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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Summer 2007

E f316K • Masterworks of Literature: British

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
84280 MTWThF
1:00 PM-2:30 PM
PAR 105

Course Description

It is clearly impossible to study, in one five-week course, the literature of a nation produced over approximately twelve hundred years. Even if we were to have the luxury of the reading time afforded by a long semester, we would still only scratch the surface of Britain's literary culture. Moreover, we would only be addressing the "literary" culture--and thus ignore the many other forms that culture takes ---economic, social, political. Furthermore, when we speak of "British culture," we are invoking not one but many varieties of national identity - from the Celts and the Gaels to the English (Saxon and Norman)--and the transformations that those groups have undergone over time.

Rather than attempt to locate major literary movements and their authors over the centuries, I have chosen to focus on five authors and to use their work to illuminate the historical and cultural complexities to which they responded. Those five authors are: Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Bronte, and Yeats.

Grading Policy

Attendance is required; you may miss three classes without an excuse. After your third absence you must provide a written excuse. If you fail to do so, I will lower your grade by 10% for each class missed. Please see me at the beginning of the semester if you have some special circumstances that will prevent you from being in compliance with this policy.I prefer to hold discussion classes rather than lectures; to this end, please come to class with the reading for the day prepared. It should not fall to the same few students each day to sustain discussion. If we cannot hold productive discussions because too few students are prepared, I will resort to pop quizzes. I will be handing out extra readings during the semester; any handouts will be left outside my office door after the class. Do not call or email me asking where you can pick up handouts.

Quizzes: One a week (Friday)--Objective questions and interpretative commentary 50%
Essay: Midterm essay (take home) , 3-4 pages 15%
Final Examination: Objective questions/interpretative commentary/ essay 35%


Course materials will be available in a course packet. You should also purchase Pride and Prejudice (Austen) and Mrs. Dalloway and A Room of One's Own (Woolf).


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