Welcome to English 4341: American Genres. This semester you will be given the opportunity to study the genre of poetry by using one author, Emily Dickinson, as a case study. You will, of course, read her poems and write a few explications. You will read professional explications and a provocative Dickinson biography. And you will be working with a readable textbook on prosody, the craftsmanship of poetry.
This course relies heavily on class discussion. I will not ask you to memorize and repeat my personal interpretations of these poems. I expect you to read for each class period with the goal of developing your own critical understanding of poetry. Come to class with questions. In the classroom my job is to spark and propel the discussion of this literature. To that end, I will list below a series of some of areas that I think are worth investigating as we go through the poems. This list is not exhaustive. You may elect to write your final paper on one of these topics.
Topics for Discussion – Emily Dickinson’s poems &:
Colors (purple, gold, green, etc.)
Religion (God, church, beliefs, the Bible, the soul, prayer, etc.)
Required Texts: The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Reading Edition (Ed. R. W. Franklin) Belknap Press ISBN-13: 978-0674018242
Dickinson: Selected Poems and Commentaries. Helen Vendler. Belknap Press. ISBN-13: 978-0674066380
Lives Like Loaded Guns: Emily Dickinson and Her Family’s Feuds. Lyndall Gordon. Penguin Books ISBN-13: 978-0143119142
The Cambridge Introduction to Emily Dickinson. Wendy Martin. Cambridge UP ISBN-13: 978-0521672702
All the Fun’s in How You Say a Thing: An Explanation of Meter & Versification. Timothy Steele. Ohio UP. ISBN-13: 978-0821412602
[This schedule includes all major readings and assignments. Small additions or changes
may be made. I will make any such changes in writing.]
Week 1 Checklist:
W 1/17: Introduction to class, syllabus, expectations, Canvas, texts
F 1/19:Read in Martin, Chapter 1 (1-23)
Prepare 3 comments for Fr#5 (“One Sister have I in the house –“). I have
selected 19 poems for classroom analysis. Before you come to class, prepare 3+ comments for discussion (possible topics: meter and prosody, themes, symbols, word choice – consult the full OED, connection to another Dickinson poem, connection to a text by another author, allusions). I will have a spreadsheet to track participation in the poem’s discussion, and every student will be expected to contribute at least one unique point.
Turn in Student Information Sheet (email to email@example.com)
Week 2 Checklist:
M 1/22:Read in Vendler, Introduction (1-23) and Explications for Fr#23, 32, & 90
Prepare 3 comments for Fr#39 (“I never lost as much but twice –“)
W 1/24: Read in Steele, Introduction (1-23)
Turn in Weekly Exercise #1 (typed) The Weekly Exercises will be posted on
Canvas under “Pages – View All Pages.”
F 1/26: Read in Martin, Chapter 2 (24-39)
Prepare 3 comments for Fr#101 (“I had some things that I called mine –“)
Week 3 Checklist:
M 1/29: Read in Vendler, Explications for Fr#124, 165, 194, 238, 240, & 259
Prepare 3 comments for Fr#207 (“I taste a liquor never brewed –“) [con’t]
Poem Selection for Explication #1 due. [You may select any Dickinson poem
M 2/5: Read in Vendler, Explications for Fr#312, 314, 319, 320, 325, & 340
Prepare 3 comments for Fr#307 (“A solemn thing – it was – I said –“)
W 2/7:Read in Steele, Chapter 2 – part 1 (52-74)
Turn in Weekly Exercise #3 (typed)
F 2/9: Read in Gordon, Chapters 2 & 3 (39-92)
Prepare 3 comments for Fr#339 (“I like a look of Agony,”)
Week 5 Checklist:
M 2/12: Read in Martin, Chapter 3 – part 1 (40-70)
Turn in Explication #1 [The emailed copy is due before class starts
(firstname.lastname@example.org). A second copy of the final version must be uploaded to TurnItIn on Canvas by the start of class. Students must also post a third copy of their explications to the Explication 1 Discussion Board Forum. You should read & respond to the explications of at least 3 classmates before Friday. I will not grade essays without TurnItIn scores.]
W 2/14:Read in Steele, Chapter 2 – part 2 (74-93)
Turn in Weekly Exercise #4 (typed)
F 2/16: Read in Gordon, Chapters 4 &5 (93-136)
Prepare 3 comments for Fr#347 (“I dreaded that first Robin, so,”)
Week 6 Checklist:
M 2/19: Read in Vendler, Explications for Fr#359, 360, 372, 401, & 409
Prepare 3 comments for Fr#353 (“I’m ceded – I’ve stopped being Their’s-“)
W 2/21: Exam Review
Pick up Take Home Essay Question
F 2/23: Turn in Take Home Essay at the start of class
Exam – In class portion
Attendance Notices given to class
Week 7 Checklist:
M 2/26: Read in Vendler, Explications for Fr#439, 444, 446, 448, 450, & 466
Prepare 3 comments for Fr#473 (“I was the slightest in the House –“)
W 2/28: Read in Steele, Chapter 3 (94-115)
Turn in Weekly Exercise #5 (typed)
F 3/2: Read in Gordon, Chapters 6-8 (137-193)
Prepare 3 comments for Fr#520 (“God made a little Gentian –“)
Week 8 Checklist:
M 3/5: Read in Vendler, Explications for Fr#479, 519, 524, 550, & 558
Prepare 3 comments for Fr#580 (“We see – Comparatively –“)
W 3/7:Read in Steele, Chapter 4 – part 1 (116-134)
Turn in Weekly Exercise #6 (typed)
F 3/9: Read in Gordon, Chapter 9 (197-230)
Prepare 3 comments for Fr#598 (“The Brain – is wider than the Sky –“)
Suggestion: Contemplate possible final paper topic options over the Break
SPRING BREAK Week 9 Checklist:
M 3/19: Read in Vendler, Explications for Fr#591, 615, 675, 686, 700, & 706
Prepare 3 comments for Fr#743 (“Behind Me – dips Eternity –“)
Poem Selection for Explication #2 due. [You may select any Dickinson poem
NOT selected as one of our 19 classroom poems. If you select a poem
analyzed by Vendler or another critic, your explication must be substantially different.]
W 3/21: Read in Steele, Chapter 4 – part 2 (134-150)
Turn in Weekly Exercise #7 (typed)
F 3/23: Read in Martin, Chapter 4 (110-131)
Prepare 3 comments for Fr#918 (“We met as Sparks – Diverging Flints”)
Attendance Notices given to class
Week 10 Checklist:
M 3/26: Read in Vendler, Explications for Fr#729, 764, 772, 782, & 788
Prepare 3 comments for Fr#978 (“Faith – is the Pierless Bridge”)
W 3/28: Read in Steele, Chapter 5 (151-172)
Turn in Weekly Exercise #8 (typed)
F 3/30: Read in Gordon, Chapters 10 & 11 (231-276)
Prepare 3 comments for Fr#1088 (“I’ve dropped my Brain – My Soul is numb”)
Commit to a paper topic. Post a paragraph description to Canvas and email me
a copy (email@example.com) by midnight. [Paper topic approval is required.] Provide feedback to 3+ classmates on Canvas.
Week 11 Checklist:
M 4/2: Read in Martin, Chapter 3 – part 2 (70-109)
Turn in Explication #2 [The emailed copy is due before class starts
(firstname.lastname@example.org). A second copy of the final version must be uploaded to TurnItIn on Canvas by the start of class. Students must also post a third copy of their explications to the Explication 2 Discussion Board Forum. You should read & respond to the explications of at least 3 classmates before Friday. I will not grade essays without TurnItIn scores.]
W 4/4: Read in Steele, Chapter 6 (175-199)
Turn in Weekly Exercise #9 (typed)
F 4/6: Read in Gordon, Chapters 12 & 13 (279-312)
Prepare 3 comments for Fr#1108 (“The Bustle in a House”)
Week 12 Checklist:
M 4/9: Read in Vendler, Explications for Fr#836, 857, 867, 895, 935, & 1096
Prepare 3 comments for Fr#1348 (“The Way to know the Bobolink”)
W 4/11: No Class – Paper Drafting Day
F 4/13: In Class Writing Day – Bring your laptops, your notes, etc.
Attendance Notices given to class
Week 13 Checklist:
M 4/16: Read in Vendler, Explications for Fr#1097, 1100, 1142, 1163, 1243, 1279, &
W 4/18: Read in Steele, Chapter 7 (200-220)
Turn in Weekly Exercise #10 (typed)
F 4/20: Read in Gordon, Chapters 14 -17 (313-405)
Week 14 Checklist:
M 4/23: Read in Vendler, Explications for Fr#1428, 1474, 1489, 1513, 1577, 1618, &
W 4/25: Required Peer Review: Bring 3+ pages of your draft to class. [Missed peer
review = one letter grade deduction from paper grade.]
F 4/27: Essays due at the beginning of class. [You will submit your course essay twice.
Email a copy to me by 5pm on the 27th. (email@example.com). Upload a second copy to TurnItIn on Canvas before 5pm. I will not grade essays without TurnItIn scores.] Class will not meet on the 27th; I will be in my office to answer questions and emails.
NOTE: There is no Final Exam for this section of ENGL 4341.
Explication 1 15%
Explication 2 15%
Weekly Exercises (10) 25%
Course Paper 20%
Participation (Substantial Class & Canvas Discussion, Peer
The Census Date for this semester is January 29th.
Registration for Summer 2018 starts on February 1st.
The last day to file for Spring 2018 graduation is March 1st.
Registration for the Fall 2018 starts on April 2nd.
The last day to withdraw from a Spring class is April 2nd.
CAS Graduation should be Friday, May 4th.
You should expect to spend 2 hours outside class for every 1 hour in class. Translation: You should study 6 hours a week (minimum) outside of class for each 3-credit course.
[12 credit hours + 24 hours outside of class = 36 hours per week for a full-time student.] Student Learning Outcomes:
By the end of this senior seminar, students should be able to:
Appreciate this especially rich period – American Renaissance -- of the American literary tradition (genres, topics, themes, stylistic innovations, geography, class, race, and gender) and Emily Dickinson’s place in this literary period
Recognize how historical, political, and social events shape our analysis and appreciation of Emily Dickinson’s poems and letters
Argue independent interpretations (explications) of assigned texts
Use the terms related to literary study and literary theory appropriately in discussion and in writing
Write persuasive exam essays and explications on assigned texts
Research and write an original essay on some aspect of Emily Dickinson’s poetry
You will turn in two explications of Dickinson poems this semester. All of you should have completed 3308 (or its equivalent). You should know how to write a standard explication. But, to review, your explication should explain or interpret the poem. It should identify the poem’s meter, rhyme, images, figures of speech, etc. It should offer an interpretation of the thematic significance of these elements. Your explications should consist of 6-9 full paragraphs. Each explication should have a thesis in which you make your overall claim about the poem. Please endeavor to use poetic terms appropriately. You may want to consult a handbook of literary terms or your 3308 text to review these terms and process of explication. You may write strictly New Critical explications. You may also use the explication tools of New Criticism to support a thesis from another critical approach (Feminist, Psychoanalytical, etc.)
You can read published explications in the peer-reviewed journal, The Explicator. The UTT Library databases will let you search the full run of this publication. [You are welcome to read the pieces I have published in this journal.]
You will submit each explication three times. The emailed copy is due before class starts (firstname.lastname@example.org). A second copy of the final version must be uploaded to TurnItIn on Canvas by the start of class. Students must also post a third copy of their explications to the Explication Discussion Board Forums. You should read & respond to the explications of at least 3 classmates before Friday.
You will be given 10 weekly prosody worksheets. Each weekly exercise is worth 2% of your final grade. All exercises will be counted; no assignments will be dropped. The weekly exercises will be posted on Canvas under “Pages – View All Pages” at least 7 days before the due date.
Important: Students are encouraged to discuss and debate all the reading assignments in and out of class. All graded assignments, however, must be completed individually. Students are NOT allowed to work with other students from this class or any other class on the weekly exercises. Working with another student, a friend, a parent, etc. on a graded assignment will be considered cheating in ENGL 4341. Cheating on an assignment in 4341 will result in failure of the assignment. Students who cheat will be strongly encouraged to withdraw from the course. Course Paper:
Your course paper (8-10 pages) should offer a unique contribution to the study of Emily Dickinson’s poetry. The paper should include significant scholarly research from current credible books and journals (1990-2018) cited in MLA format. One of the topic areas listed on the syllabus may provide a starting point for your seminar paper. I am not checking to see if you have read the works in question. I want to understand your thoughts on the readings and have you present a well-reasoned and carefully written argument. You must make a claim (thesis), give reasons, offer evidence, show awareness of other points of view, etc. The essay should be 90% your ideas / words and 10% secondary source quotes. Do not overquote.
Please stop by the office (or arrange for a telephone conference) to discuss your seminar paper. There will be a required peer review. If you have any citation questions, SEE ME. Once a paper has been turned in for a grade, I take potential plagiarism very seriously. The seminar paper is worth 20% of your final grade. Plagiarism on an assignment in 4341 will result in failure of the assignment. Students who plagiarize will be strongly encouraged to withdraw from the course. Exam:
You will have 1 exam. It will go beyond memorization and ask you to do some independent interpretation and argumentation. If you have read the assignments, taken notes, participated in class and on Canvas, and paid attention to the development of themes and prosody, you should pass the exam.
This is a 4000-level class. Translation: Active and scholarly participation is expected every class period. We also have a Canvas page set up for this course. I want you to get into the habit of sharing your ideas and responses to the readings through the entire week.
Each student will be expected to contribute a minimum of three (3) substantial posts on the readings every week for a passing participation grade. If you do NOT participate in class discussion, you will be expected to make six (6) substantial posts per week for a passing participation grade. Get in the habit of putting your ideas and analysis in writing after each reading assignment.
Participation by the numbers:
14 Week Semester – WITH Class Participation
14 Week Semester – WITHOUT Class Part.
14 x 3 = 42 posts = Passing Grade (C)
14 x 6 = 84 posts = Passing Grade (C)
14 x 6 = 84 posts = Excellent Grade (A)
14 x 9 = 126 posts = Excellent Grade (A)
If you find an interesting American literature website, please post a notice to your classmates. There are several excellent websites on the authors we will be studying and on the time period. Take a minute to surf for these topics and share your findings. [A posting = a developed paragraph.]
Options for the Discussion Boards:
Comment on a reading before class.
Comment on a reading and class discussion after class.
Post your notes from class.
Respond to a classmate’s posting
Post link and commentary to relevant website (including relevant YouTube links)
Post thesis statements or drafts for optional peer review.
Post comments or recommendations about additional works (and relevant films).
You will be expected to attend every class and be on time. Please keep track of your absences. The attendance policy for a MWF class is as follows:
6 excused & unexcused absences = Final letter grade drops by one grade
8 excused & unexcused absences = Final letter grade drops by two grades
9 excused & unexcused absences = Failure of course
Ten minutes after class has started, I ask that no late students enter the class. You can see me after class and get notes from a classmate. Missed work due to an unexcused absence or tardiness will not be accepted. In the case of excused absences, it is the student’s responsibility to arrange for an alternative due date upon return to the class. Missed work must be submitted within two weeks.
Late work will not be accepted.
Please turn off the audible portion of cell phones when you are in the classroom. No text messaging will be permitted in class. [Please focus on the class when you are in class – no social media, games, etc.]
Feel free to bring beverages (non-alcoholic) to class. If you bring food, bring enough for the entire class.
The Writing Center:
Located in BUS 202, the UT-Tyler Writing Center provides professional writing tutoring for all students in all disciplines. If you wish to use the Writing Center, you should plan for a minimum of two hour-long tutorials per assignment: the first to provide an initial consultation and drafting plan, and the second to follow up. Be prepared to take an active role in your learning--you will be expected write and/or discuss your work during your tutorial. While Writing Center tutors are happy to provide constructive criticism and teach effective writing techniques, under no circumstances will they fix your paper for you. Appointments: 903-565-5995. More information: www.uttyler.edu/writingcenter.
UNIVERSITY POLICIES AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION THAT MUST APPEAR IN EACH COURSE SYLLABUS
http://www.uttyler.edu/academicaffairs/files/syllabuspolicy.pdf UT Tyler Honor Code:
Every member of the UT Tyler community joins together to embrace: Honor and integrity that will not allow me to lie, cheat, or steal, nor to accept the actions of those who do.
Students Rights and Responsibilities:
To know and understand the policies that affect your rights and responsibilities as a student at UT Tyler, please follow this link: http://www.uttyler.edu/wellness/rightsresponsibilities.php
We respect the right and privacy of students 21 and over who are duly licensed to carry concealed weapons in this class. License holders are expected to behave responsibly and keep a handgun secure and concealed. More information is available at http://www.uttyler.edu/about/campus-carry/index.php
UT Tyler a Tobacco-Free University:
All forms of tobacco will not be permitted on the UT Tyler main campus, branch campuses, and any property owned by UT Tyler. This applies to all members of the University community, including students, faculty, staff, University affiliates, contractors, and visitors.
Forms of tobacco not permitted include cigarettes, cigars, pipes, water pipes (hookah), bidis, kreteks, electronic cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco, and all other tobacco products.
There are several cessation programs available to students looking to quit smoking, including counseling, quitlines, and group support. For more information on cessation programs please visit www.uttyler.edu/tobacco-free.
Grade Replacement/Forgiveness and Census Date Policies:
Students repeating a course for grade forgiveness (grade replacement) must file a Grade Replacement Contract with the Enrollment Services Center (ADM 230) on or before the Census Date of the semester in which the course will be repeated. (For Fall, the Census Date is Sept. 12.) Grade Replacement Contracts are available in the Enrollment Services Center or at http://www.uttyler.edu/registrar. Each semester’s Census Date can be found on the Contract itself, on the Academic Calendar, or in the information pamphlets published each semester by the Office of the Registrar.
Failure to file a Grade Replacement Contract will result in both the original and repeated grade being used to calculate your overall grade point average. Undergraduates are eligible to exercise grade replacement for only three course repeats during their career at UT Tyler; graduates are eligible for two grade replacements. Full policy details are printed on each Grade Replacement Contract.
The Census Date (Sept. 12th) is the deadline for many forms and enrollment actions of which students need to be aware. These include:
Submitting Grade Replacement Contracts, Transient Forms, requests to withhold directory information, approvals for taking courses as Audit, Pass/Fail or Credit/No Credit.
Receiving 100% refunds for partial withdrawals. (There is no refund for these after the Census Date)
Schedule adjustments (section changes, adding a new class, dropping without a “W” grade)
Being reinstated or re-enrolled in classes after being dropped for non-payment
Completing the process for tuition exemptions or waivers through Financial Aid
State-Mandated Course Drop Policy:
Texas law prohibits a student who began college for the first time in Fall 2007 or thereafter from dropping more than six courses during their entire undergraduate career. This includes courses dropped at another 2-year or 4-year Texas public college or university. For purposes of this rule, a dropped course is any course that is dropped after the census date (See Academic Calendar for the specific date).
Exceptions to the 6-drop rule may be found in the catalog. Petitions for exemptions must be submitted to the Enrollment Services Center and must be accompanied by documentation of the extenuating circumstance. Please contact the Enrollment Services Center if you have any questions.
In accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) the University of Texas at Tyler offers accommodations to students with learning, physical and/or psychological disabilities. If you have a disability, including a non-visible diagnosis such as a learning disorder, chronic illness, TBI, PTSD, ADHD, or you have a history of modifications or accommodations in a previous educational environment, you are encouraged to visit https://hood.accessiblelearning.com/UTTyler and fill out the New Student application. The Student Accessibility and Resources (SAR) office will contact you when your application has been submitted and an appointment with Cynthia Lowery, Assistant Director of Student Services/ADA Coordinator. For more information, including filling out an application for services, please visit the SAR webpage at http://www.uttyler.edu/disabilityservices, the SAR office located in the University Center, # 3150 or call 903.566.7079.
Student Absence due to Religious Observance:
Students who anticipate being absent from class due to a religious observance are requested to inform the instructor of such absences by the second class meeting of the semester. Revised 05/17
Emergency Exits and Evacuation:
Everyone is required to exit the building when a fire alarm goes off. Follow your instructor’s directions regarding the appropriate exit. If you require assistance during an evacuation, inform your instructor in the first week of class. Do not re-enter the building unless given permission by University Police, Fire department, or Fire Prevention Services.
Student Absence for University-Sponsored Events and Activities:
If you intend to be absent for a university-sponsored event or activity, you (or the event sponsor) must notify the instructor at least two weeks prior to the date of the planned absence. At that time the instructor will set a date and time when make-up assignments will be completed.
Social Security and FERPA Statement:
It is the policy of The University of Texas at Tyler to protect the confidential nature of social security numbers. The University has changed its computer programming so that all students have an identification number. The electronic transmission of grades (e.g., via e-mail) risks violation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act; grades will not be transmitted electronically.
Student Standards of Academic Conduct:
Disciplinary proceedings may be initiated against any student who engages in scholastic dishonesty, including, but not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, collusion, the submission for credit of any work or materials that are attributable in whole or in part to another person, taking an examination for another person, any act designed to give unfair advantage to a student or the attempt to commit such acts.
“Cheating” includes, but is not limited to:
copying from another student’s test paper;
using, during a test, materials not authorized by the person giving the test;
failure to comply with instructions given by the person administering the test;
possession during a test of materials which are not authorized by the person giving the test, such as class notes or specifically designed “crib notes”. The presence of textbooks constitutes a violation if they have been specifically prohibited by the person administering the test;
using, buying, stealing, transporting, or soliciting in whole or part the contents of an unadministered test, test key, homework solution, or computer program;
collaborating with or seeking aid from another student during a test or other assignment without authority;
discussing the contents of an examination with another student who will take the examination;
divulging the contents of an examination, for the purpose of preserving questions for use by another, when the instructors has designated that the examination is not to be removed from the examination room or not to be returned or to be kept by the student;
substituting for another person, or permitting another person to substitute for oneself to take a course, a test, or any course-related assignment;
paying or offering money or other valuable thing to, or coercing another person to obtain an unadministered test, test key, homework solution, or computer program or information about an unadministered test, test key, home solution or computer program;
falsifying research data, laboratory reports, and/or other academic work offered for credit;
taking, keeping, misplacing, or damaging the property of The University of Texas at Tyler, or of another, if the student knows or reasonably should know that an unfair academic advantage would be gained by such conduct; and
misrepresenting facts, including providing false grades or resumes, for the purpose of obtaining an academic or financial benefit or injuring another student academically or financially.
“Plagiarism” includes, but is not limited to, the appropriation, buying, receiving as a gift, or obtaining by any means another’s work and the submission of it as one’s own academic work offered for credit.
“Collusion” includes, but is not limited to, the unauthorized collaboration with another person in preparing academic assignments offered for credit or collaboration with another person to commit a violation of any section of the rules on scholastic dishonesty.
All written work that is submitted will be subject to review by plagiarism software.
UT Tyler Resources for Students:
UT Tyler Writing Center (903.565.5995), email@example.com
UT Tyler Tutoring Center (903.565.5964), firstname.lastname@example.org
The Mathematics Learning Center, RBN 4021, this is the open access computer lab for math students, with tutors on duty to assist students who are enrolled in early-career courses.