Office Hours: TUR4335/MF Period 5, and also by appointment
Section 1813—MWF Period 4, RNK 0225
Beginning in the early part of the 19th century, the rise and evolution of the novel paralleled—if it was not catalyzed by—an explosion of female authorship and domestic fiction. In this course, we’ll read widely and diversely in the literary canon of the period, and look to some major texts in the long 19th and 20th century in order to map out ways that women writers crafted their prose to reflect on and interrogate changing cultural understandings of the home, gender, race, and other categories. Through Shelley’s Frankenstein, Brontë’s Jane Eyre, Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, and Zadie Smith’s White Teeth, we’ll compass historical moments, some theoretical background for looking at these works, and different critical approaches to literary analysis in order to trace how these four novels contributed to shifting literary and political landscapes.
Given our designation as a survey class, we’ll also cover a number of different poets from the Romantic and Victorian Periods, as well as some early 20th century figures. While many of these pieces will fit within the trajectory of our subtopic, I’ve included a number of poets whose work complements some of the larger questions that we’ll tackle throughout the semester.
As a 2000-level course, the primary goal of this class is twofold: to familiarize you with major texts, historical movements, and theoretical frames for the literature in question; and, secondly, to develop your writing in both critical approach and form. With both goals in mind, we’ll include writing workshops periodically throughout the semester, in which we’ll go over different ways to revise and refine your work. By the end of the course, you will have read a number of major texts and explored literary and historical movements in the periods. While we will discuss these texts using different frames that I will provide, I strongly encourage you to reflect on different ways to connect the authors and their work to your own readings, interpretations, and interests.
The Norton Anthology of Literature, Volumes D, E, F (The Romantic Period, the Victorian Age, and the Twentieth Century and After, respectively)—there are multiple editions; I have the 8th, and you should be able to find used copies online rather than purchasing the 9th (new) from the bookstore.
Frankenstein, Mary Shelley—any edition (there are free Kindle/e-versions, as well as very cheap paperback copies).
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë—again, any edition will suffice.
Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf—see above.
White Teeth, Zadie Smith—ISBN: 0375703861, it seems like there are many new/used copies for well under $10, as well as a Kindle edition.
Requirements include regular attendance and participation, five short responses (at least 500 words), regular reading quizzes, and two major essays. A breakdown of your overall grade follows:
Attendance and Participation…………………..15%
Five Critical Reading Entries (>500 words).......20%
Mid-term essay (>1,500 words)….………..…...20%
Final Essay (>2,500)…………….……….…….35%
Attendance and Participation
The attendance policy is outlined below. This course, unlike others you might be taking or will take, is an active course, by which I mean that it is in large part based on in-class discussions. While I will lecture sparingly, the majority of each class will involve open, vibrant, and critical conversations, which will help us to explore each text and period in greater depth. I consider this class as a seminar: each member must contribute to discussions whenever we meet as a class in a considerate and collegial fashion.
We will have regular reading quizzes. I do not envision these as a means to test obscurities in the texts, but rather to ensure that everyone is reading and understanding the central points for each.
Critical Reading Entries
Each reading response will be in direct dialogue with a text or idea we have addressed in the class. They must be thoughtful interactions, in which you develop a central idea by engaging (especially using close readings) with the text(s).
Mid-term and Final Essays
Both pieces will require substantial research, and will center on the development and argumentation of a unique, critical analysis of a work(s) that we have discussed in class. More information will be provided as both are introduced at their respective times in the semester, but it is never too early to begin thinking, preparing, and researching ideas and topics.
General Class Policies:
NB: You must pass this course with a “C” or better to satisfy the CLAS requirement for Composition (C) and to receive the 6,000-word University Writing Requirement credit (E6). You must turn in all papers totaling 6,000 words to receive credit for writing 6,000 words.
PLEASE NOTE: a grade of “C-” will not confer credit for the University Writing Requirement or the CLAS Composition (C) requirement.
Grade Meanings: Here is the meaning behind the grades I assign to your papers (all papers are graded on a letter scale, not points); you can use these statements to determine how you might work toward a higher grade:
A: You did what the assignment asked for at a high quality level, and your work shows originality, creativity, and critical insight.
B: You did what the assignment asked of you at a high quality level. Work in this range needs revision; however, it is complete in content, is organized well, and shows special attention to style.
C: You did what the assignment asked of you. Work in this range needs significant revision, but it is complete in content and the organization is logical. The style is straightforward but unremarkable.
D: You neglected some basic requirements of the assignment, and completed it at a poor quality level. Work in this range needs significant revision. The content is often incomplete and the organization is hard to discern. Attention to style is often nonexistent or chaotic.
E: An E is usually reserved for people who don't do the work or don't come to class. However, if your work is shoddy and shows little understanding of the needs of the assignment, you will receive a failing grade.
Attendance is required. Unlike some other classes you may take, just “reading the textbook” will not get you anywhere near a good grade. You are allowed three absences without any direct effect on your grade. Your final grade will drop by a letter with each subsequent absence after your first three. If you reach six absences, you will automatically fail the course.
Absences involving court-mandated events, such as jury duty or court testimony, military service, and university-sponsored events, such as athletics and band, and religious holidays are excused, but you must notify me of your absence prior to the date that will be missed.
*Two entries of “tardy” will be taken as one absence.*
Cell Phone Use
Turn cell phones off or set them to silent ring before you come into class. I turn mine off before coming into the classroom, so I expect the same courtesy from you all. If you are using a laptop, it should be used only for taking notes.
Plagiarism is a serious violation of the Student Honor Code. The Honor Code prohibits plagiarism and defines it as follows:
Plagiarism—A student shall not represent as the student’s own work all or any portion of the work of another. Plagiarism includes but is not limited to:
1. Quoting oral or written materials including but not limited to those found on the internet, whether published or unpublished, without proper attribution.
2. Submitting a document or assignment which in whole or in part is identical or substantially identical to a document or assignment not authored by the student.
(University of Florida, Student Honor Code, 8 July 2011)
University of Florida students are responsible for reading, understanding, and abiding by the entire Student Honor Code.
Statement of student disability services
The Disability Resource Center in the Dean of Students Office provides information and support regarding accommodations for students with disabilities. For more information, see: http://www.dso.ufl.edu/drc/.
Statement on harassment
UF provides an educational and working environment that is free from sex discrimination and sexual harassment for its students, staff, and faculty. For more about UF policies regarding harassment, see: http://www.dso.ufl.edu/sccr/sexual/.
Tentative Course Schedule:
*Each reading is due the day of*
Week 1 (1/06):
M Syllabus Presentation/Course Overview
W Selections from Wollstonecraft’s “Vindication of the Rights of Woman” (Norton)
F Selections from Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience (Norton)
Drop/Add Ends (11:59 pm)
Week 2 (1/13):
MFrankenstein, Chapters 1-7
W Frankenstein, Chapters 8-12
FFrankenstein, Chapters 13-16
Critical Reading Entry 1 Due
Week 3 (1/20):
MMLK Day – No Class W Frankenstein, Chapters 17-24
F Selected criticism about Frankenstein (Sakai)
Week 4 (1/27):
M Selections from Keats: “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” “Ode on Melancholy,” and “Ode to a Nightingale” (Norton)
W Selections from Wordsworth’s Lyrical Ballads (Norton)
F Wordsworth continued
Critical Reading Entry 2 Due Week 5 (2/3):
M Historical Context for Victorian Age (Sakai)
W Tennyson’s “Ulysses” (Norton)
M Selections from Yeats: “The Man Who Dreamed of Faeryland,” “Easter, 1916,” “Sailing to Byzantium,” “Lapis Lazuli” (Norton)
W Selections from Auden: “Spain,” “September 1, 1939” (Norton)
F Selections from Muir (Sakai)
Critical Reading Entry 5 Due
Week 14 (4/7):
M White Teeth, Chapters 1-4
W White Teeth, Chapters 5-6
F White Teeth, Chapters 7-8
Week 15 (4/14)
M White Teeth, Chapters 9-11
W White Teeth, Chapters 12-13