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

Wayne A Rebhorn

Professor Ph.D., 1968, Yale University

Wayne A Rebhorn

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Biography

Wayne Rebhorn's scholarship explores the social and political dimensions of literature and rhetoric in the European Renaissance. Working in three fields—the literatures of the English Renaissance and of the European Renaissance as well as Renaissance rhetoric—he has written, translated, edited, or co-edited eight books in addition to over twenty-five scholarly articles on authors from Boccaccio through More and Shakespeare down to Milton. He has won numerous awards and prizes and has been invited to lecture at major universities throughout the United States as well as in France, Italy, and Germany, and while he continues to work on Renaissance authors such as Machiavelli and on Renaissance rhetoric, his major current project is a new translation of Boccaccio's Decameron, which Norton is expected to publish in 2013.  

Interests

English and European Renaissance literature and Renaissance rhetoric.

E 603A • Composition/Reading World Lit

34955 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 930am-1100am CAL 323
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Description: This course aims to take students on a journey through Western literature from the Greeks up to the present. Along the way we will visit a wide variety of genres, or kinds, of literature, from epic, through tragedy and comedy, to novels, lyrics, and short stories. Our purpose will be to read a host of stunning works of art, and through them to gain some sense of the shape and depth of the Western literary tradition. In a sense we will be reading through what is usually referred to as the "canon," but we will be doing so in a way that emphasizes what might be called its anti-canonical character; that is, we will be examining great works of art not because they confirm our complacencies and our pieties, but because they encourage us to critique them. Our approach is that great literature is great not because it confirms some imagined set of eternal verities, but precisely because it makes us suspicious of such things. Great literature, in short, is great because it makes us think.  The assumption of this course is that the students who take it are already good readers and writers, so that what we want to accomplish in the course of our year together is to make you better at both. To become better readers means to become more active readers, talking to—and talking back to—the texts we will be reading. This "talking" will take two forms, one of which will involve presenting reactions orally to the other members of the seminar. In other words, you will have several occasions each semester in which you will lead class discussion for at least a portion of a meeting. The "talking" will also take the form of writing essays about the readings, starting with slightly shorter papers at the start of the first semester and proceeding toward longer and increasingly more substantial essays during the course of the year. In this way, you will achieve both of the goals of the course, the goals of learning how to be better readers of literary texts, and of becoming more literate and sophisticated speakers and writers as well.

Readings:

Fall semester: Homer's Odyssey, Aeschylus' Oresteia, Sophocles' Oedipus, Vergil's Aeneid, Dante's Inferno, Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing (to coincide with the visit by the Actors from the London Stage), and Boccaccio's Decameron.

Spring semester: Machiavelli's The Prince, Montaigne's "Of Cannibals," Shakespeare's The Tempest, Molière's Tartuffe, Milton's Paradise Lost, Swift's Gulliver's Travels, a sampling of lyric poems by Blake and Keats, Conrad's Heart of Darkness, Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, and a sampling of short stories by post-World War II American writers such as Roth, O'Connor, Baldwin, Oates, and Erdrich.

Assignments:

Fall semester: Two shorter papers (4 pages) during the first half of the course and two longer essays (5-6 pages) in the second half. Two oral presentations based on written work, one earlier and one later in the semester, both of which should lead the class into a general discussion of the text being studied.

Spring semester: Two essays (5 pages) during the first half of the semester; two longer essays (7-8 pages) during the second. Two oral presentations based on written work, one earlier and one later in the semester, both of which should lead the class into a general discussion of the text being studied.

About the Professor: Professor Rebhorn works on Renaissance literature, rhetoric, and culture in general.  He holds a doctorate from Yale University in Comparative Literature and has written books on Castiglione, Machiavelli, and Renaissance rhetoric and literature as well as numerous articles on such writers as Boccaccio, Erasmus, More, Rabelais, Shakespeare, Jonson, and Milton.  He has won fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies and the Guggenheim Foundation as well as the Howard R. Marraro Prize of the Modern Language Association for his book on Machiavelli.  He has translated Boccaccio's Decameron and Machiavelli's The Prince—and the class will be using both of these translations. Among his hobbies are: classical music, movies, cooking, traveling, and watching good TV.

 

E 321 • Shakespeare: Selected Plays

35665 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm PAR 306
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Instructor:  Rebhorn, W            Areas:  I / D

Unique #:  35665            Flags:  Global cultures

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: This course has three main objectives. The first is to explore the ways in which Shakespeare's plays develop particularly modern conceptions of self and society: a conception of human identity as something fashioned by the individual and a conception of the social order as historically contingent and man-made. The second objective of the course is to increase understanding of how Shakespeare constructs his plays, how he sets characters off against one another, how he uses verbal images and dramatic action to convey themes, and how he shapes scenes, groups of scenes, and whole plays. Third, the course will explore the issue of genre and will try to arrive at some definition of the different kinds of plays (comedies, histories, tragedies, and romances) that Shakespeare wrote.

Texts: The Necessary Shakespeare, edited by David Bevington (Longman).

NOTE: You MUST bring your book with you to class.

Requirements & Grading: You are expected to attend class. There are no excused absences. There will be three examinations, each covering one-third of the work in the course. There will be a quiz on each play the first day on which we discuss that play. Each examination will count 30% of the final grade; the quiz average will count another 10%. You can be awarded up to two points for class participation. There will also be a short (two-page) essay on the AFTLS performance of Othello for which you will receive up to two extra-credit points if it is satisfactory. Final grades will use the plus/minus system.

E 316K • Masterworks Of Lit: British

35180-35215 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm FAC 21
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Instructor:  Rebhorn, W            Areas:  -- / B

Unique #:  35010/15 & 35180-35215            Flags:  Global cultures

Semester:  Spring 2013            Restrictions:  n/a

Cross-lists:  n/a            Computer Instruction:  No

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 --

This course has two main objectives. The first 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 the texts as well as the various periods covered, focusing on social and political as well as literary, artistic, and intellectual history. Their purpose is to help students understand the ways in which a text embodies and helps shape 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, you will be required to perform close and careful readings of the works studied. The course will include 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.

Texts:

(1) Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Major Authors, Eighth Edition (2 vols. in paperback).

(2) Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway (Harcourt).

            Note: You must bring the text we are reading with you to class.

Requirements & Grading: There will be two examinations, each covering one-half of the semester's work, as well as six quizzes.

The two exams count 30% each
. The six quizzes, taken together, count 20%. 10% for participation in discussion section. The best exam or the quiz average will be raised by an additional 10% when final grades are computed.

Students are expected to attend both lectures and the discussion sections. Attendance will be taken in both: if you miss more than three lecture class or two discussion section classes, your grade average for the semester will be reduced by one-third of a letter grade for each additional class you miss. There are no excused absences. Attendance also means attending the entire meeting of the class; if you leave early without getting the TA's permission, you will be marked absent. Every two latenesses will equal an absence.

E 316K • Masterworks Of Lit: British

35045-35080 • Spring 2012
Meets MW 330pm-500pm FAC 21
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Instructor:  Rebhorn, W            Areas:  n/a

Unique #:  35045-35080            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 --

This course has two main objectives. The first 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 the texts as well as the various periods covered, focusing on social and political as well as literary, artistic, and intellectual history. Their purpose is to help students understand the ways in which a text embodies and helps shape 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, you will be required to perform close and careful readings of the works studied. The course will include 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.

Texts:

(1) Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Major Authors, Eighth Edition (2 vols.).

(2) Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 1 (Penguin).

(3) Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway (Harcourt).

(4) Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales, ed. A. Kent Hieatt and Constance Hieatt (Bantam). Note: this text is optional and should be purchased if you think you cannot read the Chaucer selections in Middle English in the Norton Anthology.

            Note: You must bring the text we are reading with you to class.

Requirements & Grading: There will be two examinations, each covering one-half of the semester's work, as well as four explication quizzes and two short-answer quizzes.

The two exams count 30% each
. The four explication quizzes, taken together, count 20%. The two short-answer quizzes, taken together, count 15%. 5% for participation in discussion section.

Students are expected to attend both lectures and the discussion sections. Attendance will be taken in both: if you miss more than three lecture class or two discussion section classes, your grade average for the semester will be reduced by one-third of a letter grade for each additional class you miss. There are no excused absences. Attendance also means attending the entire meeting of the class; if you leave early without getting the TA's permission, you will be marked absent. Every two latenesses will equal an absence.

E 390M • Boccaccio's Decameron

35620 • Spring 2012
Meets MW 930am-1100am HRH 2.106C
(also listed as ITL 390K )
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ITL390K/E390M

Boccaccio's Decameron

Course Description:

The Decameron is one of the foundational works of Italian literature and played a major role in shaping the Italian language and especially the language of prose fiction. The primary goal of this course will be to gain a thorough knowledge of this rich, complex, and very substantial work. Although most people who know something about it think of it as a collection of ribald tales—the Italian adjective boccaccesco means as much—such a response is far too limiting and reductive. To be sure, The Decameron is filled with witty, licentious, humorous tales, but it is actually a compendium of different genres, including romances, tragedies, comedies, short tales that turn on witticisms, stories of practical jokes, and exemplary fictions concerned with high-minded behavior. It is also an extremely self-conscious, carefully constructed work which positions itself as an earthly response to Dante's Divina commedia and which foregrounds questions concerning the nature of the artist and the roles that language, art, and story-telling play in the life of society. In short, this may be a "one-book course," but the one book in question is really many books and will fully repay all the effort put into reading it.

We will not, of course, be reading The Decameron in a vacuum. Together we will review major critical and scholarly responses to the work, ranging from writers such as De Sanctis in the nineteenth century to more recent works by scholars such as Giuseppe Mazzotta and Marilyn Migiel as well as certain essential studies in Italian by Vittore Branca, Mario Baratto, Giovanni Getto, and the like. In addition, we will also be reading relevant material from the context of the late Middle Ages, such as Andreas Capellanus's On Love, Dante's famous letter to Cangrande della Scala on allegory, and Petrarch's letter about the patient Griselda; and by Boccaccio himself, including the last books of his Genealogy of the Pagan Gods (on poetry) and his misogynistic diatribe the Corbaccio. (Note: sometimes we will all be reading these materials together, and sometimes students will be giving reports on them to the rest of the class.)

Students will be asked to produce one or more oral reports on contextual materials, to lead the discussion of Boccaccio's text on several occasions, and to produce a long scholarly essay at the end of the semester. They will work out the subjects of those essays with me in advance and will present an initial version of their ideas in oral reports given to the class during the last three weeks of the semester so that they can use the feedback they get at that time when they work on the final drafts of their essays.

The books required for the class will be Branca's two-volume paperback Italian edition of Il Decameron (Einaudi) and The Norton Critical Edition of Boccaccio's Decameron by Mark Musa and Peter Bondanella. In addition, my own translation (with introduction) of the work will be available as a set of files on Black Board that students will be able to download and print out. Those students without Italian will read my English version, although I would encourage those who are working directly with the Italian text to read, or at least to consult, my English version as well.

E 316K • Masterworks Of Lit: British

35015-35023 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm SAC 1.402
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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 --

This course has two main objectives. The first 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 the texts as well as the various periods covered, focusing on social and political as well as literary, artistic, and intellectual history. Their purpose is to help students understand the ways in which a text embodies and helps shape 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, you will be required to perform close and careful readings of the works studied. The course will include 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. 

Texts:

(1) Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Major Authors, Eighth Edition (2 vols.).

(2) Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 1 (Penguin).

(3) Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway (Harcourt).

(4) Packet: available at Speedway Copy in Dobie Mall.

(5) Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales, ed. A. Kent Hieatt and Constance Hieatt (Bantam). Note: this text is optional and should be purchased if you think you cannot read the Chaucer selections in Middle English in the Norton Anthology.

            Note: You must bring the text we are reading with you to class.

Requirements & Grading: There will be two examinations, each covering one-half of the semester's work as well as eight quizzes.

Two exams count 30% each
. Eight quizzes, taken together, count 30%. Best performance on the two exams or the quizzes (taken together) gets an extra 5%. 5% for participation in discussion section.

Students are expected to attend both lectures and the discussion sections. Attendance will be taken in both: if you miss more than three lecture class or two discussion section classes, your grade average for the semester will be reduced by one-third of a letter grade for each additional class you miss. There are no excused absences. Attendance also means attending the entire meeting of the class; if you leave early without getting the TA's permission, you will be marked absent. Every two latenesses will equal an absence.

E 321 • Shakespeare: Selected Plays

35145 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm PAR 105
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Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

Description: This course has three main objectives. The first is to explore the ways in which Shakespeare's plays develop particularly modern conceptions of self and society: a conception of human identity as something fashioned by the individual and a conception of the social order as historically contingent and man-made. The second objective of the course is to increase understanding of how Shakespeare constructs his plays, how he sets characters off against one another, how he uses verbal images and dramatic action to convey themes, and how he shapes scenes, groups of scenes, and whole plays. Third, the course will explore the issue of genre and will try to arrive at some definition of the different kinds of plays (comedies, histories, tragedies, and romances) that Shakespeare wrote.

Texts: The Necessary Shakespeare, edited by David Bevington (Longman).

NOTE: You MUST bring your book with you to class.

Requirements & Grading: Students will take two examinations, each covering about half the work for the semester. There will be quizzes on all the plays, each quiz being given on the day we start a new play. The exams will each count 30% of the final grade; the quizzes, averaged together, will count another 30%. Your best performance on the exams or the quizzes (averaged together) will get an additional 5%. 5% for class participation.

E 316K • Masterworks Of Lit: British

35235-35271 • Spring 2011
Meets MW 330pm-500pm FAC 21
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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.

Course Description: Literature in History -- This course has two main objectives. The first 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 the texts as well as the various periods covered, focusing on social and political as well as literary, artistic, and intellectual history. Their purpose is to help students understand the ways in which a text embodies and helps shape 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, you will be required to perform close and careful readings of the works studied. The course will include 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.

Texts:

(1) Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Major Authors, Eighth Edition (2 vols.).

(2) Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 1 (Penguin).

(3) Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway (Harcourt).

(4) Packet: available at Speedway Copy in Dobie Mall.

(5) Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales, ed. A. Kent Hieatt and Constance Hieatt (Bantam). Note: this text is optional and should be purchased if you think you cannot read the Chaucer selections in Middle English in the Norton Anthology.

            Note: You must bring the text we are reading with you to class.

Grading: There will be two examinations, each covering one-half of the semester's work.

Two exams, 30% each
. Six quizzes during the semester; taken together, they total 30%. Participation in the discussion sections, 10%.

Students are expected to attend both lectures and the discussion sections. Attendance will be taken in the latter, and if you miss more than two classes, your grade average for the semester will be reduced by one-third of a letter grade for each additional class you miss. There are no excused absences. Attendance also means attending the entire meeting of the class; if you leave early without getting the TA's permission, you will be marked absent. Every two latenesses will equal an absence.

E 387R • Renaissance Rhetoric And Lit

35930 • Spring 2011
Meets MW 930am-1100am CAL 323
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Cultures can be seen as being constituted in and through a collection of discourses, some of which are privileged and all of which are multiform, complex, and self-contradictory.  In the Renaissance, one of the most important discourses, one which every writer encountered in formal education, was that of rhetoric, so that studying it offers us insight into the social and political, philosophical and artistic, indeed the basic anthropological assumptions, principles, and values of people in the period.  Perhaps rather than speak of the discourse of rhetoric, as though there were some single, unified model, it would be better to speak of fields of discourse or discourse-systems.  For in the Renaissance the discourse of rhetoric could be either monarchical-absolutist or subversive-republican, a means for social advancement or social exclusion, deterministic or voluntaristic, gendered as male or as female, comely or indecorous and grotesque, depending on which texts, or parts of texts, one focuses on.  In all cases, rhetoric is profoundly involved in questions of identity, the social order, power, subjection, and resistance.  The first goal of this course, consequently, will be to analyze that discourse in light of the issues specified above by reading carefully through a number of important rhetorics produced in England during the Renaissance (with occasional forays into classical and contemporary continental materials).     

The second concern of the course will be with literature and with the question of what it means to read texts “rhetorically.”  We will depart from traditional modes of rhetorical reading in two different ways.  First, we will approach texts not as collections of rhetorical tropes and figures or as repetitions of oratorical structures, but rather as modelings of rhetorical interactions which actualize the prescriptions for such interactions found in rhetoric treatises.  Second, we will relate those works not to rhetoric conceived ahistorically, but to rhetoric as it was specifically defined in the Renaissance.  We will thus approach literary texts as repetitions of themes and procedures and issues from the contemporary discourse of rhetoric, repetitions which serve both to extend and clarify it while simultaneously subjecting it to qualifications and criticisms.

Since this is a research seminar which will invite students to examine the relationships between rhetoric and literature, it will be divided into two phases.  The first part of the course will be concerned with the discourse of rhetoric as it was conceived generally in the Renaissance and more specifically in England, and it will focus on the following texts: Cicero’s De Oratore, Thomas Wilson’s Arte of Rhetoric, George Puttenham’s Art of English Poesie, and the selections contained in my anthology Renaissance Debates on Rhetoric.  In addition, we will also read secondary materials concerned with the history of rhetoric in the Renaissance and with the question of reading literary works rhetorically.  Among the authors we will consider will be: Wilbur Howells, Walter Ong, Joel Altman, Patricia Parker, Marc Fumaroli, Debora Shuger, Brian Vickers, and Victoria Kahn.  The second half of the course will start with exemplary readings of literary texts, including a play, a set of lyric poems, and a novel.  The final meetings of the semester will be devoted to student reports on specific works of their choosing.  The entire class will be expected to read the works about which students are reporting. 

In this course each student will do the following: deliver an oral report on an outside reading to the class; lead the discussion of one text or sets of texts we read together; and lead the discussion of the particular work chosen for investigation and write a long final paper on that work which will be due at the end of the semester.

E 316K • Masterworks Of Lit: British

34355-34400 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 930am-1100am FAC 21
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Course Description: Literature in History -- This course has two main objectives. The first 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 the texts as well as the various periods covered, focusing on social and political as well as literary, artistic, and intellectual history. Their purpose is to help students understand the ways in which a text embodies and helps shape 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, you will be required to perform close and careful readings of the works studied. The course will include 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.


Texts:
(1) Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Major Authors, Eighth Edition (2 vols.).
(2) Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 1 (Penguin).
(3) Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway (Harcourt).
(4) Packet: available at Speedway Copy in Dobie Mall.
(5) Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales, ed. A. Kent Hieatt and Constance Hieatt (Bantam). Note: this text is optional and should be purchased if you think you cannot read the Chaucer selections in Middle English in the Norton Anthology.
    Note: You must bring the text we are reading with you to class.

Grading:
There will be two examinations, each covering one-half of the semester's work.

Two exams, 30% each
. Six quizzes during the semester; taken together, they total 30%. Participation in the discussion sections, 10%.

Students are expected to attend both lectures and the discussion sections. Attendance will be taken in the latter, and if you miss more than two classes, your grade average for the semester will be reduced by one-third of a letter grade for each additional class you miss. There are no excused absences. Attendance also means attending the entire meeting of the class; if you leave early without getting the TA's permission, you will be marked absent. Every two latenesses will equal an absence.

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.  

E 316K • Masterworks Of Lit: English

34500-34555 • Spring 2010
Meets TTH 930-1100 WCH 1.120
show description

Unique #s: 34500, 34505, 34510, 34515, 34520, 34525, 34530, 34540, 34550, 34555

Masterworks of English Literature

English 316K.  Dr. Rebhorn     Office hours: TTH 11-12 and
Office: Parlin 328     by appointment
Email address: warebhorn@mail.utexas.edu      

Texts:

(1) Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Major Authors, Eighth Edition (2 vols.).
(2) Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 1 (Penguin).
(3) Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway (Harcourt).
(4) Packet: available at Speedway Copy in Dobie Mall.
(5) Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales, ed. A. Kent Hieatt and Constance Hieatt (Bantam). Note: this text is optional and should be purchased if you think you cannot read the Chaucer selections in Middle English in the Norton Anthology.

            Note: You must bring the text we are reading with you to class.

Course Objectives:

This course has two main objectives. The first 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 the texts as well as the various periods covered, focusing on social and political as well as literary, artistic, and intellectual history. Their purpose is to help students understand the ways in which a text embodies and helps shape 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, you will be required to perform close and careful readings of the works studied. The course will include 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.

Prerequisites:

In order to take this course you must have completed 27 credit hours of course work and have taken E306 or its equivalent. If you have any questions about your eligibility for this course, see the Head of Lower Division English or the Undergraduate Advisor.

Requirements

 1. Attendance.

Students are expected to attend both lectures and the discussion sections. Attendance will be taken in the latter, and if you miss more than two classes, your grade average for the semester will be reduced by one-third of a letter grade for each additional class you miss. There are no excused absences. Attendance also means attending the entire meeting of the class; if you leave early without getting the TA's permission, you will be marked absent. Every two latenesses will equal an absence.

  2. 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 such things as family deaths; documentation will be required). An unexcused, missed exam will be graded as a zero. Each exam will cover approximately half of the work for the semester and will consist of a set of short answer questions like those on the quizzes as well as essay questions on the readings and the lectures.

  3. Quizzes.

There will be six brief quizzes given at the start of discussion section meetings throughout the semester (note the dates on the syllabus). Each quiz will be short answer in format and will cover the reading as well as the material presented in both lectures and discussion sections in the weeks since the previous quiz or exam (or, in the case of the first quiz, since the start of the semester). One quiz grade may be dropped without penalty. If you are absent on a quiz day or miss a quiz because of lateness, your grade for that quiz will be a zero. There will be no make-up quizzes.

  4. Grading:

Each examination will count thirty percent of the final grade, the quiz average will count twenty percent, and class participation in the discussion sections will count ten percent. Your best performance on an exam or on the quizzes will count an additional ten percent. Final grades will use the plus/minus system.

 5. Grading Criteria for Essay Answers:

We will be generally looking for three things in the essays you write for the exams. First, you need to demonstrate that you are capable of analyzing the texts you have read as literature. This means that you can show how individual elements in them, such as imagery, style, tone, form, and genre, work to produce meaning. When Conrad, for instance, in Heart of Darkness, refers to European explorers as "pilgrims," you should identify this as irony and relate it to Conrad's general condemnation of colonialism. The more fully you discuss such individual elements, and the more elements you discuss, the more likely your essay will receive a grade in the A or B range. Essays that fail to explain how such elements create meaning or that fail to identify very many of them will receive grades of C or lower.  Second, you may be asked to explain how elements in a text relate to its historical and cultural context (such as showing how Conrad's irony expresses Modernism's disillusionment with western culture generally), and the more fully and accurately you do this, the more successful your essay will be. Finally, the better written and argued your essay is—the more effective it is in communicating your ideas in a coherent and compelling manner—the more likely it will be to receive a higher grade.   

For more information, please download the full syllabus.

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