LIT 2120: World Literature – 17th Century to Contemporary: the Fantastical, (Un)Realism, Magical Realism
Campus Availability: Turlington Hall
Hours: W 2:00-4:00pm, or by appointment
Spring 2015 Sec. 1831
Class: Weil 0273
MWF, Period 6
Course Description: Since their beginnings, literatures from across the globe have contained fantastical, supernatural, or unrealistic elements woven into the tapestry of “real life.” From Greco-Roman mythology, European Medieval chivalric romances, to the fantastique and gothic traditions that continue to shape literary subgenres around the world, human civilizations remain drawn toward the inexplicable, otherworldly, and unreal aspects pervading mundane reality. Throughout this course, we will immerse ourselves in literary “unrealities,” mainly investigating how modern fantastical modes respond to – or react against – the rise of Enlightenment thought and its legacy. Along the way, we will interrogate the philosophical, political, and national currents that prompt and cultivate specific, regional uses of unrealism: for instance, what accounts for the Romance-like, conceptual, or magical worlds in Shakespeare, Borges, and Beckett, or what can be said for the depictions of devilish, monstrous, and marginal “beings” in Cazotte, Goethe, Stoker, and Kafka, or what do Achebe, Marquez, and Carter attempt to achieve by evoking myth, folklore, and fairy tale? While such questions will cue us to national specificities in employing fantastical modes, this approach also allows us to identify some similarities and parallels across the world’s literatures.
Throughout this course, you are also invited to consider approaching these texts through a few well-known critical methods such as historicism-cultural materialism, psychoanalysis, postcolonialism, and feminist-gender criticism. These methods will demonstrate that there is always more than one way to interpret a text, and familiarizing yourself with their terms will give you the confidence to do so in your own writing. Additionally, we will spend time in workshops during class to ensure that your critical writing abilities will benefit your college career, no matter what major you pursue.
Book Title and Original Publication Year
Things Fall Apart (1958)
The Bloody Chamber (1979)
All these readings will be available on Sakai as PDFs.
You are expected to print out PDFs and bring them to class.
William Shakespeare – The Tempest (1610-11)
Jacques Cazotte – The Devil in Love (1772)
Johann W von Goethe – Faust: The First Part of the Tragedy (1808)
Fanz Kafka – “The Judgment” (1912), “The Metamorphosis” (1915)
Jorge Borges – “Garden of Forking Paths” (1941), “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius" (1947)
Samuel Beckett –Endgame (1957)
Gabriel Garcia Marquez – “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” (1968)
Peter Barry – Beginning Theory (Theoretical Essays)
Assignments and Grade Breakdown:the following assignments and attendance/daily participation factor toward 1,000 total points.
2 Discussion Leading sessions (75 points each) and 2 Response Essays (75 points each): On two assigned days during the semester, you will facilitate the discussion by presenting on that day’s reading for 8-10 minutes. Your presentation should be a springboard for proposing interpretive questions to the class about the day’s reading (literature and/or critical essays); you can engage in a close-reading of a key scene, provide an overview of a text’s major themes, or consider the uniqueness of a text’s form, historical situation, or generic conventions. Most likely, you will present some combination of these aspects. Presentation software (Power Point or Prezi) and visual or audio supplements (like photos, sound clips, or music) are encouraged but not necessary.
Also be prepared to respond to 2 or 3 questions that both I and/or the next presenter will respond with as we listen to your presentation, and before we open up to a class-wide discussion.
Additionally, at 5:00 pm before the day you present, submit a 750 word response essay via Sakai which presents a cogent and detailed argument about one or two major points that you propose in your presentation. The essay is not an overview of your presentation; rather, think of the essay as your chance to speak more in-depth about certain aspects of your presentation material. (Detailed rubrics for the presentation and response, and a list of all presentation times, are provided on Sakai).
Essay 1: Synthesized Research Paper (1,500 words)
This essay will be a short researched paper on any two literary texts on our syllabus. The primary goal is to synthesize some of the major ideas or aspects of the two texts, whereby you formulate an original argument about what looking at these two texts together shows. (A rubric and detailed instructions will be provided when the assignment is introduced).
Essay 2: Final Research Paper (3,000-3,300 words)
This essay will be a sustained, formally researched critical analysis in which you will make an original argument about one or more texts. It must be on a text not used for Essay 1, but it can be a further development of a response paper. (A rubric and detailed instructions will be provided when the assignment is introduced).
Daily Participation (100) and 4 Quizzes at 25 points each (100)
The majority of class time will be spent reading, analyzing, and discussing the assigned texts and learning in workshops about writing and researching. For these reasons, daily and engaged participation is a priority in this course. Your participation will be monitored keenly to ensure that the seminar dynamic characterizes our sessions. All students should participate every day in some fashion, whether through offering points of view, raising questions, asking for clarification, and of course, writing when it is required.
There will be a quiz every 4 weeks to ensure your objective and interpretive knowledge of the texts.
Be able to make historical, literary historical, critical or theoretical statements about the texts you’ve read, and be able to support those statements.
Have refined your basic writing skills, including drafting, proofreading, editing, and composing a polished final product.
Know how to use proper MLA documentation style.
General Grading Criteria:
I will evaluate and provide feedback on students’ written assignments with respect to content, organization and coherence, argument and support, style, clarity, grammar, punctuation, and format style. I will also evaluate students’ use of sources on assignments that require them.
Grade Appeals: For this course, students may appeal a final grade by filling out a form available from Carla Blount, Department of English Program Assistant. Please note that grade appeals may result in a higher, unchanged, or lower final grade.
General Education Guidelines:
Students must pass this course with a “C” or better to satisfy the CLAS requirement for Composition (C). To receive the 6,000-word University Writing Requirement credit (E6), papers must meet minimum word requirements totaling 6000 words. For more information, see: https://catalog.ufl.edu/ugrad/current/advising/info/gordon.aspx
The instructor will evaluate and provide feedback on students’ written assignments regarding the following: 1) the depth of critical inquiry, the execution and sophistication of theses and arguments, and the level of researched evidence supporting arguments made, 2) the content, organization and coherence of this work, 3) and its style, clarity, grammar, punctuation, and mechanics. This course can satisfy the UF General Education requirement for Composition or Humanities. For more information, see: https://catalog.ufl.edu/ugrad/current/advising/info/general-education-requirement.aspx
Plagiarism is a serious violation of the Student Honor Code. The Honor Code prohibits and defines plagiarism as follows:
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):
2) Submitting a document or assignment which in whole or in part is identical or substantially similar to a document or assignment not authored by the student. (University of Florida, Student Honor Code, 15 Aug. 2007 )
University of Florida students are responsible for reading, understanding, and abiding by the entire Student Honor Code.
Important Tip: You should never copy and paste something from the Internet without also providing the exact location from which it came.
Attendance and Absences: For this seminar style course, daily attendance and engaged participation is required. You are allotted up to 3 absences for this semester. But be sure to email me to let me know if you’ll be absent. Every absence exceeding the allotted 3 will lower your final grade by a third (Example: A to an A-, B+ to a B, and so on). Exceptions to the allotted 3 absences include severe personal or familial illness (doctor’s note is usually required), severe weather, court-imposed absences, religious holidays, or university-sponsored events such as athletics, band, or debates. Absences related to university-sponsored events must be discussed with me prior to the date that will be missed.
If you are absent, it is still your duty to: 1) turn in any assigned work on time, 2) email me for any changes that may have been announced in class. You may discuss the missed material with me during my office hours, or you may contact another student. Remember, if you are absent, any daily activities or quizzes cannot be made up.
I recommend getting at least 1 student’s contact information to stay current on daily activity.
If you will be absent for a serious illness, please provide me a doctor’s signed medical note. For absences regarding university-sponsored athletics, music or theater, please let me know beforehand. For these circumstances, I will allow you to make up missed work.
12-Day Rule for Athletes: Students who participate in athletic or extracurricular activities are permitted to be absent 12 scholastic days per semester without penalty. (A scholastic day is any day on which regular class work is scheduled.) Tardiness: If students enter class after roll has been called, they are late, which disrupts the entire class. Two instances of tardiness count as one absence.
For detailed attendance policies, see the UF Undergrad Catalogue here: https://catalog.ufl.edu/ugrad/current/regulations/info/attendance.aspx
Classroom Behavior: Please keep in mind that UF students come from diverse cultural, economic, and ethnic backgrounds. Some of the texts we will discuss and write about engage controversial topics and opinions. Differences in student backgrounds combined with provocative texts require that you demonstrate respect for ideas that may differ from your own. Disrespectful behavior will result in dismissal, and accordingly absence, from the class.
Preparation: Make sure you are well-prepared to contribute your thoughts to every class. Be sure to bring the assigned readings with you, as well as your note-taking materials. Be active when reading for class: mark the text, take notes, and record points you wish to contribute during seminar discussions. This course is reading-heavy, so ensure that you have adequate time to read carefully and thoroughly.
Electronic Devices (cell phones, laptops, tablets, etc.) All cell-phone use is strictly prohibited during class; your phones must be set to silent ring and removed from your desk. Computers or tablets are not permitted in class. They will be allowed only on days where we will be accessing PDFs or other materials on Sakai. Students should not be connecting to the internet at any time during class unless instructed.
In-Class Work: Papers and drafts are due at the beginning of class or on-line at the assigned deadline.
Students must be present for all in-class activities to receive credit for them. In-class work cannot be made up.
Assigned essays will be submitted via electronic copy, in .doc or .docx format only, and only uploaded to Sakai – there is no need to bring hard copies to class. Technology failure is not an excuse for a late assignment. Please email me your essay if either Sakai or the course homepage is not functioning properly – and double check that your attachment uploads correctly (assignments that are not uploaded or not verified as uploaded may not be graded). Always save your work on a flash drive or on a cloud service such as Google Drive.
Late Assignments: Since your assignments are often crucial to class discussion, turning in work on time is very important in this course. Late submissions will be penalized based on a student’s class and performance record, but I do have the right to not accept late work.
You cannot make up the in-class portion of this assignment, so be sure to be prepared on your day.
The accompanying response paper’s grade will be lowered by 5% for every hour that it is not submitted by 5:00 pm on the day before your presentation.
Final Research Paper
I will lower the grade of the Final by 5% every hour after the due date. After 24 hours, it will be at my discretion to accept or reject a late submission.
Academic Paper Format: As an English course, we will be using MLA style only. Be sure your submitted essays meet these criteria, or points will be deducted:
12 point, Times New Roman font
1 inch margins, on all sides
MLA style headers with page numbers
MLA style citations
For an up-to-date MLA style guide, refer to the OWL Purdue website available via Sakai: (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/).
Students with Disabilities: The University of Florida complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Students requesting accommodation should contact the Students with Disabilities Office, Peabody 202. That office will provide documentation to the student whom must then provide this documentation to the instructor when requesting accommodation.
Schedule of Classes and Assignments
Please note that the daily schedule is subject to change. When changes occur, I will notify you beforehand. Complete the readings and assignments listed below before class on the day on which they are listed.