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, lectures focusing 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 readings 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 short essays in response to quiz questions and essays of various lengths in response to questions on the examinations.
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. Quizzes. There will be a number of brief, unannounced quizzes throughout the semester. One quiz grade will be dropped.
Grading: There will be two examinations, each of which will count forty percent of the final grade. The quiz average will count the remaining twenty percent. There will be no extra-credit assignments. When final grades are being determined, serious consideration will be given to class participation in discussions and to improvement during the course of the semester.
Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Major Authors, Seventh Edition
Optional text: Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales, ed. A. Kent Hieatt and Constance Hieatt (Bantam) (this text is optional; the Chaucer selections are all in the Norton Anthology).
Note: You must bring the text we are reading with you to class.