course shell:

http://emuonline.edu/

professor email:

abbcoy@gmail.com

professor homepage:

http://people.emich.edu/
acoykenda/

 

office hours:

603j pray Harrold hall

T 11-12 & 3:15-3:30;
Th 11-1 & 3:15-4

 

~ schedule ~

Literature 101:

Imaginary Worlds: Introduction to Fiction

Fall 2014

Dr. Abby Coykendall

 

 

Section 29 (#12357)

Tuesday & Thursday 2:00–3:15

Pray-Harrold Hall 318

Literature 101: Imaginary Worlds: Introduction to Fiction

Literature 101 is a class in which you will engage with a wide variety of prose fiction—novels, novellas, and short stories—ranging in period from the early modern era to the present and encompassing authors from around the world. The primary aim is to provide a general introduction to fiction, including an examination of the major literary movements, periods, techniques, and genres. By the end of the course, you will have surveyed representative fictional works written in English, honed your interpretative skills, familiarized yourself with literary conventions, and learned to think carefully and critically about those conventions. Whether discussing literature or world events, we will attempt to expand rather than confine our engagement with the material, ultimately coming to understand how fiction offers a means to (re)envision and hopefully to (re)create the world in which we all live.

Course Objectives: By the end of the course, you will be better able to

1) Develop an appreciation of fiction, including the formal conventions of literary works;

2) Broaden life experience through imagination, empathy, and engagement with diverse narratives and perspectives;

3) Learn to interpret fiction within various historical, philosophical, and cultural contexts, studying a wide selection of canonical and non-canonical texts from different literary periods;

4) Understand the reciprocal relationships between literature and culture, becoming aware of the ways that literature effects culture and that culture effects literature in turn;

5) Enhance critical-thinking skills through self-reflexivity, as well as through reflection on cultures foreign and familiar;

6) Become conversant in the terminology, debates, and practices of literature and literary criticism;

7) Communicate this newly acquired knowledge verbally and, when possible, in writing.

General Education Rationale:

Fiction draws readers in by presenting compelling characters, engaging situations, or familiar human problems. Whether the worlds in fiction feel comfortably realistic or expand a reader’s horizons with their newness, fiction remains popular for its ability to explore the boundaries of human possibility. Literature 101 is designed to cultivate students’ appreciation of prose fiction by providing a context to learn about the formal and historical features of different kinds of short stories and novels. This class introduces terms important for the critical understanding of fiction as an imaginative literary form. It also helps students analyze the plots, character, and setting of fiction not only as windows into the themes of the texts but as literary works that have impacted and influenced the on-going traditions of Western literature. Because the course focuses on different types of fiction in historical contexts, students gain a nuanced understanding of the cultural meaning of fiction and learn to interpret these texts as a complex social practice meaningful as human art.

Required Textbooks:

Books are available for purchase at the EMU Bookstore in the Student Center, as well as at online merchants (Amazon, Able’s, Barnes & Noble) or other university bookstores in the area. Make sure to get the correct edition by double-checking the ISBN number, a fingerprint of sorts for the book:

    

40 Short Stories: A Portable Anthology, ed. Beverly Lawn, 4th Edition (Bedford 2012; ISBN# 1457604752), needed by Sept. 23, also available on 2-hour reserve at the library

Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man (Vintage International, 2nd Edition, 1995; ISBN# 0679732764), needed by Oct. 2, also available on 2-hour reserve at the library

Zadie Smith, White Teeth (Vintage International, 2001, ISBN# 0375703861), needed by Nov. 18, also available on 2-hour reserve at the library

Other required readings are available in the online course shell (http://emuonline.edu/), printable from any campus computer (see the Schedule or Doc Sharing). Bring copies of required readings, whether the books above or handouts from the course shell, with you to class. You will need everything on hand for groupwork and class discussions

Assessment:

Nothing is more vital for success in this course than keeping up with, and actively engaging in, the reading assignments, response papers, and class discussions each day. The more actively you participate, the more the course can reflect your unique needs and interests. As with any university class, homework will take around two hours to complete for every unit, in other words, six hours per week. See the course shell online (http://emuonline.edu/) for information about assignments, including ways to augment your grade through extra credit if you fall behind.

 

30%

Participation/Homework (Assignments, Groupwork, Presentation, & Quizzes)

25%

Examination #1: Elements of Fiction (True-False; Short-Answer; Essay Question)

20%

Five-Page Comparison-Contrast Essay (on two short stories in the anthology)

25%

Examination #2: Application to Novels (Short-Answer; Self-Designed Essay Question)

 


 

Instructor Availability:

I will be delighted to discuss any course-related questions, interests, or concerns during my office hours, as well as at any time through email (abbcoy@gmail.com). Emails with straightforward questions usually receive a reply within a few hours to a day; those with thornier issues usually receive a reply within a week. Please limit inquiries to those that I alone can answer so I can give more pressing issues of other students the attention that they deserve. If, for example, you are unsure about a due date, consult the syllabus, the schedule, the handouts in the course shell, or your peers in class and email only if the confusion persists. Your first visit to my office hours with a course-related inquiry, such as to get guidance on homework, discuss readings lately covered, or brainstorm essay ideas, will be worth extra credit.

Attendance:

Failure to participate regularly in class makes achieving the course objectives difficult and, eventually, impossible. Reserve absences for illnesses, car accidents, or other unforeseen emergencies that truly prevent you from coming to class, and make sure not to exhaust your allowable absences too early in the term. Because this course primarily consists of reading and discussion—rather than facts, figures, or memorization—regular attendance is crucial. You never need to explain why you are absent, as I will always assume that you have an excellent reason. However, any students who miss FIVE class periods for any reason—that is, any students who miss over two weeks of the term—will have their final grade reduced by a full mark (for example, lowered from A to B, B to C, etc.), and any student who misses SIX or more class periods will become ineligible to pass. When you must be absent, contact the other students in your group to share notes or determine what you missed. All missed homework is due on your return, and any changes to the schedule will be sent to the class as a whole by email. See the “Number of Absences” portion of the Gradebook in the course shell to determine the number of absences you have to date.  This will be updated within a few days of each class.

Lateness:

The most essential information—due dates, assignment instructions, clarification of scheduling issues—is given at the beginning of class, so it is essential to come on time. Make sure to leave early just in case you encounter any problems along the way (traffic jams, late busses, no parking). Arriving well into the class period or exiting well before its conclusion each counts as half an absence. If you are late, it is your responsibility to sign the attendance sheet to avoid being marked absent. Habitual lateness that disrupts the class eventually counts as an absence (or absences) as well.

Classroom Etiquette:

It is important to be mindful of your peers during class time, listening to them with the same respect and attention that you hope to receive yourself. Once class begins, do not distract your peers by walking in or out of the room unless there is a genuine emergency. If you have a medical condition requiring you to leave occasionally, bring a doctor’s note confirming as such; otherwise, conduct all personal business outside of class.

Disruptive exits can be both mental and physical. Students unprepared to discuss the materials for the day, or discovered using laptops or phones for purposes unrelated to the course, will be asked to leave and marked absent. This course has a no-laptop, no-cell-phone policy, so do not bother using these instruments during class time unless specifically asked to do so to look something up.

Grading Scale:

100-94%

A

 

89-88%

B+

 

83-80%

B-

 

77-74%

C

 

69-68%

D+

93-90%

A-

 

87-84%

B

 

79-78%

C+

 

73-70%

C-

 

67-64%

D

 

Accessibility

This class is meant to be a welcoming educational experience for all students, including those who may have challenges or disabilities that impact learning. If you find yourself having difficulty participating or demonstrating knowledge in this course, please feel free to contact me to discuss reasonable accommodations (preferably at least one week prior to the need), even if you currently lack a Disability Resource Center (DRC) accommodation letter. You can also contact the DRC directly to talk about possible accommodations (734-487-2470; 240K Student Center; drc@emich.edu).

Academic Resources & Campus Safety:

The University Writing Center (115 Halle Library) offers one-to-one writing consulting. Students can make appointments or drop in from 9AM to 6PM Mondays through Thursdays and from 11AM to 4PM on Fridays. Students should bring a draft of what they’re working on and their assignment. The Academic Projects Center (116 Halle Library) offers one-to-one, drop-in consulting for students on writing, research, or technology-related issues from 11-5 Monday-Thursday. Another support center is the International Student Resource Center (200 Alexander, 487-0370) dedicated to second-language students from abroad.

Also consider availing yourself of the campus escort service, Student Eyes and Ears for University Safety, by calling 48-SEEUS (487-3387). If you sign up for the emergency text-messaging system (www.emich.edu/alerts), DPS can notify us of any calamity afflicting the campus.

Academic Integrity:

Understanding and avoiding academic dishonesty, and doing all coursework on your own, is imperative. Copying the homework of peers, taking credit for essays that you find on the internet, cheating on exams, or recycling your own essays written for other classes for double credit are all forms of academic dishonesty. The worst form of academic dishonesty is plagiarism, which, put simply, is taking either the ideas or the words of another person and reusing them as if they are your own.

You must acknowledge when you make use of the concepts and/or expressions of other people without any exception under any circumstance, whether it be by drawing on Wikipedia for mundane (and quite possibly specious) information or channeling the most holy of holy books for heavenly inspiration. When describing the ideas of someone else in your own words, make sure to signal as such (e.g., So and so says X … ); most importantly, when inserting the words of someone else into your own writing, make sure to credit that person for the passage and place quotation marks on either side (e.g., So and so says “X”). Writing that lacks these acknowledgements will pass as your own by default, and any writing that thus seems to be your own, without actually being your own, will be plagiarizing the original source.

All instances of academic dishonesty will result in an automatic 0% grade for the assignment; second instances will result in outright failure of the course. There is no excuse for academic dishonesty, nor will there be any exceptions to this policy. Make sure that your work is plagiarism-free before turning it in.

 


Schedule for LITR 101: Imaginary Worlds

Note: Assignments are listed next to the date they are due. Most readings are available in the “Doc Sharing” folder of the course shell (http://emuonline.edu/); the other readings are either novels, which must be purchased separately, or from the 40 Short Stories collection. The schedule in the course shell (http://emuonline.edu/) has links to all of the readings, handouts, and homework, and is thus much easier to navigate.

Section One: Short Fiction

 

Thurs, Sept. 4:

Course & Student Introductions; Conjectural Responses

Tues, Sept. 9:

o Read the syllabus over carefully and review the materials in the online course shell, jotting down any questions you have

o Read “Elements of Fiction,” Part 1 and Part 2  

o Read and re-read Ambrose Bierce’s “Chickamauga”

** Be prepared to discuss in class the elements of fiction found in the short story (e.g. character, point of view, plot)

Thurs, Sept. 11:

o Read Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Birthmark”

** If your last name begins with A-H, post a list of three complete sentences in the course shell Dropbox for Assignment 2 comparing or contrasting “The Birthmark” and “Chickamauga.” If you have difficulty posting, bring a handwritten list to class, but make sure to make an attempt—this assignment is the ONLY one accepted by hand and it can’t be accepted late.

Tues, Sept. 16:

o Read Part 3 of “Elements of Fiction”

o Read Isak Dinesen’s “Cardinal’s First Tale”

** If your last name begins with I-R, post a list of three complete sentences in the course shell Dropbox for Assignment 2 comparing or contrasting “Birthmark” and “Cardinal’s First Tale.” If your last name begins with S-Z, do the same with “Cardinal’s First Tale” and “Chickamauga.” If you have difficulty posting, bring a handwritten list to class, but make sure to make an attempt—this assignment is the ONLY one accepted by hand and it can’t be accepted late.

Thurs, Sept. 18:

o Read “Analyzing Fiction” to review and reinforce your understanding of the elements of fiction

o If you missed class the first day of class, make up the Conjectural Response by 9/23 at the latest

** Post a 300-word response in the course shell Dropbox for Assignment 3 based on one of the questions on pg. 20-21 of “Analyzing Fiction” comparing and contrasting two different stories on the topic depending on the first letter of your last name: A-H (“Birthmark” and “Cardinal’s First Tale”), I-R (“Cardinal’s First Tale” and “Chickamauga”), and S-Z (“Birthmark” and “Chickamauga”).

Tues, Sept. 23:

o Read Writing about Short Stories” in 40 Short Stories

o Read “Guidelines on Exam 1” and “Taking Essay Examinations”

o Purchase Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man to read by next week

Thurs, Sept. 25:

o  Be prepared to draft and peer workshop your exam essay during class

o  Get blue books in preparation for the exam

Tues, Sept. 30:

Exam One (True-False; Short-Answer; Essay Question)—make sure to bring a polished outline and your blue books

 

Section Two: The Novel

Thurs, Oct. 2:

o Begin reading Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man (pg. 3-85)

o Read “Guidelines on the Presentation and Essay”

** After reading the “Guidelines,” begin making a list of three stories from 40 Short Stories that you prefer to do for the presentation. This list is due on Oct. 16, but the sooner that you email it (abbcoy@gmail.com) or post it in the Dropbox (Assignment 5), the more likely you will be to get your first choice in the story that you will present in class and analyze in your comparison-contrast essay.

Tues, Oct. 7:

o Continue Reading Invisible Man (pg. 86-167)

** If your last name begins with A-C, post a discussion question (50 words minimum) concerning Ellison’s Invisible Man for your peers to discuss during class in the course shell Dropbox for Assignment 6. The question must post by 9AM.

Thurs, Oct. 9:

o Continue Reading Invisible Man (pg. 168–251)

** If your last name begins with D-K, post a discussion question (50 words minimum) concerning Ellison’s Invisible Man for your peers to discuss during class in the course shell Dropbox for Assignment 6. The question must post at least 2 hours before class begins.

Tues, Oct. 14:

o Continue Reading Invisible Man (pg. 252–334)

 ** If your last name begins with L-N, post a discussion question (50 words minimum) concerning Ellison’s Invisible Man for your peers to discuss during class in the course shell Dropbox for Assignment 6. The question must post by 9AM.

Thurs, Oct. 16:

 Story List Due

o Continue Reading Invisible Man (pg. 335–418)

o Email of Post Your Two Preferences for Short Stories (Assignment 5)

 ** If your last name begins with O-R, post a discussion question (50 words minimum) concerning Ellison’s Invisible Man for your peers to discuss during class in the course shell Dropbox for Assignment 6. The question must post by 9AM.

Tues, Oct. 21:

o Continue Reading Invisible Man (pg. 419–502)

** If your last name begins with S-T, post a discussion question (50 words minimum) concerning Ellison’s Invisible Man for your peers to discuss during class in the course shell Dropbox for Assignment 6. The question must post by 9AM.

Thurs, Oct. 23:

o Finish Reading Invisible Man (pg. 503–581)

** If your last name begins with U-Z, post a discussion question (50 words minimum) concerning Ellison’s Invisible Man for your peers to discuss during class in the course shell Dropbox for Assignment 6. The question must post by 9AM.

Tues, Oct. 28:

 Groupwork Day

o  Read and then re-read the short story assigned to your group. (See the Group Presentation Schedule in the course shell to determine which story to read. All are available in the 40 Short Stories collection.)

** Note: coming to class Oct. 28 is important since the 20 points for Groupwork can only be made up through extra credit.

Thurs, Oct. 30:

 

o Review Invisible Man for Written Response and Class Discussion

** Post a 300-word response in the course shell Dropbox for Assignment 8 analyzing Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, integrating at least two quotations (one from the beginning and another from the end of the novel), and perhaps using one of the discussion questions of your peers as a basis for inquiry.

 

 

Section Three: The Elements Applied

Tues, Nov. 4:

Presentations of Groups 1 & 2

o Read John Updike, “A & P” (40SS)

o Read Junot Diaz, “Drown” (40SS)

** Be prepared to respond to the discussion questions about the groupwork stories for this class period and those that follow if you are not presenting.

Thurs, Nov. 6:

Presentations of Groups 3 & 4

o Read Alice Walker, “Everyday Use” (40SS)

o Read Amy Tan, “Two Kinds” (40SS

Tues, Nov. 11:

Presentations of Group 5 & 6

o  Read Sherman Alexie “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven” (40SS)

o Read Joyce Carol Oates, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” (40SS)

Thurs, Nov. 13:

Presentations of Groups 7 & 8

o Read Shirley Jackson, “The Lottery” (40SS)

o Read Tim O’Brien “The Things They Carried” (40SS)

Tues, Nov. 18:

o Begin reading Zadie Smith’s White Teeth (pg. 1-64)

o Read “Comparison: An Analytic Tool”

o Review the “Guidelines on the Presentation and Essay”

** Post an introduction and outline for the Comparison-Contrast Essay to the course shell Dropbox for Assignment 10 (review the “Guidelines on the Presentation and Essay”). The introduction must include a thesis statement (underlined), and the outline must have at least three topic sentences (i.e. complete sentences expressing an argument for three separate body paragraphs).

Thurs, Nov. 20:

o Continue Zadie Smith’s White Teeth (pg. 65-129)

** If your last name begins with A-C, find connections between one passage from Ellison’s Invisible Man and another passage from Smith’s White Teeth to discuss in class with your peers. Post the two quotations, plus a 100-word minimum description of the connection, in the course shell Dropbox for Assignment 11. These must post by 9AM.

Tues, Nov. 25:

o Continue Zadie Smith’s White Teeth (pg. 130-194)

** If your last name begins with D-K, find connections between one passage from Ellison’s Invisible Man and another passage from Smith’s White Teeth to discuss in class with your peers. Post the two quotations, plus a 100-word minimum description of the connection, in the course shell Dropbox for Assignment 11. These must post by 9AM.

Thurs, Nov. 27:

No Class (Thanksgiving Recess)

Tues, Dec. 2:

o Read “Guidelines on Exam 2”

o Continue Zadie Smith’s White Teeth (pg. 195-323)

** If your last name begins with L-R, find connections between one passage from Ellison’s Invisible Man and another passage from Smith’s White Teeth to discuss in class with your peers. Post the two quotations, plus a 100-word minimum description of the connection, in the course shell Dropbox for Assignment 11. These must post by 9AM.

Thurs, Dec. 4:

o Continue Zadie Smith’s White Teeth (pg. 324-388)

** If your last name begins with S-T, find connections between one passage from Ellison’s Invisible Man and another passage from Smith’s White Teeth to discuss in class with your peers. Post the two quotations, plus a 100-word minimum description of the connection, in the course shell Dropbox for Assignment 11. These must post by 9AM.

Tues, Dec. 9:

o Review “Guidelines on Exam 2” and “Taking Essay Examinations”

o Finish Zadie Smith’s White Teeth (385-448)

** If your last name begins with U-Z find connections between one passage from Ellison’s Invisible Man and another passage from Smith’s White Teeth to discuss in class with your peers. Post the two quotations, plus a 100-word minimum description of the connection, in the course shell Dropbox for Assignment 11. These must post by 9AM.

Thurs, Dec. 11:

Comparison-Contrast Essay Due

o Be prepared to draft and peer workshop your exam essay during class

o Get blue books in preparation for the exam

** Post your Comparison-Contrast Essay in the course shell Dropbox for Assignment 12 by class time.

Thurs, Dec. 18:

1:30 - 3:00 p.m

Exam Two (Short-Answer; Self-Designed Essay Question)—make sure to bring a polished outline and your blue books, as well as to arrive a half hour before regular class time.