English 215.001 Syllabus View, Spring 2014 (Rev. 05/02/2014 12:25 PM)
Blue underscored text is hyperlinked to documents you should read after you finish reading the day's assigned reading in print or in the PDF files found on the public folder (e.g., "Intentional Fallacy"). Because well-informed users of critical methods always pay attention to who invented the method they are using, theorists' names in the syllabus will be introduced in red bold-face type. This will help you sort out varieties of each critical method which derive from different theorists. Article and Web page titles are indicated by quotation marks, like "Orson Welles – Painter" or "English 105.16, Spring 2010, Syllabus View." Because web pages typically use underscoring to indicate the presence of a hyperlink to another web page or application, italic type will be used, as MLA Style requires, to indicate book, periodical, or Web site titles (Mosses from the Old Manse, Sight and Sound, or British Library: English Short Title Catalog). Italics also are used to set off foreign words or phrases in English text (E.g., "As Bogart and Bergman watch from the restaurant's window, the sound truck's speakers blare the message, 'Die deutschen Truppen Stehen vor den Toren von Paris.'"). Learn to pay attention to the distinction between italics and roman type. This difference that rapidly is being forgotten by those who read only on the Internet, where playing around with type fonts has brought readers to the brink of the anarchic print conventions of the late Seventeenth Century.
Jan. 28, Tuesday: Before Tuesday's class, read "Critical Methods and the 20th Century's Theory Wars" to supplement Lois Tyson's nearly a-historical description of theory in Anglo-American literary criticism. Also, review the reading and writing assignment schedule in the weeks below, especially the general instructions for the frequent, short "Working With..." writing assignments. Compare due dates for written work with your other courses' due dates, and plan your semester carefully. Each week, read the "Guide" advice and the instructions for each assignment, making full use of the online materials hyperlinked from each day's assignment. Click here for a guide to today's class discussion. The first writing assignment, a personal Reading Protocol based on a reading of Hemingway's "On the Quai at Smyrna" will be due by 9 AM tomorrow, Wednesday 1/29. IMPORTANT: Do not read Hemingway before you read the instructions in the hyperlinked page above!
Jan. 30, Thursday: Reading Reading Protocols / Re-Performing Performances / Interpreting Interpretations: Discuss reading protocols for "On the Quai at Smyrna" from In Our Time. Discuss our starting principles of interpretation to decide what interpretive methods we share. Do we consider any methods "illegal"? Are all interpretive methods equally good, productive, "legal"? Click here for a guide to today's class discussion.
0: Classical / Early Formal Criticism
Feb. 4, Tuesday: Classical/Early Formal Criticism I: Read Plato, "Ion," [e-text] (click here for "Ion" discussion questions) and Republic excerpts from Books III and X [e-text]. For class, you read the "Ion," the excerpts from Republic III and X. Click here for a guide to today's class discussion. For a short list of some questions about Plato's Greek terms for key evaluative concepts, click here. In class, we will work closely with those evaluative terms to help us figure out Plato's analysis of poets and poetry. Unless you take extremely good notes, be sure to bring to class printed copies of the Ion and the Republic excerpts.
Feb. 6, Thursday: Classical/Early Formal Criticism II: Read Aristotle, "Poetics" [excerpts w/comments] (click here if you want to read the whole "Poetics," though it's not required), and Horace, Epistle II.3, often called the "Ars Poetica" (click here for Horace Epistle II.3 discussion questions). For class, read the Poetics excerpts and comments, and the "Ars Poetica." Click here for a guide to today's class discussion.
1: Psychoanalytic Criticism
Feb. 11, Tuesday: Psychoanalytic Criticism: Read Tyson, Chapter 2 (11-52). Click here for a guide to today's discussion. Note that you will need your copy of Hemingway's In Our Time for Thursday's class, and you will need to be familiar with two of its shorter stories to prepare for the first "Working with" paper which is due on Monday.
Feb. 13, Thursday: Working with Psychoanalysis. Read Ruane, "A D. C. Historian Is Hunting Down Forgotten Monuments to the Memory of ‘the Great War’” (on GoucherLearn), Hemingway, "Cat in the Rain" (91-94), and "A Very Short Story" (65-66). Click here for a guide to today's discussion.. Click here for instructions about how to write your "Working With..." assignment, which is due by 9:00 AM, next Monday, as an email or attached Word file sent to me.
2: Marxist Criticism
Feb. 18, Tuesday.: Marxist Criticism: Read Tyson, Chapter 3 (53-81). Click here for a guide to today's discussion.
Feb. 20, Thursday: Working with Marxism. Read Hemingway, Chapter VII of In Our Time (the "interchapter" and "Soldiers Home"), and Chapter X (the "interchapter" and "Cat in the Rain," pages 89-94). Click here for a guide to today's discussion. Click here for instructions about how to write your "Working with..." assignment, which is due by 9:00 AM, next Monday, as an email or attached Word file sent to me
3 : New Criticism
Feb. 25, Tuesday: (De)Authorizing Literary Discourse: Read "The Intentional Fallacy" by Wimsatt and Beardsley (available on the GoucherLearn Web site in the same PDF file with "Affective Fallacy" for Thursday). Click here for a guide to today's discussion. You also can access "The Intentional Fallacy" online at Nina Schwartz' English 5349 web site "Seminar in Literary Theory" (SMU).
Feb. 27, Thursday: (De)Authorizing Literary Discourse II: Read "The Affective Fallacy" by Wimsatt and Beardsley (available on the GoucherLearn Web site in the same PDF file with "Intentional Fallacy" for Tuesday); Click here for a guide to today's discussion.
New Criticism (revised, renewed, and continued)
March 4, Tuesday: New Criticism: Read Tyson, Chapter 5 (135-67) and Cleanth Brooks, "The Motivation of Tennyson's Weeper," A Well Wrought Urn: Studies in the Structure of Poetry (N.Y. Barcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1947, rpt. 1975) 167-77 (photocopy). Click here for a guide to today's discussion.
March 6, Thursday: Read E. D. Hirsch, "Objective Interpretation" (available on the GoucherLearn Web site). If you have an active Goucher ID number, you also can read Hirsch's article online at this durable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/460609 . Click here for a guide to today's discussion. After class, read Emily Dickinson, XVI and apply New Criticism principles of interpretation to this poem in your "Working With New Criticism" assignment, due by 9:00 AM, next Monday, as an email to me or an attached Word file.
4 : Structuralism and Semiotics
March 11, Tuesday: Read Tyson, Chapter 7 (209-47) and Saussure, "Nature of the Linguistic Sign" (pages 65-78 in the larger document available on the GoucherLearn Web site). Click here for a guide to today's discussion.
March 13, Thursday: Read Claude Levi-Strauss, "The Structural Study of Myth" . (available on the GoucherLearn Web site) Click here for a guide to today's discussion.
SPRING BREAK, Saturday, March 15 to Sunday, March 23
March 25, Tues.: Structuralism applied--read Raman Selden's demonstration of Structuralist analysis using Miller's Death of a Salesman (available on the GoucherLearn Web site in the same PDF file containing Selden on Deconstruction for next Tuesday). Click here for a guide to today's discussion.
March 27, Thurs.: Structuralism applied--by us. Read and be prepared to discuss how to apply Structuralism from various theorists to Hemingway's "The Doctor and the Doctor's Wife" from In Our Time. Click here for a guide to today's discussion. Click here for instructions for writing the "Working With Structuralism" paper on "A Very Short Story," due 9 AM next Monday.
April 1, Tuesday: Read Deconstruction: Tyson, Chapter 8 (249-80); and Raman Selden's demonstration of Deconstructionist methods, Section 12 (available on the GoucherLearn Web site in the same PDF file containing his chapter on Structuralism applied to Miller's play) Click here for the text of Frost's "Mending Wall." Click here for a guide to today's discussion.
April 3, Thursday: Reread Dickinson's poem XVI, and apply either a New Critical and a Structuralist reading to determine its main "tensions" and its primary binary oppositions. Then, play with them to show how those tensions or oppositions deconstruct to reveal their meaning's indeterminacy, reverse the assignment of privilege in the binaries, or liberate meanings that some ideology in the poem tries to repress. Click here for a guide to today's discussion. Working with Deconstruction: Wheatleys "On Being Brought from Africa," due 9:00 AM next Monday, as an email to me or as an attached Word file.
6 : Reader-Response Criticism
April 8, Tuesday: Read Tyson, Chapter 6 (169-207) and Hawthornes "Rappaccinis Daughter" to be prepared for Mailloux' chapter analyzing the story on Thursday. For an acceptable online version of "Rappaccini's Daughter," click here. For "Some Theoretical Points of Contact Among Reader-Response Critics," click here. Click here for a guide to today's discussion.
April 10, Thursday: Read Steven Mailloux, "Practical Criticism: The Reader in American Fiction" (available on the GoucherLearn Web site) and Hawthorne's "Rappaccini's Daughter." For an acceptable online version of "Rappaccini's Daughter," click here. Click here to a guide to today's discussion. Working with Reader Response: A Temporal Reading of Kate Chopins "The Story of an Hour" due 9:00 AM, next Monday, as an email to me or as an attached Word file.
READ AHEAD--if you have not already done so, you will need to be familiar with Hawthorne's "The Birthmark" to follow Fetterley's analysis for Thursday of next week. To read an acceptable online version of "The Birthmark" before Fetterly for Thursday, click here.
7: Feminist Criticism
April 15, Tuesday: Read Tyson Chapter 4 (83-133) and Nina Baym, "Melodramas of Beset Manhood" (available on the GoucherLearn Web site). Click here for a guide to today's discussion.
April 17, Thursday: Judith Fetterley, "On the Politics of Literature" (available on the GoucherLearn Web site) and an excerpt of her interpretation of Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Birthmark." (The hyperlink will take you to this short story.) Joan N. Radner and Susan S. Lanser, "The Feminist Voice: Strategies of Coding in Folklore and Literature," The Journal of American Folklore 100:398 (Oct.-Dec. 1987) 412-25. Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stble/540901 (also available on the GoucherLearn Web site).. Click here for a guide to today's discussion. Working with Feminist Criticism: describe feminist criticism and its critical methods, and apply one of its interpretive strategies to one pattern of evidence in Hemingway's "Soldier's Home," due 9:00 AM, next Monday, as an email to me or as an attached Word file.
8: New Historicism and Cultural Criticism
April 22, Tuesday: Read Tyson, Chapter 9 (281-315). Click here for a guide to today's discussion.
April 24, Thursday: Roland Barthes, "The World of Wrestling" and "Ornamental Cookery" from Mythologies (available on the GoucherLearn Web site--both essays are in the same PDF file!). Click here for a guide to today's discussion. The "Working With Cultural Criticism" paper is due Monday, April 25, at 9:00. Be sure to take time to make observations of a non-textual category of cultural production, to develop its structural rules, and to do a politically-informed critique of the rules and their supporting values. If you only report the rules, you aren't yet doing cultural criticism. You have to detect the hidden political and economic forces driving the rules.
Content- and Context-Sensitive Critical Pluralism / What is "the text"?
April 29, Tuesday: Read Stanley Fish, excerpts from the chapters "Is There a Text in This Class?"; "How to Recognize a Poem When You See One," and "What Makes an Interpretation Acceptable?" (available on the GoucherLearn Web site). Click here for a guide to today's discussion.
May 1, What is "the text"?: What technology produced the text we interpret and how does that affect our "performance of the text"? Readings: Lisa Rein, "Hello, Grisham--So Long, Hemingway?: With Shelf Space Prized, Fairfax Libraries Cull Collections," The Washington Post, 1/2/07: A01 [available on the GoucherLearn Web site]; Monica Hesse, "Truth: Can You Handle It?," The Washington Post, 4/28/08, M1, M8 [available on the GoucherLearn Web site], Michael S. Rosenwald, "Serious reading takes a hit from online scanning and skimming, researchers say," The Washington Post 4/6/14, 1, 13 [available on GoucherLearn], and a three paragraph excerpt from Arnold Sanders, “The Death of the Editor and Printer: Teaching Early Modern Publishing Practices to Internet-Raised Undergraduates” (online) Click here for a "Bibliographic Supplement to English 215." Some additional links for today's class on digital vs. print texts and digital vs. print reading/interpretation of texts
May 6, Tuesday, the English 215 Doubles Critical Methods Tournament (AKA, "the Big Crit-Off")--Read Hemingway's "My Old Man" (from In Our Time) and Sir Thomas Wyatt's "They Flee from Me" (follow hyperlink to Luminarium.org's text of the poem, which comes from the editio princeps or first print edition, a volume edited for the press by Richard Tottel and known to modern scholars as Tottel's Miscellany [titled by Tottel, Songes and Sonnettes] (1557), ) and/or Sir Thomas Wyatt's "They fle from me that sometyme did me seke" (a version edited from Egerton Manuscript 2271, a document thought to be Wyatt's and written in his own hand). I will group you with critical methods based on your (best!) performance in the previous Working With assignments. Each team will have 20 minutes to pick a "best text" on which to employ the critical method, and to decide what the method would generate at least one insight about the text's significance. You do not have to do a complete interpretation of the text using the theory--just generate a non-obvious insight that would be invisible to readers who did not apply the theory, and explain briefly what kind of thesis a paper might develop from that insight. Click here for a guide to today's discussion. This class will be practical preparation for your take-home final exam essay in which you will defend the critical methods you choose to use.
May 8, Thursday, Last class--discussion of questions about the final exam. Please fill out the online course evaluations. Thanks. Two ways of looking at English 215: The cumulative theory experience can sometimes leave one somewhat mentally burdened, but with time and practice, theory becomes second nature, like noticing spelling and punctuation, and theory will become an advantageous set of ways to view the literary landscape.
May 12, Monday: Take-Home Final Exam due as an attached MS-Word or Rich Text Format (.rft) file in an email to me by 5 PM. If you are a graduating senior, please be sure to double check that you have attached the file before you send the email, and make sure you include in the email a request that I confirm receipt of the exam by return email. If you turn on the "Return Receipt" option before you send it, that will add an another layer of safety.