Schedule for LITR 101: Imaginary Worlds (Fall 2009)

Section One: The Elements Applied (Short-Story Presentations and Film Adaptation)

Wed., Sept. 9:

Introductions of Students and Course; Conjectural Responses

Homework: 1) Carefully read the syllabus and the Homework Assignments handout (/hmwk.htm), jotting down any questions that you have; 2) Read Parts 1 & 2 of “Elements of Fiction” and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Birthmark” in the Electronic Reserves [ER], password 101: http://reserves.emich.edu/eres/; 3) Be prepared to discuss the tone, setting, narration, and point of view of Hawthorne’s short story in class.

Mon., Sept. 14:

Begin Elements of Fiction; Discuss Hawthorne

Homework: 1) Get textbooks, especially 40 Short Stories which we will use first; 2) Read Part 3 of “Elements of Fiction” [ER] and Ralph Ellison’s “Battle Royal” in 40 Short Stories [SS], pg. 258-71; 3) Make a list (to turn in) with at least three examples of each of the following in Ellison’s story: themes, motifs, and dramatic irony; 4) If you missed the first day of class, make up the Conjectural Response by 9/30 at the latest (/cresp.pdf).

Wed., Sept. 16:

Continue Elements of Fiction; Discuss Ellison

Homework: 1) Read “Analyzing Fiction” to review and reinforce your understanding of the elements of fiction [ER 1-21]; 2) Read Tim O’Brien, “Things They Carried” [SS 426-42] with one of the questions on pg. 20-21 of “Analyzing Fiction” in mind; 3) Write a 300-word response (handwritten or typed) to the story answering that question in depth once you have finished.

Mon., Sept. 21:

Conclude Elements of Fiction; Discuss O’Brien & Responses

Homework: 1) Review the discussion questions on Kate Chopin’s “Story of an Hour” [ER]; 2) Read and then re-read the Chopin story with those questions in mind [SS 72-74]; 3) Optional: visit the Bedford website for background on Chopin http://bcs.bedfordstmartins.com/40shortstories/ (the “VirtuaLit” link).

Wed., Sept. 23:

Discuss Chopin; Practice Review of the Elements of Fiction

Homework: 1) Review the discussion questions on Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “Yellow Wallpaper” [ER] and read “Comparison: An Analytic Tool” [ER 49-52]; 2) Read the Gilman story with those questions in mind [SS 77-93]; 3) Make a list (to turn in) of significant comparisons and/or contrasts between the Chopin and Gilman stories, with at least two examples of each of the following: a) symbolism/style/imagery, b) narrator/narrative structure/point of view, and c) theme.

Mon., Sept. 28:

Compare/Contrast Stories

Homework: 1) Review the Guidelines on Exam One (/exam1.htm); 2) Read “Writing about Literature” [ER 738-47]; 3) Read “Taking Essay Examinations” [ER 375-6].

Wed., Sept. 30:

Review for Exam One; Discuss Presentations & Essay

Homework: 1) Get Blue Books, Make Outline, and Prepare for Exam One (/exam1.htm); 2) Finish all outstanding responses for Section One if you want to receive partial credit for late work; 3) Review the Guidelines on the Presentation and Essay (/essay.htm); 4) Begin making a list of the three stories from the anthology that you prefer to do for the presentation. This list is due Oct. 12, but the sooner that you turn it in or email it (acoykenda at emich.edu), the more likely you will be to get your first choice.

Mon., Oct. 5:

**Exam One**

Homework: 1) Read “Fiction across Media” [ER]; 2) Begin reading Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita, pg. 3-45, imagining how it would look once adapted on film; 3) Continue working on the list of the three stories from the anthology (due 10/12).

Section Two: The Elements Applied (Short-Story Presentations and Film Adaptation)

Wed., Oct. 7:

Discuss Film Adaptation & the Opening of Lolita (1962)

Homework: 1) Finish making the list of the three short stories that you prefer to do for the presentation; 2) Continue reading Lolita, pg. 45-103, paying particular attention to the characters (traits, conflicts, motivations, development, degree of sympathy, reliability, or dramatic irony); 3) If you miss class, watch the first 30 minutes of Kubrick’s adaptation to get a visual impression of the characters and setting.

Mon., Oct. 12:

Discuss Lolita

Homework: 1) Continue Lolita, pg. 103-154; 2) Make a list (to turn in) of four recurring symbols, thematic issues, and/or instances of irony, with two representative quotes to illustrate the most important one (a quote from the beginning of the novel and another from the section you just read).

Wed., Oct. 14:

Discuss Lolita

Homework: 1) Continue Lolita, pg. 154-207; 2) Write down a discussion question about the last section of the novel for your peers to consider during class and be prepared to write an in-class response on one of their own discussion questions in turn.

Mon., Oct. 19:

Discuss Lolita

Homework: 1) See the Group Assignments handout (/groups.htm); 2) Prepare for the group work by reading (and then re-reading) the story that your group has been assigned. **Note: coming to class Oct. 21 is important since the 20 points for groupwork can only be made up through extra credit.

Wed., Oct. 21:

** Groupwork **

Homework: 1) Continue Lolita, pg. 208-69; 2) Write down two passages from the novel that stand out to you and that relate to each other in some way, a passage early in the book and another towards the end of the section you just read; 3) Be prepared to turn in the quotes and discuss the correlation between them during class.

Mon., Oct. 26:

Discuss Lolita

Homework: 1) Read John Updike, “A & P” [SS 338-44] and Shirley Jackson, “The Lottery” [SS 272-80]; 2) Be prepared to respond to the discussion questions about the stories in class.

Wed., Oct. 28:

Presentations of Groups 1 & 2

Homework: 1) Finish Lolita, pg. 269-317; 2) Write a 300-word response (handwritten or typed) on the Nabokov novel, considering its point of view, setting, characterization, theme, tone, imagery, symbolism, and/or any other element of fiction with which you have become familiar.

Mon., Nov. 2:

Discuss Lolita & Responses

Homework: 1) Read Gabriel García Márquez, “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” [SS 331-37]; 2) Be prepared to respond to the discussion questions about the stories in class.

Wed., Nov. 4:

Presentations of Groups 3 & 4

Homework: 1) Read Toni Cade Bambara, “The Lesson” [SS 393-400] and Amy Tan, “Two Kinds” [SS 459-69]; 2) Be prepared to respond to the discussion questions about the stories in class; 3) Optional: Write a 300-word extra-credit response comparing/contrasting Tan’s story with the film Joy Luck Club.

Mon., Nov. 9:

Presentations of Groups 5 & 6

Homework: 1) Read Alice Walker, “Everyday Use” [SS 417-26] and Cynthia Ozick, “The Shawl” [SS 326-31]; 2) Be prepared to respond to the discussion questions about the stories in class; 3) Optional: Write a 300-word extra-credit response comparing/contrasting Walker’s story with the film The Color Purple (on reserve at the Halle library); 4) Finish all outstanding responses for Section Two if you want to receive partial credit for late work.

 

Section Three: In-Depth Case Study on the Novel

Wed., Nov. 11:

Presentations of Groups 7 & 8

Homework: 1) Begin reading Octavia Butler’s Kindred, pg. 3-45; 2) Re-read the Guidelines on the Presentation and Essay (/essay.htm); 3) Read “Writing about Short Stories” [SS 519-30]; 4) Write an introductory paragraph and outline for the Comparison-Contrast Essay (/essay.htm); the introduction must have the thesis statement underlined, and the outline must have at least three of the topic sentences (that is, complete sentences expressing the main arguments for the separate sections of the essay).

Mon., Nov. 16:

Discuss Outlines & Kindred

Homework: 1) Continue reading Kindred, pg. 45-81; 2) Write down two passages from the novel that stand out to you and that relate to each other in some way, a passage early in the book and another towards the end of the section you just read; 3) Be prepared to turn in the quotes and discuss the correlation between them during class.

Wed., Nov. 18:

Discuss Kindred

Homework: 1) Continue reading Kindred, pg. 81-131; 2) Write down a discussion question about the last section of the novel for your peers to consider during class and be prepared to write an in-class response on one of their own discussion questions in turn; 3) Continue working on the essay (draft due Nov. 30).

Mon., Nov. 23:

Discuss Kindred

Homework: 1) Continue reading Kindred, pg. 131-74; 2) Complete a three-page draft of the essay (/essay.htm), making a note of any questions that you have so that we can discuss them in class; 3) Bring two copies of the draft to class. **Note: completing the draft and coming to class is important since the 15 points for peer review can only be made up through extra credit.

Wed., Nov. 25:

** NO CLASS (Fall Recess) **

Mon., Nov. 30:

Discuss Kindred; Peer Review

Homework: 1) Continue reading Butler’s Kindred, pg. 174-218; 2) Make a list (to turn in) of five significant comparisons and/or contrasts between Lolita and Kindred; 3) Finish the Comparison-Contrast Essay (/essay.htm).

Wed., Dec. 2:

**Essay Due**

Homework: 1) Finish reading Butler’s Kindred, pg. 218-64; 2) Write a 300-word response (handwritten or typed) on the Butler novel, considering its point of view, setting, characterization, theme, tone, imagery, symbolism, and/or any other element of fiction with which you have become familiar. 

Mon., Dec. 7:

Discuss Kindred & Responses; Brainstorm Topics for Exam

Homework: 1) Review the Guidelines on Exam Two (/exam2.htm); 2) Make an outline for the second section of the exam; 3) Review conjectural response from the first day of class; 4) Optional: Write a 300-word extra-credit response on the conjectural response (see /hmwk.htm for a complete description).

Wed., Dec. 9:

Course Retrospect; Review for Exam Two; Workshop Outlines

Homework: 1) Get Blue Books, Revise Outline, and Prepare for Exam Two (/exam2.htm); 2) Finish all outstanding responses for Section Three, as well as any extra-credit responses, by next class. **Note: Remember that the exam will start a half hour earlier than the regular class time. 

Wed., Dec. 16:

 **Exam Two (3:00-4:30 PM)**