ENGL 698 "Capstone: Jane Austen and Her Legacy"

Spring 2015 ~ T, 7:05 p.m.

Schedule of Classes | Web Resources | Message Board

Class Discussion Schedule

Professor Westman
108B English/ Counseling Services; 532-2171
Office Hours: M, W 9:00-10:00 a.m. and by app't


Required Texts
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (1813) (Pearson Longman Cultural Edition)
Jane Austen, Emma (1815) (Broadview or Oxford)
Jane Austen, Mansfield Park (1814) (Norton Critical Edition)
George Eliot, Middlemarch (1871-2) (Penguin)
Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse (1927) (Harvest)
Georgette Heyer, Frederica (1965)
J. K Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999) (Scholastic)
Helen Fielding, Bridget Jones's Diary (1997) (Knopf)
Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Quirk Books)
Graff and Birkenstein, "They Say/I Say": The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing (Norton)
Class Pack (available online via K-State Online)
Film/online: Pride and Prejudice (A&E, 1995); Pride and Prejudice (Dir. Joe Wright, 2005); Clueless (1995); Bride and Prejudice (2004); Lost in Austen (T.V. mini-series, Granada, 2008); The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (2012-13)

Course Description
Many people look to Jane Austen for inspiration, drawing upon her characters, her narrative style, and her themes as they create their own art. Our investigation of Austen's legacy will begin by familiarizing ourselves with her novels (by way of Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Mansfield Park) and the critical reception of her novels since publication. We will then consider how Austen's work has inspired others across a range of genres and decades, both to create other novels and to adapt her work for film, television, and online distribution. We'll conclude by looking into the fan response to Austen work (the trend of "Austenmania"), both in print and online, and Austen's iconic role in popular culture. Throughout, our goal will be to discover Austen's contribution to literary and cultural history and to understand why her writing endures.

Course Objectives: ENGL 698 "Capstone" is a writing- and discussion-intensive course which provides a culminating experience for the English major. Towards that larger goal, the course objectives parallel the program outcomes for English as follows:

Readings and Class Participation: Given the course objectives and learning outcomes stated above, 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 online message board (further information below). To participate, you must complete the reading assigned for each class session, think carefully about what you have read, and be ready to share your ideas. Excessive absences from our weekly meeting (three or more) may result in failure of the course.

Attendance: Your attendance is important, but I recognize that the unexpected will happen. Therefore, you will not be penalized for your first absence. However, subsequent absences will lower your final course grade; excessive absences (three or more) or excessive lateness/early departure may result in failure of the course. While I appreciate your offering explanations for your absence, the only way to excuse an absence is to provide me with an official letter from your dean or advisor or an official notice of illness from the Health Center or your doctor. If you are absent, it is your responsibility to find out from another class member any announcements or assignments.

Leading Class Discussion: As part of the class participation grade, students will sign up in pairs to initiate discussion for one of our class sessions. Questions for class discussion (4-5 in number) should highlight issues or themes or queries you think we should address in our class discussion of the assigned texts for that day. After conferring about and drafting the questions, the pair leading discussion should email me their questions by 7 p.m. the night before; I will confirm receipt and offer any suggestions for the order or focus of the questions.

Online Message Board: To offer another venue for discussion, we'll be using an online message board in K-State Online. 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 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. The work contributed to the message board can become source material for more formal writing assignments.

The weekly message board will run from Friday to Friday, to encourage you to post right after as well as before our weekly class discussions, but I encourage you to contribute your ideas throughout the week and to check the board for others' postings. 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 message board, follow these directions:

1. Go to my homepage at http://www.ksu.edu/english/westmank/ and click on our course (ENGL 698), and then “Message Board” to login to K-State Online and go directly to the “Message Board.” (You may also login to the K-State Online course page for ENGL 698, click on “Collaboration” and then select “Message Board.”)
2. You should see all the messages posted to date and the newest threads ones first.
3. To post, choose to “reply,” so you can engage directly in the conversation and your message can “thread” beneath the one you’re responding to. Please change the subject line so it reflects the content of your message.

Critical Writing: You will write one shorter paper (4 pages in length); you will also write one longer paper (7-8 pages in length) which will place your ideas in conversation with others who have published on your topic. This longer paper will have a second life in an edited form, too, as a publication for the web, so we can share with others our discoveries about Austen's legacy. You will have a choice of topic for Paper #1, and you will have a choice of topic and texts for Paper #2, including a creative option. All three papers should follow the general rules of composition and be typed or word-processed with standard double-spacing, 1-inch margins, and either 11- or 12-point typeface. Title pages and cover sheets are unnecessary. Pages should be numbered, stapled together, and spell-checked. Papers are due by the date and time on the syllabus; late papers will be penalized one grade (i.e.: A to B) for each day late. (Note: The University's Honor Code obliges you to cite the source of any idea that is not your own. Otherwise, you have plagiarized. If you do plagiarize, you will fail this course.)

You will also write four response papers (2 pages in length) in response to our readings. Response papers are designed to ready you for class discussion and to explore ideas you could develop further in your longer paper. In your response paper, you should not repeat previous class discussions or provide a summary of the reading. Instead, your response should begin to analyze the primary and secondary reading assigned for that class session, selecting an issue or theme or question you feel to be significant. I recommend that you select a word, phrase, or short quotation from the reading to initiate your response. (See sample response distributed in class.)

Everyone will write a response paper for our second reading assignment (Austen's Emma) and for our seventh reading assignment (the conclusion of Middlemarch); for the remaining two response papers, you may choose from the other texts on the syllabus, being sure to choose one novel and one film. Response papers are due at the start of class on the day we begin our discussion of the reading. Responses will be graded on a 1-5 scale: 5=A, 4=B, 3=C, 2=D, 1=F. I do not accept late response papers.

Multi-Media Project: You will choose one of four possible multi-media projects to complete during the semester. Your multi-media project can be submitted on any class day but must be turned in no later than Tuesday April 28. Each project should demonstrate insight and understanding of the text with which it connects, should be thoughtfully constructed, and should be presented professionally with attention to detail.  Refer to the grading rubrics (posted in K-State Online as of 1/25) for detailed grading criteria. The assignment will be distributed the second week of class, but here are brief descriptions:
Examination: You will have a cumulative final exam.

Online and video resources: Along with some required viewing (see the films listed under “Required Texts”) and required online reading, I will refer you to resources available 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.
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 reading or writing assignments, your thesis statement for an essay, 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.

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 exams or papers 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 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. Any student with a disability who needs a classroom accommodation, access to technology, assistance during an emergency evacuation, or other assistance in this course should contact the Student Access Center (formerly Disability Support Services) and/or me. The SAC serves students with a wide range of disabilities including, but not limited to, physical disabilities, sensory impairments, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, depression, and anxiety.

Academic Honesty: 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 <http://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." If you have any questions about your work in relation to the Honor System, please ask.

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.

The shorter paper (Paper #1) will count for 10%, the longer paper (Paper #2) will count for 20%, and the web version of Paper #2 will count for 10%. Response papers will count for 15% of your final grade; the multi-media project will count for 10% of your final grade. Class participation (20%) and a final exam (15%) complete the requirements.

Schedule of Classes (Subject to change.)

Note: All assigned reading should be completed by the date listed.
[CP] = Class Pack, via K-State Online. [W] = Web.

Austen: An Introduction
January 20 Austen, Pride and Prejudice (1813)
  27 Austen, Emma (1815)
Booth, from The Rhetoric of Fiction [CP]
Response Paper #1 Due (2 pages) on Emma
February 3

Austen, Mansfield Park (1814)
Auerbach, “Jane Austen’s Dangerous Charm: Feeling as One Aught About Fanny Price” (Johnson 445-457); Lew, "'That Abominable Traffic': Mansfield Park and the Dynamics of Slavery" (Johnson 498-510)
Discussion #1


• Critical Reception of Austen
Waldron, “Critical Responses, Early”; Trott, “Critical Responses, 1830-1970"; Rajan, “Critical Responses, Recent” [CP]

• Historical and Cultural Contexts
~ “Money: From the 1790s to the Regency (1811-1820)” (P&P, Johnson and Wolfson 344-348)
~ “Marriage and the Marriage Market” (P&P, Johnson and Wolfson 349-375); additional excerpts from Blackstone, More, and Porter (E, Samuelian 437-441)
~ “Female Character and Conduct” (P&P, Johnson and Wolfson 384-400); additional excerpts from Gregory, Wollstonecraft, and Gisborne (MP, Johnson 391-397, 401-403)
~ “Male Character and Conduct” (P&P, Johnson and Wolfson 401-407); additional excerpts from Gisborne (MP, Johnson 398-400)
~ “The Picturesque and Great Houses” (P&P, Johnson and Wolfson 408-424); additional excerpts from Repton (MP, Johnson 382-387)

Paper #1 Due (4 pages) M.L.A. documentation format.

Literary Legacies

17 Eliot, Middlemarch, A Study of Provincial Life (1871-2) (3-319 / Prelude through Chapter 33)
Sarah Stickney Ellis, from The Women of England [CP]; Coventry Patmore, from “The Angel in the House” [CP]
  24 Middlemarch, cont’d (321-636 / Chapter 34 through Chapter 62)
Discussion #2
March 3 Middlemarch, cont’d (to end: 639-838 / Chapter 63 through Finale)
Flint, “George Eliot and Gender” [CP]
Discussion #3
Response Paper #2 Due (2 pages) on Middlemarch
10 Woolf, To the Lighthouse (1927)
Woolf, “Modern Fiction” and “Professions for Women” [CP]
  17 Spring Break
  24 Heyer, Frederica (1965)
Kloester, from Georgette Heyer's Regency World : “On the Town”; “What to Wear”; “A Glossary of Cant and Common Regency Phrases” [CP]
Recommended reading: Westman, “‘A Story of Her Weaving’: The Self-Authoring Heroines of Georgette Heyer’s Regency Romance” [CP]
Discussion #4
  31 Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999)
Rowling, “Let Me Tell You a Story” (2000)
Recommended reading: Westman, “Perspective, Memory, and Moral Authority: The Legacy of Jane Austen in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter” [CP]
April F 2 Prospectus (1 p.) for Paper #2 due to my mailbox in ECS 119 by 5 p.m

Adapting Austen


Adaptation (I): Heritage Cinema
Pride and Prejudice (A&E, 1995), Pride and Prejudice (Dir. Joe Wright, 2005)
Hutcheon, from A Theory of Adaptation; Higson, “Heritage Cinema and Television”; Sutherland, “Austen on Screen”; Nixon, “Balancing the Courtship Hero: Masculine Emotional Display in Film Adaptations of Austen’s Novels”; Hopkins, “Mr. Darcy’s Body” [CP]
Writing Workshop I: Developing Your Thesis


Fielding, Bridget Jones’s Diary (1997)
Readers’ comments at Amazon.com; interview with Fielding; critical commentaries [CP]
Discussion #5
Writing Workshop II: Thesis, Outline, and Works Cited


Adaptation (II): Transcultural Adaptation
Clueless (1995), Bride and Prejudice (2004)
Ferris, “Emma Becomes Clueless”; Nachumi, “‘As If!’: Translating Austen’s Ironic Narrator to Film”; Wilson, “Bride and Prejudice: A Bollywood Comedy of Manners” [CP]
Discussion #6 & Discussion #7
Writing Workshop III: Draft of Paper #2

F 24

Paper #2 (7-8 pages) due to my mailbox in ECS 119 by 5:00 p.m. M.L.A. documentation format.

  28 Adaptation (III): Postmodern Hybrids
Lost in Austen (2008); Austen and Grahame-Smith, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2009); The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (2012-2013) [W]; Owens, “Jane Austen over the Styx” (2009); Cowie, “One Character in Search of Her Love Story Role” (2009); Neal, “See Jane Bite” (2010) [CP]


May M 4 Paper #3 due to my mailbox in ECS 119 and via email by 5 p.m. M.L.A. documentation format.

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (2012-2013), continued [W]

• Johnson, “Austen Cults and Cultures” [CP]; The Republic of Pemberley [W]; excerpts from Webster, Lost in Austen: Create Your Own Jane Austen Adventure [CP]; excerpts from Everybody's Jane [CP]

• Review for Final Exam

  12 Final Exam (IDs & essay): 6:20-8:10 p.m.


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Email: westmank@ksu.edu
Last updated 4 May 2015