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

Spring 2005

E 314L • Literary Contests and Contexts

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
31385 MWF
9:00 AM-10:00 AM
CAL 200
BIRKHOLZ

Course Description

This course is designed to prepare students for the English major. We will read, discuss, and write about a collection of texts in several complementary ways: we will consider the text of each work, its literary and historical contexts, and the cultural contests in which it has participated.

When we consider the text of each work, we will examine stylistic and aesthetic elements (e.g., the author's use of character, setting, imagery, language patterns, and even sentence syntax) and how those elements contribute to the work's broader themes and apparent purposes. In considering each work's relationship to its literary and historical context, we will read a number of historical documents as well as shorter literary works from the period in which the work was written. Finally, we will consider how each of the central works has fared since its publication—that is, how it has been valued and devalued in various cultural "contests." For whom has it been especially important? When has it been considered "great literature"? By what criteria has it been judged since its first publication? Does the work have any social, intellectual, or aesthetic value at present?

Grading Policy

Three 5-7+ pp. Papers (plus required drafts for first two; required 1-page prospectus for all three) 25% each
In-Class Performance (writing, discussion, engagement, preparation, peer feedback) 25%
Attendance (repeated absences will affect grade) Required
On-time Completion of Reading & Writing Assignments Required

Texts

The Song of Songs
Rexroth, Poems from the Greek Anthology
Shakespeare, The Sonnets
Shakespeare, Twelfth Night
Goldsmith, She Stoops to Conquer
Wycherley, The Country Wife
Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest
Conan Doyle, Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Kipling, Kim
Achebe, Things Fall Apart
Reed, Mumbo Jumbo Course Packet (selections from Sedgwick, Frye, Eagleton, Bahktin, Said, etc.)

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