online syllabus:

http://people.emich.edu/ acoykenda/101/w15/

electronic reserves:

http://reserves.emich.edu/eres/

coursepage.aspx?cid=3973

(password 101)

professor email:

abbcoy@gmail.com

professor homepage:

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

office hours:

603j pray Harrold hall

tues 1:45–2:00 PM

thurs 1:45–5:30 PM

~ schedule ~

Literature 101:

Imaginary Worlds: Introduction to Fiction

Winter 2015

Dr. Abby Coykendall

 

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

 

Section 1 (#201520)

Tuesday & Thursday 12:30–1:45

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 from online merchants 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:

File source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PL_Podziemny_krag_okladka.jpg    

Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club (Holt, 1999; ISBN# 0805062971)

40 Short Stories: A Portable Anthology, ed. Beverly Lawn, 4th Edition (Bedford 2012; ISBN# 1457604752)

Toni Morrison, Bluest Eye (Plume, 2000, ISBN# 0452282195)

The remaining texts are available in the Electronic Reserves (ER), printable from any campus computer: http://reserves.emich.edu/eres/coursepage.aspx?cid=3973, password 101. Always bring copies of required readings to class, whether the books pictured above or the ER materials. 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 or, in other words, six hours per week. See the Extra Credit Opportunities handout (http://people.emich.edu/101/extra.htm) for ways to augment your grade 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 that 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 student who misses FIVE class periods for any reason—that is, any student who misses 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 other students in the class 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.

Lateness:

The most essential information—due dates, assignment instructions, clarification of scheduling issues—is given at the beginning of class, so it is important 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 those 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. Readings are available either in the Electronic Reserves (ER), password 101, or in the course books purchased separately (i.e. the 40 Short Stories collection and two novels listed above). The schedule online (http://people.emich.edu/acoykenda/101/w15/) has links to all of the readings, handouts, and homework, and thus is easier to navigate.

 

Section One: Short Fiction

Tues., Jan 6

Course & Student Introductions; Conjectural Responses

Thurs., Jan 8

o  Read the syllabus over carefully, jotting down any questions that you have

o  Read “Imagery, Metaphor, Simile”

o  Read and re-read Ralph Ellison’s “Battle Royal”

** If your last name begins with A-E, email to abbcoy@gmail.com a list of eight images, metaphors, and similes (at least two of each) found in the short story by Thursday at 9AM.

Tues., Jan 13

o  Read the first half of “Analyzing Fiction,” page 1–12

o  Read Isak Dinesen, “The Monkey”

** If your last name begins with F-M, email a list of four complete sentences to abbcoy@gmail.com by Tuesday at 9AM, each sentence either comparing or contrasting “Battle Royal” and “The Monkey” using “Analyzing Fiction” as a guide.

Thurs., Jan 15

o  Read the second half of “Analyzing Fiction,” page 12–21

o  Read and re-read John Cheever, “The Swimmer”

** If your last name begins with N-Z, email a list of four complete sentences to abbcoy@gmail.com by Thursday at 9AM, each sentence either comparing or contrasting The Monkey” and “The Swimmer” using “Analyzing Fiction” as a guide.

Tues., Jan 20

o  Read “Responding Actively to Literature”

o  If you missed class the first day of class, make up the Conjectural Response by 1/22 at the latest

** All groups must email a 350-word response to abbcoy@gmail.com by Tuesday at 9AM, based on one of the questions on pg. 20-21 of “Analyzing Fiction” comparing and contrasting two stories depending on the first letter of your last name: A-E (“The Monkey” and “The Swimmer”), F-M (“Battle Royal” and “The Swimmer”), and N-Z (“Battle Royal” and “The Monkey”).

Thurs., Jan 22

o  See the Guidelines on Exam 1 online: http://people.emich.edu/acoykenda/101/exam1.htm

o  Read Writing about Literatureand “Taking Essay Examinations”

o  Get blue books in preparation for the exam

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

Tues., Jan 27

 No Class: Optional Office Visit in Preparation for Exam (603J Pray Harrold)

Thurs., Jan 29

Exam One (True-False; Short-Answer; Essay Question)

Section Two: The Novel

Tues., Feb 3

o  Begin reading Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club (pg. 1–32)

Thurs., Feb 5

o  Continue Fight Club (pg. 33–66)

** If your last name begins with A-E, email a discussion question (50 words minimum) concerning pg. 1-66 of Palahniuk’s Fight Club for your peers to discuss during class to abbcoy@gmail.com by Thursday at 9AM.

Tues., Feb 10

o  Continue Fight Club (pg. 67–101)

Thurs., Feb 12

o  Continue Fight Club (pg. 102–145)

 ** If your last name begins with F-M, email a discussion question (50 words minimum) concerning pg. 67-145 of Palahniuk’s Fight Club for your peers to discuss during class to abbcoy@gmail.com by Thursday at 9AM.

Tues., Feb 17

 

o  See the Guidelines on the Presentation and Essay online: http://people.emich.edu/acoykenda/101/essay.htm

o  Begin making a list of three stories from 40 Short Stories that you prefer to do for the presentation (email the list to abbcoy@gmail.com once ready)

o  Continue Fight Club (pg. 146–179)

Thurs., Feb 19

* Story List Due Friday

o  Finish Fight Club (pg. 180–208)

o  Email your list of three stories to abbcoy@gmail.com by Friday 5PM at the latest

** If your last name begins with N-Z, email a discussion question (50 words minimum) concerning pg. 146-208 of Palahniuk’s Fight Club for your peers to discuss during class to abbcoy@gmail.com by Thursday at 9AM.

Feb 23– Mar 1

No Class—Winter Recess

Tues., Mar 3

o   Read “Fiction across Media”

o  Watch the 1999 film Fight Club, dir. David Fincher, over the break (you can view the VHS version on reserve at the library, or perhaps view it online from Netflix or Amazon)

** All groups must email a 350-word response to abbcoy@gmail.com by Tuesday at 9AM comparing and contrasting the filmic and novel versions of Fight Club.

 


 

Section Three: The Elements Applied

Thurs., Mar 5

* Groupwork

o See the Group Presentation Schedule online: http://people.emich.edu/acoykenda/101/groups.htm

o Read and then re-read the short story assigned to your group (available in the 40 Short Stories collection)

** Note: coming to class March 5 is important since the 20 Groupwork points can only be made up through extra credit.

Tues., Mar 10

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 as well as those that follow if you are not presenting.

Thurs., Mar 12

Presentations of Groups 3 & 4

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

o Read Amy Tan, “Two Kinds” (40SS)

Tues., Mar 17

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., Mar 19

Presentations of Groups 7 & 8

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

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

Tues., Mar 24

o Review the Guidelines on the Presentation and Essay online: http://people.emich.edu/acoykenda/101/essay.htm

o Read “Comparison: An Analytic Tool”

** Email an introduction and outline for the Comparison-Contrast Essay to abbcoy@gmail.com by Tuesday at 9AM. The introduction must include a thesis statement (underlined, or otherwise marked), and the outline must have at least three topic sentences (i.e. complete sentences expressing an argument for three separate body paragraphs)

Thurs., Mar 26

o Begin reading Toni Morrison’s Bluest Eye (pg. 1-35)

Tues., Mar 31

o Continue Bluest Eye (pg. 36-72)

** If your last name begins with A-E, find connections between one passage from Palahniuk’s Fight Club and another passage from pg. 1-72 of Morrison’s Bluest Eye to discuss in class with your peers. Email the two quotations, plus a 150-word minimum description of the connection between them, to abbcoy@gmail.com by Tuesday at 9AM.

Thurs., Apr 2

o Continue Bluest Eye (pg. 73-109)

Tues., Apr 7

o Continue Bluest Eye (pg. 110-145)

** If your last name begins with F-M, find connections between one passage from Palahniuk’s Fight Club and another passage from pg. 73-145 of Morrison’s Bluest Eye to discuss in class with your peers. Email the two quotations, plus a 150-word minimum description of the connection between them, to abbcoy@gmail.com by Tuesday at 9AM.

Thurs., Apr 9

o Continue Bluest Eye (pg. 146-179)

Tues., Apr 14

o See the Guidelines on Exam Two online: http://people.emich.edu/acoykenda/101/exam2.htm

o Finish Bluest Eye (180-216)

** If your last name begins with N-Z, find connections between one passage from Palahniuk’s Fight Club and another passage from pg. 146-216 of Morrison’s Bluest Eye to discuss in class with your peers. Email the two quotations, plus a 150-word minimum description of the connection between them, to abbcoy@gmail.com by Tuesday at 9AM.

Thurs., Apr 16

* Essay Due

o Bring a printed copy of your Comparison-Contrast Essay to class

o Be prepared to draft and peer workshop your exam essay

o Get blue books in preparation for the exam

Tues., Apr 21:

11:30–1:00 PM

Exam Two (True-False; Self-Designed Essay Question)