ENGL 635 "London in Contemporary British Literature"
Course Modality: We will meet 100% online. On Tuesdays, we will meet synchronously from 7:05-8:45pm via Zoom. By each Friday, you will complete an asynchronous activity (shared on Wednesday, due by 11:59pm on Friday) which will represent the balance of your weekly time in class.
Readings and Class Participation: Given the course objectives 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). 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, synchronously and asynchronously.
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 to our readings, and their ability to "translate" scholarly discussions for a general audience. I'll provide weekly question prompts as I follow these conversations, and I may also participate, but I see the online discussion 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 Saturday 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. Postings will count for half (10%) of your class participation grade (20%). If you would like to know your message board grade to date at any point in the semester, please ask. I will offer models of successful comments early in the semester.
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 set up an appointment 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 785-532-6441; for K-State Polytechnic campus, contact Academic and Student Services at email@example.com or call 785-826-2974.
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.
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>.
Note: All assigned reading should be completed by the date listed.
[CP] = Online Class Pack. [W] = Web. Continuities = Ackroyd's London: The Biography
London: An Introduction
|January||26||McLeod, from Postcolonial London (1-9); Bennett, "Colonisation in Reverse" (1966); Soyinka, "Telephone Conversation" (1960) [readings distributed as xerox in class]|
Inside/Outside: 1948 and All That
|February||2||Levy, Small Island (2003) (1-278)
Historical background: Morley and Robbins, "Chronology" (504-510); Phillips, from A New World Order (241-46, 264-282); Phillips and Phillips, from Windrush (26-103) [CP]
Response Paper #1 due (2 pages) on Levy
Continuities: "Blitz," "Refashioning the City" (720-750)
|9||• Levy, Small Island (281-438)
Selected reviews for Levy's Small Island [CP]
Leading Discussion: Levy, Small Island
• Selvon, from Ways of Sunlight (1957) (125-138; 161-166; 175-188); Ball, “Immigration and Postwar London Literature” (222-40); McLeod, from Postcolonial London (1-40) [CP]
|16||MacInnes, Absolute Beginners (1958)
McLeod, from Postcolonial London (40-58); Phillips and Phillips, from Windrush (158-180) [CP]
Continuities: "London as Crowd" (383-402), "London's Radicals," "Violent London" (455-490)
History Repeating?: Rebellion, Isolation, Integration
|23||Byatt, Babel Tower (1996) (3-369)
Response Paper #2 due (2 pages) on Byatt
Continuities: "From Prehistory to 1066," "The Early Middle Ages" (5-64)
Continuities: "London Contrasts," "The Late Medieval City," "Onward and Upward," "Trading Streets and Trading Parishes," "A London Neighborhood" (65-134)
• Byatt, Babel Tower (370-622)
|F 5||Paper #1 due (4 pages) by 11:59 p.m. M.L.A. documentation format.|
• London on TV: The Prisoner; critical reading on The Prisoner [CP]
Churchill, Cloud 9 (1978)
|F 19||No additional Friday activity -- well-being day|
|23||Winterson, Sexing the Cherry (1989)
Selected reviews for Winterson's Sexing the Cherry; Winterson, from Art Objects (26-44); "Interview with Jeanette Winterson" (11-29); Wasserstrom, "Are You Now or Have You Ever Been ... Postmodern?"; Hutcheon, from The Politics of Postmodernism (1-7, 47-54, 71-78) [CP]
Response Paper #3 due (2 pages) on Winterson
Class Discussion Questions: Winterson, Sexing the Cherry
Continuities: "Pestilence and Flame," "After the Fire" (191-236), "Black Magic, White Magic" (491-507)
Continuities: "A Fever of Building," "London's Rivers," "Under the Ground" (510-560)
Escaping the Past, Imagining the Future
|30||Smith, White Teeth (2000) (1-256)
Continuities: "The Centre of Empire," "After the Great War" (685-720)
|April||6||Smith, White Teeth (257-448)
Selected reviews for Smith's White Teeth; Head, "Zadie Smith's White Teeth: Multiculturalism for the Millennium" (106-119) [CP]
Response Paper #4 due (2 pages) on Smith
Class Discussion Questions: Smith, White Teeth
|F 9||Essay Review due (4-5 pages) by 11:59 p.m. M.L.A. documentation format.|
|M 12||Prospectus (1 p.) for Paper #2 due by 11:59 p.m.|
|13||Bend it Like Beckham (2002)|
|F 16||No additional Friday activity -- well-being day.|
|27||• Wheatle, Crongton Knights (2017); optional: Alex Wheatle (2020), from the Small Axe film series
Selected interviews with Wheatle by Claire Armitstead (17 Nov 2016) and with Homa Khaleeli (18 Nov 2016); Wheatle on Tolkien's influence (15 March 2016) and creating the world of Crongton (25 Oct 2016) [W]
Class Discussion Questions: Wheatle, Crongton Knights.
• Selected poems: John Agard, "Windrush Welcome" (1998), "Uncle Mo Steps Out" (1998), "Remember the Ship" (1998); and Benjamin Zephaniah, "What Stephen Lawrence Has Taught Us" (1998); Childs, from The Twentieth Century in Poetry (180-204) [CP]
Continuities: "The Natural History of London," "Night and Day" (403-453), "Cockney Visionaries" (751-760)
|M 3||Paper #2 (and abstract) due by 11:59 p.m. M.L.A. documentation format.|
|7||• Paddington (2015)
Selected reviews and critical readings [CP]
• Selected poems: Fleur Adcock, "Immigrant" (1979) and "Instead of an Interview" (1979); Jackie Kay, "In My Country" (1993); Moniza Alvi, "Arrival 1946"(1993); Merle Collins, "Visiting Yorkshire -- Again" (1992) and "When Britain Had Its GREAT" (1992) [CP]
• Coda: McLeod, from Postcolonial London (189-194); Phillips, from A New World Order (303-309) [CP]
|14||Final Reflection and professional development tasks due by 9:00 p.m.|