E f316K • Masterworks of Literature: British
2:30 PM-4:00 PM
This course has three objectives. The primary one is to introduce students to the systematic study of English literature from the Middle Ages to the early twentieth century. It will include lectures about historical issues central to the various periods covered; these lectures will focus on social and political as well as literary, artistic, and intellectual history. The purpose of these lectures is to help students understand the ways in which a text embodies the chief concerns of its age. The second objective of the course is to help students improve their skills as readers and interpreters of literature. Hence, they will be required to perform close and careful readings of the works studied. The course will offer a wide variety of different kinds of literature from lyric to epic, satire to tragedy, and most class periods will be devoted to detailed reading of those works. The final objective of the course is to help students improve their skills as writers. To this end, students will have to write essays in response to questions on the examinations (as well as writing brief responses to short-answer questions).
1. Attendance. Students are expected to attend class. If you miss more than four classes, your quiz average will be reduced by one point for each additional class you miss. There are no excused absences. You are required to sit in one seat throughout the semester; failure to be in your regular seat will mean that you will be marked absent.
2. Classroom manners. Talking with your neighbor, reading material unrelated to the class, sleeping, and other forms of rudeness disturb both the instructor and other students. Please refrain.
3. Examinations. These must be taken at the times specified in the syllabus. There will be no make-ups, except in the rarest of circumstances involving (documented) family deaths and personal medical emergencies. An unexcused, missed exam will be graded as a zero.
4. Class Participation. Students are expected to come to class prepared to discuss the texts assigned. Study questions will be provided to help in that preparation. Student performance in class will be an important part of the final grade.
Grading: There will be two examinations in the course. Students will also receive a collective grade for class participation. The best performance on an examination or in class participation will count forty percent of the final grade; the next best performance will count thirty-five percent; and the least successful performance will count the remaining twenty-five percent. This system is designed to weight grades in such a way that students get more credit for what they do best and also to allow for improvement during the course of the semester.
Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Major Authors, most recent edition
Shakespeare, The Tempest (Penguin).
Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway (Harcourt, Brace).