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

Gretchen Murphy

Professor Ph.D., 1999, University of Washington

Gretchen Murphy

Contact

Biography

Gretchen Murphy is a Professor in the English Department. She received her Ph. D. from the University of Washington in 1999. Her research Interests include: U.S. Literature and culture to 1914, nationalism and imperialism, and sentimental and domestic writing.

 

Recent Publications:

Shadowing the White Man’s Burden: U.S. Imperialism and the Problem of the Color Line. New York: New York University Press, 2010.

Hemispheric Imaginings: The Monroe Doctrine and Narratives of U.S. Empire.  Durham: Duke University Press, 2005.

“The Hemispheric Novel in the Age of Revolution,” The Cambridge History of the American Novel, Eds. Leonard Cassuto, Claire Eby and Benjamin Reiss. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011): 533-570.

“How the Irish Became Japanese: Winnifred Eaton and Racial Reconstruction in a Transnational Context.” American Literature, 79.1 (2007): 29-56.

 “Symzonia, Typee, and the Dream of U.S. Global Isolation.” ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance 49.4 (2003): 249-284.

“The Spanish American War, U.S. Expansion, and the Novel,” The Oxford History of the Novel in English, Vol. 6, American Novels 1870-1940.  Eds. Priscilla Wald and Michael A. Elliott. Forthcoming.

“Novels of Travel and Exploration,” The Oxford History of the Novel in English, Vol. 5, American Novels to 1870.  Eds.  J. Gerald Kennedy and Leland S. Person. Forthcoming.

 

Interests

U.S. Literature and culture to 1914; nationalism and imperialism; sentimental and domestic writing.

E 679HA • Honors Tutorial Course

35965 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm PAR 304
show description

Instructor:  Murphy, G

Unique #:  35965

Semester:  Fall 2014

Cross-lists:  n/a

Flags:  n/a

Restrictions:  English Honors

Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: Enrollment in or completion of at least one honors section of an English course, admission to the English Honors Program, and consent of the honors adviser.

Description: According to the Honors Thesis Manual, a thesis is “a sustained examination of a central idea or question, developed in a professional and mature manner under the guidance of a faculty supervisor and a second reader.” That sounds easy enough, but how does one get there from here? This course offers something of a roadmap. Over the course of the term we will examine literary criticism from the “inside out” and hone skills essential to a successful honors thesis.

Along the way, we will address a number of questions, both practical—How do I use the MLA Bibliography? What’s the difference between a footnote and an endnote?—and theoretical—What does it mean to make an argument about literature? Who has authority in an act of interpretation? This course will: first and foremost prepare students to write an honors thesis; interrogate methods of literary and cultural interpretation; consider what it means to make literary arguments and conduct literary research; help students to improve their research, critical thinking, reading, and writing skills.

Texts: Wayne Booth, et al, The Craft of Research (Third Edition) (University Of Chicago Press, 2008). #978-0226065663; Marjorie Garber, A Manifesto for Literary Studies (University of Washington Press, 2003). #978-0295983448; Gerald Graff, Cathy Birkenstein, They Say/I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing (Norton, 2005). # 978-0393924091.

Requirements & Grading: (assignment logistics, rationales, and approaches will be discussed at length during class)

Final Thesis Prospectus (4-6 pp.) & Annotated Bibliography (20-25+ items)            40%

Writing Sample (15-20 pp. section or sections of your actual thesis)            30%

In-Class Performance (quality & consistency of discussion; preparation; engagement;

informal writing; writing-process & bibliography tasks; peer feedback; Symposium)            30%

On-time Attendance (note: every absence beginning with #4 will reduce grade; NC at #9)            Required

On-time Completion of Reading, Writing-Process, Research, & Peer Feedback Assignments            Required

Plus/minus grades will be assigned for the final grade of the course. The university does not recognize the grade of A+. Evaluation percentages approximate & subject to minor change.

E 316K • Masterworks Of Lit: American

35355-35400 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm JGB 2.324
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Instructor:  Murphy, G

Unique #:  35355-35400

Semester:  Spring 2014

Cross-lists:  n/a

Prerequisites: E 603A, RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 603A; and a passing score on the reading section of the Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA) test.

Description: Literature in History--

A survey of United States literature from the colonial period to the present.

Texts: Classic American Autobiography, ed. William L. Andrews; Masterworks of American Literature, course reader; The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien.

Requirements & Grading: Close Reading Exercises, 60%; Quizzes, 30%; Attendance and participation, 10%.

E 389P • Recovering Amer Women Writers

36280 • Spring 2014
Meets T 500pm-800pm CAL 200
show description

American literary studies has been profoundly shaped in the past forty years by feminist efforts to “recover” forgotten women writers of the nineteenth century.  The books that this movement has seen into print and into graduate and undergraduate classrooms raise important critical issues such as sentimentality and aesthetics, public and private power dynamics, race and sexuality, and authorship and identity.  In this class, we will cover a range of such texts and their growing body of critical work, paying special attention to critical trends marking shifts in the interpretation of these works.

Because of this emphasis on critical trends and because a number of the secondary texts we read are standard works for field exams in American Literature, this course will be useful to students seeking a background in American literary studies after feminist theory.

Course requirements include 1) an 8-10 page midterm literature review that explains shifting directions and emphases in Americanist and feminist criticism within a body of scholarship; 2) a presentation and short summary/response of on an out-of-print publication by a nineteenth-century American woman writer; 3) co-facilitating a discussion on one assigned primary source; and 4) a draft of a conference paper and an abstract of the paper aimed at a particular conference.

Primary texts for this course will include Hannah Crafts The Bondswoman’s Narrative, Fanny Fern Ruth Hall, Charlotte Perkins Gilman “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Harriet Beecher Stowe Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Pauline Hopkins Contending Forces, Susan Warner The Wide, Wide World; Maria Susana Cummins The Lamplighter, Harriet Wilson’s Our Nig, Elizabeth Stoddard The Morgesons

Secondary readings that students will cover either individually or as a class will be drawn from 1) early feminist criticism and debate that established sentimental and domestic women’s writing in the canon; 2) formal efforts to define and evaluate sentimentality and related forms such as melodrama and domestic fiction; 3) historicist readings exploring the relationship of literature to legal discourse, capitalism and individualism, consumer culture, feminism, slavery and abolitionism, miscegenation and racial identity, sexuality, masochism, and imperialism; 4) the on-going biographical and archival research that sometimes makes these recovered finds “moving targets” that are difficult to classify and interpret.  A number of our readings are standard texts for field exams in American Literature.  This list includes essays and books by Elizabeth Ammons, Nina Baym, Anne Boyd, Lauren Berlant, Richard Brodhead, Gillian Brown, Hazel Carby, Gregg Crane, Cathy Davidson, Joanne Dobson, Ann Douglas, Judith Fetterley, Philip Fisher, Jennifer Fleissner Henry Louis Gates, Teresa Gaul, Winnifred Fluck, Glenn Handler, Amy Kaplan, Lori Merish, Marianne Noble, Jane Tompkins, Shirley Samuels, Karen Sanchez-Eppler, and Laura Wexler.    

E 379K • Amer Lit & Thought: 1840-1920

36005 • Fall 2013
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm PAR 206
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Instructor:  Murphy, G            Areas:  II / F

Unique #:  36005            Flags:  n/a

Semester:  Fall 2013            Restrictions:  n/a

Cross-lists:  n/a            Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

Description: For many Americans, the experience of colonizing a “New World” and forming a new democracy inspired utopian and speculative thought about how and to what degree nature and society could be reconceived. We will examine various strains of philosophical, fictional, political and scientific writing that sought to explore radical revisions of human existence, beginning with New England Transcendentalism and utopian socialism and ending with the emergence of science fiction.

Texts may include:  Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson; Walden, Henry David Thoreau; “Transcendental Wild Oats,” Louisa May Alcott; The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, Edgar Allan Poe; The Virginian, Owen Wister; Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain; Herland,Charlotte Perkins Gilman; Of One Blood, Pauline Hopkins; Looking Backwards, Edward Bellamy; A Princess of Mars, Edgar Rice Burroughs

Requirements & Grading: Final grades will be based on reading quizzes (10%), two 5-page papers (70%), a class presentation (10%), and class participation (10%).

E 316K • Masterworks Of Lit: American

34845-34890 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm JES A121A
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Instructor:  Murphy, G            Areas:  n/a

Unique #:  34845-34890            Flags:  n/a

Semester:  Fall 2012            Restrictions:  n/a

Cross-lists:  n/a            Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: Completion of at least thirty semester hours of coursework, including E 603A, RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 603A, and a passing score on the reading section of the Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA) test.

Description: Literature in History--

A survey of United States literature from the colonial period to the present.

Texts: Classic American Autobiography, ed. William L. Andrews

Masterworks of American Literature, course reader

The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien

Requirements & Grading: Close Reading Exercises, 60%; Quizzes, 30%; Attendance and participation, 10%.

E 321K • Introduction To Criticism

35320 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm PAR 206
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Instructor:  Murphy, G            Areas:  IV / U

Unique #:  35320            Flags:  Writing

Semester:  Fall 2012            Restrictions:  n/a

Cross-lists:  n/a            Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

Description: What is literature? Why do we study it? And what methods have literary critics developed to meet those ends? Answering these three seemingly basic questions leads us into the complex and contested realm of literary theory. This course provides an introduction to theoretical debates about the definition and purpose of “literary study” and to modes of interpretation including New Criticism, reader-response criticism, psychoanalytic criticism, Marxist criticism, feminist criticism, structuralist criticism, deconstructive criticism, new historicist criticism and biographical and bibliographic methods.

Texts: David Richter, Falling into Theory.  Additional required readings will be made available in a course packet and on-line.

Requirements & Grading: Three 4-6 page papers, 1 short reflective essay, class participation

E 316K • Masterworks Of Lit: American

34855-34900 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm UTC 2.102A
show description

Instructor:  Murphy, G            Areas:  n/a

Unique #:  34855-34900            Flags:  n/a

Semester:  Spring 2012            Restrictions:  n/a

Cross-lists:  n/a            Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: Completion of at least thirty semester hours of coursework, including E 603A, RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 603A, and a passing score on the reading section of the Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA) test.

Description: Literature in History--

A survey of United States literature from the colonial period to the present. 

Texts: Classic American Autobiography, ed. William L. Andrews

Masterworks of American Literature, course reader

The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien 

Requirements & Grading: Close Reading Exercises, 60%; Quizzes, 30%; Attendance and participation, 10%.

E 395M • Hemisph Amer: Theors Amer Lit

35695 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm CAL 200
show description

Hemispheric American Literature

Recent theory tells us that nations are imaginary, that culture is not contained by national borders, and that our contemporary world (and thus our frame of reference for understanding the past) is globalizing.  Such insights have inspired and troubled literary scholars who find themselves studying an academic field still institutionally and conceptually organized by national borders. Americanists are responding to this problem by seeking out alternative cultural spheres of literary influence and reference, and this class will explore some of these efforts. We will identify new models for a transnational American literature, focusing especially on those that have been called variously hemispheric American Studies, Inter-American studies, or New World Studies.  In studying these models, we’ll consider the justifications, challenges, blind spots and insights that they offer.

Our primary readings will be drawn from period between the Revolutionary era and World War I, partly because the literature of this era is the most emphatically national and the most difficult to conceptualize globally.  Like an hourglass, the shape of the field of American literary history tends to narrow at its center.  While the colonial era invites comparative study of competing European and Amerindian representations crisscrossing a geographic space not then envisioned through national borders, and while contemporary literature in the era of globalization requires cultural models that account for new circuits of culture and power crossing national borders, the culture of the nineteenth-century United States often still appears to be a scene of domestic isolation and inwardly absorbed conflict.  Thus efforts to globalize studies of this era are the most fraught and arguably the most necessary to any wide-scale redefinition of the field.

The course will begin with readings in U.S. literary criticism and theory calling for a more transnational American literature.  After this introductory segment, we study a collection of works and secondary criticism that offer case studies in various approaches hemispheric literary studies: the comparative study of national romances, studies of shared and interconnected New World revolutionary discourse, the literature of a “plantation America” extending south into the Caribbean from the Southeastern United States, and borderland studies.  A preliminary list of literary texts includes Leonora Sansay The Secret History, Félix Varela Xicoténcatl, Ignacio Manuel Altamirano El Zarco, James Fenimore Cooper The Last of the Mohicans, Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda Sab, Mary Peabody Mann Juanita, Martin Delany Blake; or, The Huts of America, María Amparo Ruiz de Burton Who Would Have Thought It, Helen Hunt Jackson Ramona, and selected short stories and essays.

Secondary readings include critical and theoretical works by Jesse Aleman, Benedict Anderson, Lawrence Buell, Anna Brickhouse, Paul Giles, Mathew Pratt Guterl, Jennifer Rae Greeson, David Luid-Brown, Amy Kaplan, Rodrigo Lazo, Caroline Levander, Lora Lomas, John Muthyala, John-Michael Rivera, Doris Sommer, Gustavo Pérez Firmat, Kirsten Silva Gruesz, Shelley Streeby, and Eric Wertheimer.

Course requirements include oral presentations on secondary texts and a final 15-20 page seminar paper. We will read all works in English or English translations.

E 321K • Introduction To Criticism

35155 • Fall 2011
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am PAR 206
show description

Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

Description: What is literature? Why do we study it? And what methods have literary critics developed to meet those ends? Answering these three seemingly basic questions leads us into the complex and contested realm of literary theory. This course provides an introduction to theoretical debates about the definition and purpose of “literary study” and to modes of interpretation including psychoanalytic criticism, Marxist criticism, feminist criticism, New Criticism, reader-response criticism, new historicist criticism, structuralist criticism, deconstructive criticism, lesbian, gay, and queer criticism, African American criticism, post-colonial criticism, transnational criticism and the return of biographical and bibliographic methods.

Texts: Lois Tyson Critical Theory Today: A User Friendly Guide, David Richter, Falling into Theory and F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby. Additional required readings will be on reserve, in a course packet and available on-line.

Requirements & Grading: Bi-weekly short response papers and midterm and final exams.

E 372M • American Realism

35460 • Fall 2011
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm GAR 0.128
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Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

Description: Late in the nineteenth century, a number of American artists strove to reject the falsity that they found in romantic and sentimental fiction; they wanted instead to represent the truly real. This class will explore the novels that they produced and the historical conditions that influenced this movement. To write realistically, one must first define reality -- which themes, characters, settings, and emotions did these writers seek to establish as more “real” than others, and which did they reject? Why did social phenomena like capitalism, immigration, urbanization, reconstruction, and the “new woman” emerge as subject matter for the realists? How did realism relate to other artistic and intellectual efforts to depict reality and identify “real” human nature in the visual arts, sociology, and biology? Was realism successful, and why have subsequent writers and critics argued that it failed at its artistic goals? 

Texts: Stephen Crane, Maggie: A Girl of the Streets; Rebecca Harding Davis, Life in the Iron Mills; Charles Chesnutt, Tales of Conjure and the Color Line; Edith Wharton, The Custom of the Country; Kate Chopin, The Awakening; Sarah Orne Jewett, The Country of the Pointed Firs; Selected short stories.

Requirements & Grading: Three short papers (4-5 pages) with required drafts: 80%; Class participation and presentations: 20%.

E F379K • Amer Lit & Thought: 1840-1920

83660 • Summer 2011
Meets MTWTHF 1130am-100pm PAR 306
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Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

 

Description: When we read stories of fantasy and adventure, do we escape the social and political circumstances of our world, or do we explore very real problems and possibilities?  In this class we’ll read five classics of American fantasy and adventure in the context of their era’s social and political history. Our goal will be to consider the relationships between literature, genre and social change as we find in the pages of these novels contested ideas about modernization, the closing of the frontier, the shift to overseas expansion, racial conflict in the post-Reconstruction Jim Crow era, the woman’s movement, and corporate capitalism. 

 

Texts: The Virginian, Owen Wister; A Connecticut Yankee, Mark Twain; Herland, Charlotte Perkins Gilman; The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum; Of One Blood, Pauline Hopkins.

 

Requirements & Grading: Final grades will be based on reading quizzes (50%), a final exam (30%), a class presentation (10%), and class participation (10%)

E 321K • Introduction To Criticism

35405 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm PAR 306
show description

Prerequisites: C L 315, E 603B, 316K, or T C 603B.

Course Description: What is literature?  Why do we study it?  And what methods have literary critics developed to meet those ends?   Answering these three seemingly basic questions leads us into the complex and contested realm of literary theory.  This course provides an introduction to theoretical debates about the definition and purpose of “literary study” and to modes of interpretation including psychoanalytic criticism, Marxist criticism, feminist criticism, New Criticism, reader-response criticism, new historicist criticism, structuralist criticism, deconstructive criticism, lesbian, gay, and queer criticism, African American criticism, post-colonial criticism, transnational criticism and the return of biographical and bibliographic methods.

Texts: Lois Tyson Critical Theory Today: A User Friendly Guide, Catherine Belsey Poststructuralism: A Very Short Introduction, David Richter, Falling into Theory and F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby.  A few additional poems, plays and/or short stories that we’ll use to practice on will be made available in a reading packet or on-line.

Grading: Bi-weekly short response papers and a final 7-10 page paper.

E 370W • Rewriting Womanhood

34845 • Fall 2010
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm PAR 105
(also listed as WGS 345 )
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E 370W, Rewriting Womanhood
Instructor:  Gretchen Murphy, Associate Professor
Fall 2010

Course Description
Race, Gender, and 19th-Century American Women Writers --
This course examines fictional and autobiographical writings by black and white women from 1797 to 1914, paying attention to the way these works negotiated conflicts of race, class, gender and sexuality.  During the nineteenth century, both black and white women writers took a risk when writing to the public.  For white women, addressing the public in print could be seen as overstepping the era’s strict social boundaries around female modesty.  For African American women writers during this era, this delicate situation was compounded by the necessity of addressing black female sexual oppression in slavery and the racial subtexts of gender ideals.  By studying and writing about these novels and joining in the tradition of critical discussion about these works, we’ll work to understand the way women used authorship to withstand, adapt, and subvert dominant ideas of black and white femininity.

Possible selected novels by Harriet Beecher Stowe, Harriet Wilson, Elizabeth Stoddard, Pauline Hopkins, Lydia Maria Child, Kate Chopin

Prerequisite: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

E 389P • Recov Black/White Wom Writers

35015 • Fall 2010
Meets MW 330pm-500pm UTC 4.114
(also listed as WGS 393 )
show description

American literary studies has been profoundly shaped in the past thirty years by feminist efforts to “recover” forgotten women writers of the nineteenth-century.  The books that this movement has seen into print and into graduate and undergraduate classrooms raise important critical issues such as sentimentality and aesthetics, public and private power dynamics, race and sexuality, and authorship and identity.  In this class, we will cover a range of such texts written by African American and white women writers and their growing body of critical work.

This course is suitable for all graduate students, and is appropriate for those in the early stages of their coursework or new to the study of nineteenth-century American women writers and/or early African American women’s writing. 

Requirements

Course requirements include 1) an oral presentation and paper performing a literature review of a set of related secondary texts; 2) a presentation and short summary/response of on an out-of-print publication by a nineteenth-century American woman writer; and 3) a draft of a conference paper and an abstract of the paper aimed at a particular conference.

Readings

Primary texts for this course will include Hannah Crafts The Bondswoman’s Narrative; Lydia Maria Child A Romance of the Republic; Julia C. Collins The Curse of Caste, or the Slave Bride; Susanna Cummins The Lamplighter; Emma Dunham Kelly Megda; Fanny Fern Ruth Hall; Harriet Jacobs Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl; Pauline Hopkins Contending Forces, E.D.E.N. Southworth The Hidden Hand; Susan Warner The Wide, Wide World; Harriet Wilson’s Our Nig.

Note: In order to include some lesser-known recovered woks, I have left off the most obvious choice, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin.  Central to both politics of recovering nineteenth-century women writers and the major themes of nineteenth-century black and white women’s writing, Uncle Tom’s Cabin is strongly recommended as pre-reading for the course.

Secondary readings that students will cover either individually or as a class will be drawn from 1) early feminist criticism and debate that established sentimental and domestic women’s writing in the canon; 2) formal efforts to define and evaluate sentimentality and related forms such as melodrama and domestic fiction; 3) historicist readings exploring the relationship of sentimentality to legal discourse, capitalism and individualism, consumer culture, feminism, slavery and abolitionism, miscegenation and racial identity, sexuality, masochism, and imperialism; 4) the on-going biographical and archival research that sometimes makes these recovered finds “moving targets” that are difficult to classify and interpret.  This list includes essays and books by Nina Baym, Lauren Berlant, Gillian Brown, Dale Bauer, Hazel Carby, Gregg Crane, Cathy Davidson, Elizabeth Dillon, Joanne Dobson, Ann Douglas, Judith Fetterley, Joseph Fichtelberg, Philip Fisher, Holy Jackson, Henry Louis Gates, Winnifred Fluck, Glenn Handler, Amy Kaplan, Lori Merish, Marianne Noble, Lillian Robinson, Hortense Spillers, Jane Tompkins, Shirley Samuels, Karen Sanchez-Eppler.

E 316K • Masterworks Of Lit: American

34215-34260 • Spring 2010
Meets TTH 1100-1230pm ART 1.102
show description

Unique #s: 34215, 34220, 34225, 34230, 34235, 34240, 34245, 34250, 34255, 34260

 

English 316K: Masterworks of American Literature

Spring 2010  /  Lecture: Tu/Th 11-12:15, ART 1.102
Professor Gretchen Murphy                                                       e-mail: gretchen@mail.utexas.edu
Office: Calhoun 311                                                                 Office phone: 471-8532
Office Hours: T 9:30-10:30, Th 12:30-1:30

Required Texts:

  • The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien.  Broadway Press 978-0767902892
  • Classic American Autobiographies. William L. Andrews, editor. Signet Classics 978-0451529152
  • Masterworks of American Literature: Selected Readings.  Pearson Custom Library 978-0-558528724 

Course Goals:

In this class we will read a few influential and powerful pieces of American writing.  Put simply, our goal is to deepen your understanding and appreciation of these works.  Some of this understanding will come with interpreting the works in historical context, so we’ll ask questions like why these works were written, who comprised their intended audience, and how they spoke to those readers.  To sharpen your perception of these works, you’ll also practice describing literary effects.  As we read literary works from three different genres -- autobiography, fiction and poetry -- you’ll learn relevant terms to describe the formal components of each.  In this way you’ll accumulate over the course of the semester a kind of toolbox of methods and frameworks for interpreting literature.  Overall, the class will encourage attentive reading and using writing to reflect on what you read.   We will read slowly and carefully, with close attention to language and detail.  Learning to notice, describe and analyze details in a text will make you a more thoughtful reader both of these few important works and, hopefully, of books that you encounter in the future. 

Course Requirements

  • Five out of seven close reading exercises 60% (12% each), one optional revision
  • Three quizzes on each genre (autobiography, fiction, poetry) 30% (10% each)
  • Participation, attendance, homework 10%

Close reading exercises (CREs) are short essays about material we have already read and discussed in class.  I will distribute directions for each exercise a week prior to its due date.  CREs will be due in lecture.  There will be seven of these over semester, but only the top five scores will count toward your final grade. Close reading exercises must be turned in at the beginning of class and will not be accepted late without a documented excuse (see policy below). 

At midterm, you will have the opportunity to revise one submitted and graded CRE to replace the grade.  Because this assignment is designed as an opportunity to deepen close reading skills by incorporating feedback and applying ongoing learning, you cannot replace a missed CRE (one that was not completed or turned in by the deadline) with the revision. Each student participating in the revision assignment will be required to have a conference with his or her TA to discuss strategies for revision.

The three in-class quizzes will test your understanding of the literary terminology and relevant historical context introduced in lecture and your ability to apply this terminology and information to the works we have read.  Each quiz will cover one of the three genres we are studying: autobiography, fiction and poetry.  Quizzes will be mostly short answer with some occasional multiple choice, matching, fill in the blank or long essay. There will be no make-ups for the quizzes except in the event of a documented excuse. 

Class participation constitutes a significant portion of your final grade.  I will try to devote some part of each lecture to discussion, and your TA will encourage active participation in each section meeting.  Bringing your book to class is essential because in both lecture and discussion we will look closely at and respond to particular passages.  No cell phones, laptops, or text messaging in lecture or section, and non-course related reading material should be put away during class.

Additional descriptions of all assignments will be available on Blackboard.

Course Policies

Grading
Quizzes will be graded as percentages on a 100 point scale.  Papers will receive letter grades equaling the numerical grades listed below.  Final grades will also be determined on the basis of the following rubric, with the exception of the A+ grade, which is not recognized by the university.   For final grades, all scores  94 to 100 will count as A’s.  To ensure fairness, final grades will not be rounded, so that for example, all grades between 87.0 and 89.999 will count as B+’s

  A+ = 97-100 B+ = 87-89 C+ = 77-79 D+ = 67-69  
  A   = 94-96 B   = 84-86 C   = 74-76 D   =  64-66 F =  0-60
  A-  = 90-93 B-  = 80-83 C-  = 70-73 D-  =  60-63  

Teaching Assistants
Discussion sections will be devoted practicing techniques of literary analysis and preparing for CREs and quizzes.  Some quizzes will be administered in section and some in lecture. All assignments and quizzes will be graded by your TA in consultation with the professor.  The professor meets regularly with the TAs; she will spot check grades to ensure consistency from section to section.  If you want to alert us that you will be missing discussion section or have questions about discussion section or grades, please contact your TA, not your professor.  The professor or your TA can answer questions about course policies and lecture content, and both are available to offer extra help on written assignments.

Any student who has a question about a grade must discuss it with his or her TA, who will have the authority to change a grade in the unlikely case that this is appropriate.  If a dispute remains after discussion, the student should leave the assignment with the TA who will pass it along to the professor for review.  The professor will communicate the result of the review to the TA, who will then inform the student of the outcome.  The professor's office hours are for discussion of issues raised in class and anything else you like, but not for talking about grade disputes.

Attendance 
Regular attendance and punctuality is required at lectures and sections.  Please do not expect the professor or TA to teach you in office hours what you missed by being late or absent from lecture, except in the case of a documented excuse (see below).  If you do miss a lecture, you are responsible for getting the notes from a classmate.

Missed work
If you miss deadlines on Close Reading Exercises twice, those paper will simply count as the ones to be dropped.  If you miss more than two deadlines, you will not get credit for those additional missing or late papers.  Close Reading Exercises must be turned in at the beginning of lectures on the designated due date; if you are absent or late on one of these due dates, you cannot turn in your exercise and you receive a zero on that assignment.  Two out of seven CREs may be skipped or dropped.  

The intention of the sequence of weekly or semi-weekly assignments (short, frequent, and worth a small fraction of the grade) is to keep the workload in the course reasonable and constant, rather than overloading you two or three times a semester with a major assignment.  For this reason, CREs and quizzes MAY NOT BE MADE UP (although you are allowed to drop or skip two CREs) except in the case of a documented excuse, as outlined below. It is crucial that you keep on top of the reading and assignments in order to succeed.

Use of Blackboard
This course uses Blackboard, a Web-based course management system in which a password-protected site is created for each course.  (Student enrollments in each course are updated each evening.)  Blackboard will be used to distribute course materials -- including CRE assignments, study guides and review sheets -- and to post grades.  You will be responsible for checking the Blackboard course site regularly for class work and announcements.  As with all computer systems, there are occasional scheduled downtimes as well as unanticipated disruptions. Notification of these disruptions will be posted on the Blackboard login page.  Scheduled downtimes are not an excuse for late work.  However, if there is an unscheduled downtime for a significant period of time, I will make an adjustment if it occurs close to the due date.

Blackboard is available at http://courses.utexas.edu.   Support is provided by the ITS Help Desk at 475-9400 Monday through Friday 8 am to 6 pm, so plan accordingly.

Academic Honesty
Turning in work, whether Close Reading Exercises or the revised paper, that is not strictly your own will result in failing either the assignment or the course. A report of the incident will also be made to the Office of the Dean of Students.  For more information, please consult the UT policy on Academic Honesty linked to our Blackboard page.

Documented excuses are written letters from your doctor, your dean, or your counselor that explain your inability to meet a deadline or attend a class session.

Accommodations 
Any student with a documented disability (physical or cognitive) who requires academic accommodations should contact Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with Disabilities, 471-6259.  For test-related accommodations, please notify the professor at least two weeks before the first quiz.

TA Office Hours and E-mail Addresses

TAs may change their office hours with sufficient notice.

Brandon Forinash / blforinash@mail.utexas.edu Laura Beerits / laura.beerits@gmail.com
34215 T 8:30-9:30 34220 T 8:30-9:30
34230 M 1-2 34225 M 12-1
Office Hours Monday 8-10AM  Office Hours Monday 8-10AM
   
Sally Treanor / sally@mail.utexas.edu Michael Quatro / michaelquatro@yahoo.com
34235 M 1-2 34245 M 2-3
34240 M 2-3 34250 M 4-5
Office Hours Monday 8-10AM Office Hours Monday 8-10AM
   
Kendall Gerdes / kendalljoy@mail.utexas.edu  
34255 M 4-5  
34260 M 5-6  
Office Hours Monday 8-10AM  

For more information, please download the full syllabus.

E 376L • Literature Of Slavery-W

35015 • Spring 2010
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm PAR 208
show description

E 376L: Literature of Slavery (35015)

Professor Gretchen Murphy  /  Spring 2010; 2-3:30 TTH; Par 208
e-mail: gretchen@mail.utexas.edu  /  Office Hours: T 9:30-10:30, Th 12:30-1:30
Office phone: 471-8582  /  Office: Calhoun 311    

Texts and Supplies

  • Slave Narratives Eds. Andrews and Gates
  • Stowe Uncle Tom's Cabin (Penguin)                           
  • Reed Flight to Canada (Atheneum)           
  • Morrison Beloved (Vintage)                                       
  • Styron Confessions of Nat Turner (Vintage)             

Required reading packet available at Jenn’s Copy and Binding, 2200 Guadalupe St.

Course Description

Why read about slavery in a literature class?  One reason is that such works raise questions that are central to understanding the power of literature.  Much of this work is autobiographical or based on real-life events: where do we draw the line between fact and fiction or reality and representation?  Much of this work was written to address or change real-life political situations: how do stories serve as arguments, and how do writers use language to motivate readers to change their minds about an issue?  And much of this work deals with painful personal and cultural experiences, the unthinkable horror of being denied identity and self-ownership: how have writers attempted to make readers comprehend experiences far removed from their everyday lives?  Throughout our method will be to read these works slowly and carefully, paying close attention to the language used and choices made by these authors.

Grading:

Final grades will be determined on the basis of the following rubric. The University does not recognize the grade of A+.

A = 94-100

A- = 90-93

B+ = 87-89

B = 84-86

B- = 80-83

C+ = 77-79

C = 74-76

C- = 70-73

D+ = 67-69

D =  64-66

D- =  60-63

F =   0-60

Assignments:

Students will write three papers practicing literary analysis of these works.  Paper assignments will be distributed at least one week in advance of the draft due date.  Drafts and revisions are required. (25%, 30%, 30% of total course grade).

Late penalties:

Papers (including drafts) turned in late will be penalized.  Papers will lose one third of a grade (A to A-, A- to B+, etc.) per day late, counting all weekdays). This is a harsh late policy, so please contact me in advance if you know you'll be unable to meet a deadline.

Class participation: 

Active participation makes up the remaining 15% of the final course grade. See the rubric below for class participation grades.

An A in class participation is earned by students who come to class consistently, are prepared for class by completing all reading and writing assignments, and regularly and voluntarily participate in large and small group discussion.  Students who receive an A in class participation benefit the class in several ways.  They not only express opinions on relevant subjects and answer questions posed by the professor, but they also listen, pose questions and address remarks to other students.  If necessary, sometimes they hold back from speaking first to encourage others to speak up before they speak their minds.

An A-/B+ in class participation is given to students who come to class consistently, are almost always prepared for class by completing most reading and writing assignments, and occasionally voluntarily participate in large and small group discussion.

A B in class participation is given to students who rarely participate voluntarily, but still come to class consistently, are prepared for class by completing most reading and writing assignments, and appear engaged by class discussion.

A C in class participation is earned by coming to class inconsistently, and by partially or inconsistently completing reading and writing assignments or completing them with evidence of little effort.  “C” students may sometimes speak up in discussion, but because they aren’t always there and haven’t always done the reading, their contributions don’t outweigh the negative impact that their lack of engagement has on the class.

A D in class participation is earned by seldom coming to class (more than two weeks of unexcused absences –that’s four class sessions – over the course of the semester is grounds for a D) and coming to class consistently unprepared.

An F is earned for not coming to class for a major portion of the semester and not completing required reading and writing assignments.

Occasionally I will give pop quizzes to make sure that everyone is keeping up with the reading. 

How are we doing? 

Once during the semester I’ll ask you to e-mail me a short letter responding to the class, including your reaction to the material we’ve read, your assessment of your own learning, and any suggestions you have for improving the class. But don’t wait for these letters to talk to me if you have an idea, comment or problem regarding the class – my office hours are set aside for you.

For more information, please download the full syllabus.

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