  M 28 Guest Speakers: Anne Phillips, Norton Critical Edition of Little Women; brief textual studies exercise due in class.
W 30

Guest Speaker: Mark Crosby, Blake Archive http://www.blakearchive.org/blake/
Schriebman, "The Digital Humanities and Humanities Computing: An Introduction"; Kirschenbaum, "What is Digital Humanities and What's It doing in English Departments?"; Unsworth, "What is Humanities Computing and What is not?" [CP]

October F 2 [A] Guest Speaker: Philip Nel, The Annotated Cat
Seuss, The Cat in the Hat and The Cat in the Hat Comes Back and The Lorax [R]; brief annotation exercise due in class.
Boundary Crossings (1): Genre
M 5 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"; Pullman, "Carnegie Medal Acceptance Speech"; Michals, “Essay on why English departments should teach and embrace young adult fiction” [CP]
W 7 Cobley, "Genre"; Murfin, "Genre"; Abrams, "Genre"; Goldman, from On Drama: Boundaries of Genre, Borders of Self (1-10) [CP]
F 9 [A] Entering the Conversation: "Print and Online Resources for Scholarly Research"
Gibaldi, MLA Handbook, 7th edition, “Research and Writing” (1-50) and “Plagiarism” (51-61) )
Paragraph-length description of selected research topic due in class.
M 12 Dramatic Poetry: Frost, "Home Burial" (792-4); "Two Complimentary Critical Readings: Poirier and Kearns" (1007-9) [CP]
W 14 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]
F 16 [A] Entering the Conversation: "Interventions: Identifying Your Critical Imperative"
Graff and Birkenstein, "They Say / I Say"... (50-100); list of five scholarly resources (print or online, formatted in MLA style) for your proposed topic due in class.
M 19 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
W 21 Redefining Realism: Johnson, "Rambler No. 4"; Woolf, "Modern Fiction"; Woolf, "Kew Gardens" [CP]
F 23 [A]

Entering the Conversation: "Writing an Abstract"
Writing Workshop: Draft abstract due by class.

M 26 Nelson, A Wreath for Emmett Till; Nelson, "Girl in the Attic"; Anderson and Nelson, "Interview with Marilyn Nelson" [CP]
W 28

Chandler, "Preserving 'That Racial Memory': Figurative Language, Sonnet Sequence, and the Work of Remembrance in Marilyn Nelson's A Wreath for Emmett Till"; Priest, "'The Nightmare Is Not Cured': Emmett Till and American Healing"; Optional: Thomas, Lawson, and Flynn, "'It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)': The 2006 Lion and the Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American Poetry" [CP]
Response on critical readings (2 pp.) due in class.

  U 29 Draft Abstract and Annotated Bibliography for Paper #2 due by the end of the day to Canvas.
Boundary Crossings (2): Literary Periods, Anthologies, and the Canon

F 30 [A]

Brave New Voices, "Emmett"; Tulos, "'We Gon' Fight, Emmett': Performing Childhood and Innocence as Resistance in Black Youth Slam Poetry" [CP]; Robbins, “‘Real Politics’ and the Canon Debate” (365-375) [CP]
November M 2 Entering the Conversation: "Integrating Other Voices into Your Argument" Bring working thesis claim for Paper #2 to class
W 4 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)
F 6 [A] Entering the Conversation: "Outlining and Drafting"
Writing Workshop: Prepare your introduction with your thesis, your outline, and your "Works Cited" for class.
M 9 Entering the Conversation: "Revising"
Writing Workshop: Bring your full paper and your "Works Cited" to class.
W 11 Entering the Conversation: "Revising"
Writing Workshop: Bring your full paper and your "Works Cited" to class.
U 12 Paper #2 (10-12 pp.) and revised abstract due by 5 p.m. to to Canvas with completed Self-Evaluation Form.
F 13 [A] "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
M 16 Entering the Conversation: "Public Writing"
Dumitrescu, "What Academics Misunderstand about 'Public Writing'"; Gruner, "The Little Suffragist Doll: Cotton, White Supremacy, and Sweet Little Dolls"; Jaffee, "On the Great Exhibition"; Alexis, "Stop Using the Phrase 'Creative Writing'"; Nel, "Dancing on the Manhole Cover: The Genius of Richard Thompson"; Conniff, "What the Luddites Really Fought Against"; Roles, "Fraudulent Fruit in 'Goblin Market'" [CP]
W 18 "Public Writing," cont'd.
Bring your "hook" for your Public Scholarship writing to class.
F 20 [A] Public Scholarship Writing due to Canvas.
M 23 No Class -- Thanksgiving Break
W 25 No Class -- Thanksgiving Break
F 27 No Class -- Thanksgiving Break
  M 30 Entering the Conversation: "Preparing for a Conference Presentation"
December W 2 Panel Presentation
F 4 Reflections on ENGL 801 and Literary Studies


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Email: westmank@ksu.edu
Last updated 11 November 2020