English 448 - Seminar in American Literature since 1865
|Office:||Schofield Hall 138|
The specific educational objectives of this seminar in Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow are to foster an in-depth analytical experience that will enhance students' reading ability and research skills related to both primary materials and secondary materials of literary criticism. Students will be expected to write and present a seminar paper and to work collaboratively through class discussion to analyze the text under consideration.
I want this course to operate primarily through discussion based on the reading assignments with occasional brief lectures added to provide background on particular concepts. Seminars derive much their learning from discussion, so the burden is on you each class to be prepared to discuss your ideas and to respond to the specific section of the primary text we may be concentrating on for that session--I am most pleased when a class pursues its own lines of inquiry without always waiting for a cue from me. I am open to suggestions for other classroom techniques that could lead to more active student learning.
Class members are to post weekly response papers to the class discussion email list at firstname.lastname@example.org (access restricted to class members only). Students will write and post weekly informal response papers focusing on a key passage in that week's reading (30 points available). You can say anything and you are not required to post brillian responses; however, responses should demonstrate that you are taking your reading experience of Gravity's Rainbow seriously. Responses that provoke additional discussion (either electronic or in class) are the best, and you should consider the response papers as a launching pad for ongoing class discussion beyond our stated class time. A good idea is to try to pose a serious question in your response on which the class can follow-up. Remember, you are writing to your peers as much as to me, and slackers can't help but reveal themselves.
Two "keystone passage" papers that provide close, detailed analytic reading of a passage from Gravity's Rainbow; passages selected must be between 15 and 30 lines in length (due: see Schedule below; 5 pages [1,500 words] minimum; MLA Handbook format; 25 points each).
One seminar paper: a critical essay of publishable quality, demonstrating ability to work with secondary materials and/or critical theory (due: by December 14 or by the Thursday day after your seminar presentation; 15-20 pages [4,500-6,000 words], MLA Handbook; 75 points). Included in this assignment is a 20 minute seminar presentation of your paper prior to its submission.
Lastly, class participation--everyone in the class will be expected to express her or his ideas orally at every class session (45 points; 1 point for mere attendance; 2 points for a contribution).
Graduate students need to meet with me to discuss how their work in the class will be more extensive than the undergraduate requirements. If any students are connecting this course with an English capstone project, please let me know early, so we can discuss the contours of that project.
NOTE: Since part of each student's experience at UWEC entails the preparation of a "portfolio" of papers showing how the academic goals of the Baccalaureate degree have been achieved, the longer paper in English 448 (and possibly the Keyword/Keystone passage papers as well) may, depending on your topic and approach, demonstrate your abilities in one or more of the following goals:
Absences will be counted by participation points; excessive absence will trigger an additional point penalty; late papers will receive a reduction in grade relative to the time late. Any paper found to have been plagiarized will be dealt with in accordance with the academic misconduct rules of the student handbook.
|9/10||Introduction & A Journey into the Mind of P.|
|9/17||The Crying of Lot 49, chs 1-4|
|9/24||The Crying of Lot 49, chs 5-6; V., chapter handout|
|10/1||Gravity's Rainbow, chs 1.1-1.13|
|10/8||Gravity's Rainbow, chs 1.14-1.21|
|10/15||Gravity's Rainbow, chs 2.1-2.8|
|10/22||Gravity's Rainbow, chs 3.1-3.5||Keystone Paper #1 due|
|10/29||Gravity's Rainbow, chs 3.6-3.11|
|11/5||Gravity's Rainbow, chs 3.12-3.20|
|11/12||Gravity's Rainbow, chs 3.21-3.32|
|11/19||Gravity's Rainbow, chs 4.1-4.6||Keystone Paper #2 due|
|11/26||Gravity's Rainbow, chs 4.7-4.12|
|12/3||Seminar Paper Presentations|
|12/10||Seminar Paper Presentations|
|12/17||Seminar Paper Presentations -- Final Exam Schedule 7:00 start|
Approximate cost of purchase texts: $40.00.