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To print this syllabus, first Log in (above right), then use the Tools menu to export the page to either pdf or Word.

Table of Contents

Class time and place

Tuesday-Thursday 10-11:15 a.m., Milne 105

Office hours

  • Tuesday-Thursday 3-4 p.m., and by appointment
  • Find me online: see profile at right (you must be logged in).

Learning outcomes

Individual learning outcomes

Students who have completed English 315 will:

  • understand the major historical trends (such as industrialism) and intellectual debates (such as the debate over evolution) that form the context of British literature from 1832-1901
  • know and be able to discuss critically, in context, the works of major British Victorian authors
  • understand and be able to employ the conventions of critical writing about literature
  • know how to find, use, and properly acknowledge secondary sources for an essay of literary criticism

Community learning outcomes

The Engl 315-01 (Spring 2012) community will:

  • produce new knowledge (new for this community) about Victorian literature and its contexts
  • share knowledge about Victorian literature and its contexts in accordance with scholarly conventions
  • discuss and debate ideas about Victorian literature and its contexts in ways that respect the diversity of the community

Requirements

Texts

  • Carol T. Christ, et al., The Victorian Age (Volume E of The Norton Anthology of English Literature, 8th ed.)
  • Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist (Norton)
  • Thomas Hardy, Tess of the d'Urbervilles
  • Amy Levy, Reuben Sachs: A Sketch (Broadview)
  • Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest (e-text)

Papers, exams, other assignments

  • One 5-page essay - 25%
  • One 7-page essay - 35%
  • Online writing - 10%
  • Oral presentation - 10%
  • Final Exam (May 7, 8-11 a.m.) - 20%

Oral presentation

You are required to make an oral presentation on an article, essay, or book related to the current reading. Your oral presentation should last no longer than 5 minutes and provide a summary of your chosen source.

Before or immediately after giving your presentation, you must contribute an entry on your source to the Annotated Bibliography of Victorian Literature. Together, the oral presentation and bibliography entry count for 5% of the final course grade.

Online writing

You are required to participate in online discussion forums for this class. I will post a discussion question before each Tuesday class. You are required to post a response by 11:59 p.m. of the preceding Monday.

You may post discussion questions of your own at any time. Just follow the instructions on the forums page.

You are required to participate in collaborative writing on the SUNY Geneseo wiki. In addition to making your required contribution to the Annotated Bibliography of Victorian Literature, you may be asked in some discussion questions to annotate a literary text. Blogging is optional but strongly encouraged. For the optional project (described below), you may wish to contribute to Genetically Modified Literature.

Optional project

You may permit 50% of your final exam grade to be determined by an optional project that explores, examines, or illuminates one or more of the semester's texts using means other than the conventional literary essay. You'll find examples of such projects at Genetically Modified Literature.

Bear in mind the following constraints on optional projects:

  • Your project will be judged by the degree to which it genuinely sheds light or offers meaningful commentary on the text(s) in question. (You may, if you like, provide a written explanation of how it does so.)
  • The project must be approved by me in advance.
  • So that others in the class may view the project, the project must be submitted no later than ....
  • For team projects, all team members must be listed in the original proposal.

Students with disabilities

SUNY Geneseo will make reasonable accommodations for persons with documented physical, emotional or learning disabilities. Contact Tabitha Buggie-Hunt, Director of Disability Services to discuss needed accommodations as early as possible in the semester.

Exam and paper details

A make-up final exam will be administered for medical reasons only. You must supply documentation of all illnesses and accidents. (A note indicating merely that you were seen at the infirmary won't suffice.) Please do not request special arrangements to alleviate any of the following: a crowded exam schedule; a heavy workload; conflicts with employment, extra-curricular responsibilities, or job-hunting; familial celebrations (e.g., weddings or graduations); crises in other people's lives (e.g., severe depression of best friend's roommate); crises in your own life that are a normal and inevitable part of the collegiate experience (e.g., demise of relationship with boyfriend or girlfriend.) Fairness dictates that such accommodations cannot be made for one without being offered to all.

For help writing exam essays, consult Writing Essays Exams in the SUNY Geneseo Writing Guide.

You will write two papers for this course. The first paper is worth 25% in the calculation of your final grade and should be approximately 5 double-spaced pages long. The second paper is worth 35% in the calculation of your final grade and should be approximately 5-7 double-spaced pages long. For the second paper, you must draw on at least two one critical or scholarly work on Victorian literature.

The "due-date" for each of the papers in this class is not a single date but a one-week range during which you may share your finished work. I grade and return papers in the order in which I receive them, so the earlier you share, the sooner your work will be shared back. The SUNY Geneseo Writing Guide offers help on a wide range of essay-writing matters, including proper conventions for citation. In both papers for this class, you must follow MLA format for citations.

The first paper is due between February 16 and February 23 (no later than 11:59 p.m. on February 23). Target length: 5 double-spaced pages.

The second paper is due between April 12 20 and April 19 27 (no later than 11:59 p.m. on April 27). Target length: 5-7 double-spaced pages.

The two papers for this class must be shared electronically by 11:59 p.m. of the last date in the due-date range. Submit your papers using the drop box in myCourses. (Look for the Drop Boxes under the "Tools" tab.) Share your papers using Google Docs. Late papers lose one-half grade per day.

Be sure to keep a copy of your work.

I will share back your work electronically, in the order in which it was received, with corrections and comments included in the file. Please do not expect work shared close to the deadline to be returned in less than 2-3 weeks.

Schedule

Date

Assignment

Preliminaries

 

1/17

Introduction

1/19

What are you here to learn, and how will you learn it?

Victorian Voices

 

1/24

Carlyle, Sartor Resartus (excerpts in Norton)

1/26

Carlyle, Past and Present; Mill, Autobiography

The 99%

 

1/31

Oliver Twist

2/2

Oliver Twist

2/7

Oliver Twist

2/9

Oliver Twist

Evolution: A Matter of Life and Death

 

2/14

Selections on evolution from Norton; Newman, "Liberalism" (19-21 of pdf); Huxley, "Agnosticism and Christianity"; Arnold, "Dover Beach," "Stanzas from the Grande Chartreuse"

2/16

Tennyson, "Ulysses," "Tithonus"; In Memoriam (selections in Norton)

2/21

Tennyson, In Memoriam

The Woman Question

 

2/23

Mill, On Liberty; The Subjection of Women

2/28

Brontë, Wuthering Heights

3/1

Wuthering Heights

3/6

Wuthering Heights

3/8

Wuthering Heights

3/13 - 3/15

Spring Break

3/20

C. Rossetti, "Goblin Market"; E.B. Browning, excerpts from Aurora Leigh

The Word as Body

 

3/22

R. Browning, "Porphyria's Lover," "Fra Lippo Lippi," "The Bishop Orders His Tomb"

3/27

Tennyson, Songs from The Princess, "The Lady of Shalott"; Pater, excerpts from The Renaissance; Wilde, Preface to Dorian Gray; D.G. Rossetti, "The Blessed Damozel," The House of Life; Swinburne, "Hymn to Proserpine," "The Garden of Proserpine"

3/29

Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest

The "New Woman" Question

 

4/3

Levy, Reuben Sachs: A Sketch

4/5

Reuben Sachs: A Sketch

4/10

Reuben Sachs: A Sketch

4/12

Hardy, Tess of the d'Urbervilles

4/17

GREAT DAY

4/19

Tess of the d'Urbervilles

4/24

Tess of the d'Urbervilles

4/26

Tess of the d'Urbervilles

5/1

What have we learned?

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the fine print
the fine print