course shell:

canvas.emich.edu

online syllabus:

http://people.emich.edu/
acoykenda/101/w18/

office hours:

603c pray harrold hall

MW 4:45–6:45 PM

 (email for appointments)

~ SCHEDULE ~

Literature 101:

Imaginary Worlds: Introduction to Fiction

Winter 2018

Pray-Harrold Hall 318

MW 11:00–12:15 (Sect. 000, #23716)

MW 12:30–1:45 (Sect. 009, #20492)

Dr. Abby Coykendall

abbcoy@gmail.com

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

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:

Some required materials, and many supplemental materials, are available in the “Files” folder of the course shell (canvas.emich.edu), printable and viewable from any computer or device. The required textbooks for the course are listed below:

    

40 Short Stories: A Portable Anthology, ed. Beverly Lawn, 5th Edition (Bedford 2016; ISBN #1319035388)

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017;
ISBN #1328879941) [https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/emich/detail.action?docID=3303378]

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Penguin Random House, 2014,
ISBN #9780307455925) [http://ezproxy.emich.edu/login?url=  http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=747239&site=ehost-live&scope=site]

Thanks to the EMU Foundation, free EBook versions of the two novels are available online through the Halle library. Simply click the links above for access, and see the “Tips for Reading EBooks” sheet in the “Files” folder of the course shell (CS) if you need assistance reading them.

The novels can also be purchased together with the 40 Short Stories anthology at the EMU Bookstore in the Student Center, or from other merchants nearby or those online. NOTE: You must get the correct editions—confirm that the ISBN numbers correspond to those listed above (a fingerprint of sorts for the book).

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 the 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 handouts in the course shell, or the peers in your group, and then email only if the confusion persists. The 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.

Assessment:

Nothing is more vital for success in this course than keeping up with, and actively engaging in, the reading assignments, homework, 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 of class or, in other words, six hours per week. See the Extra Credit Opportunities page in the course shell 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%

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

25%

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

Attendance:

Because this course primarily consists of reading and discussion—rather than facts, figures, or memorization—regular attendance is crucial. Failure to participate regularly in class makes achieving course objectives difficult and, eventually, impossible. Reserve absences for illnesses, car troubles, or other unforeseen emergencies preventing you from coming to class, and make sure not to exhaust your allowable absences too early in the term.

Attendance will be taken each class period, and tracked weekly for you in the course shell through the “Roll Call” assignment. Anyone who misses FIVE classes for any reason will have their final grade reduced by a full mark (for example, lowered from A to B, or B to C), and any student who misses SIX or more classes will become ineligible to pass.

When you must be absent, contact other students in your Peer Group (see the course shell) to get copies of notes or to determine what you missed. Unforeseen changes in the schedule will be sent to the class as a whole by email, and some missed homework is simply due upon your return, although you may need to do extra credit to make up for quizzes and other in-class assignments. Exams cannot be rescheduled for full credit, and require both permission and documentation to be made up.

Otherwise, you are not obliged to explain why you are absent. I will always assume that you have an excellent reason to miss class. Health issues and the like are private matters that you have no obligation to share or explain and may well prefer to keep confidential.

Lateness:

The most essential information—due dates, assignment instructions, clarification of 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, slow buses, no parking).

When you must be late, it is your responsibility to sign the attendance sheet to avoid being marked absent. Arriving well into the period, or exiting well before its conclusion, counts as half an absence. One partial absence rounds down (thus not factoring at all), but two such on separate occasions combine into a single absence.

You may at times have understandable reasons to be late; however, habitual lateness routinely interfering with your learning or disrupting class activities will eventually compound into half or full absence(s) and therefore potentially impact your final grade.

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 when you yourself speak. 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 the room occasionally, definitely bring an accommodation letter attesting as such; otherwise, conduct ALL personal business during the break or outside of class time.

Disruptive exits can be both mental and physical. Students conspicuously unprepared to discuss the materials for the day, or discovered using laptops or phones for purposes unrelated to the course, may be asked to leave and marked absent.

This course has a NO-LAPTOP, NO-CELL-PHONE POLICY with the sole exception of required course readings. Students consulting cell phones or other devices for other purposes may be asked to leave. Store such devices inside your bag (and put them on silent mode) once class commences unless specifically asked to use them 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 various challenges or disabilities that impact learning. If you find yourself having difficulty participating and/or demonstrating knowledge in this course, please feel free to contact me to discuss accommodations, even if you currently lack a Disability Resource Center (DRC) accommodation letter. You can also contact the DRC directly to talk about accommodations (487-2470; 240K Student Center; drc@emich.edu).

Academic Resources & Campus Safety:

The University Writing Center (Halle 115; 487–0694; emich.edu/english/writing-center) offers one-to-one writing consulting at any stage of the writing process. You can make appointments or drop in (211 Pray Harrold is the closest satellite).

The Academic Projects Center (116 Halle, emich.edu/apc) offers drop-in consulting on research and technology-related issues. Bring a draft of your writing and the assignment instructions to the consultation.

Call 48–SEEUS (487–338) for the campus escort service, Student Eyes and Ears for University Safety, and sign up for the emergency text-messaging system (emich.edu/alerts) to be notified of any danger afflicting the campus.

Swoop’s Pantry (104 Pierce, 487–4173, emich.edu/swoopspantry) offers food assistance to all EMU students.

Academic Integrity:

Understanding and avoiding academic dishonesty, and doing all of the coursework on your own, is imperative. Copying the homework of peers, having someone else do your assignments, submitting essays written for your other classes in this class for double credit, and, of course, plagiarism are all forms of academic dishonesty that will not be tolerated and may prevent you from passing.

Plagiarism, put simply, is taking either the IDEAS or the WORDS of another person and recycling them as if they are your own. You must acknowledge when you are drawing on the thoughts and/or expressions of other people, under any circumstances and without any exception.

For example, if you insert the words of someone else into your own writing, you must credit that person for the passage and place quotation marks on either side: So and so says “X”; when you paraphrase, or describe someone else’s ideas in your own words, you must also give credit, albeit minus the quotation marks: So and so says X. Without these acknowledgements, the unique conceptualization and/or construction of ideas of other people will pass as your own by default, and any writing that thus seems to be your own, without actually being your own, is plagiarizing the original source.

** All instances of academic dishonesty, including plagiarism, will result in an automatic 0% grade for the assignment. Any instances of academic dishonesty in the seminar paper in particular will result in outright failure of the course; so too will any TWO separate instances of academic dishonesty on different assignments, however minor either may be. **

Plagiarism by its very nature leaves a trace. It should never be found in any assignment that you submit. Thus, make absolutely certain that your work is plagiarism-free before turning it in, for there will be no exceptions to this policy.

University Policy:

In addition to the course-specific policies and expectations above, students are responsible for understanding all applicable University guidelines, policies, and procedures. The EMU Student Handbook (www.emich.edu/studenthandbook/policies/academic.php - univ) gives you access to all University policies, support resources, and your rights and responsibilities. Electing not to access the link above does not absolve you of responsibility. Changes may be made to the EMU Student Handbook whenever necessary, and shall be effective when a policy is formally adopted and/or amended.

For questions about any university policy, procedure, practice, or resource, please contact the Office of the Ombuds (Student Center 248; 487–0074, emu_ombuds@emich.edu) or visit the website (www.emich.edu/ombuds).

 


Schedule for LITR 101: Imaginary Worlds

Reading and homework assignments are listed next to the date that they are due. Readings can be found either in the course shell (CS), the 40 Short Stories anthology (40SS), or the two required novels. The schedule in the CS (https://canvas.emich.edu/) has links to all of the readings, handouts, and homework, and is thus easier to navigate. Almost all homework must be posted to the CS by midnight the day before class so that we can potentially draw on your ideas during class.

Section One: Short Fiction

Wed., Jan 3–10

o  No Class—Class Cancelled for MLA Conference **By the next class (Jan. 8), order the 40 Short Stories anthology (fifth edition), read the syllabus over carefully, take the Syllabus Confirmation quiz in the course shell (CS), do Assignment 1, the Conjectural Response (also in the CS), and then complete the regular reading: Reading Short Stories Closely” (40SS, or CS) and Kate Chopin’s “Story of an Hour” (40SS, or CS).

Mon., Jan 15

No Class—Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Wed., Jan 17

o  Read “Analyzing Fiction” (CS)

o  Read, then re-read, Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” (40SS, or CS)

** If your last name begins with A-I, do Assignment 2 (Updated) in the CS, posting a list of images, metaphors, and similes found in Ellison’s story by Tuesday midnight (6 total, with 2 of each kind).

** If your last name begins with J-R, do Assignment 2 (Updated) in the CS, posting a list of four complete sentences by Tuesday midnight, each comparing or contrasting “Battle Royal” and “The Yellow Wallpaper” and using “Analyzing Fiction” as a guide.

Mon., Jan 22

o  Read the second half of “Elements of Fiction” (CS)

o  Read, and re-read, John Cheever’s “The Swimmer” (CS)

** If your last name begins with S-Z, do Assignment 2 in the CS, posting a list of four complete sentences by Sunday midnight, each comparing or contrasting “The Yellow Wallpaper” and “The Swimmer” and using “Elements of Fiction” as a guide.

Wed., Jan 24

o  Read and, if you like, print the Guidelines on Exam 1 in the CS

o  Read “Responding Actively to Literature” (CS)

** All students must do Assignment 3 in the CS, posting a 400-word response by Tuesday midnight: if you like, you can base this response on any of the questions found on pg. 20-21 of “Analyzing Fiction,” comparing and contrasting two stories with respect to that question depending on the first letter of your last name: A-I (“The Yellow Wallpaper” and “The Swimmer”), J-R (“The Swimmer” and “Battle Royal”), and S-Z (“Battle Royal” and “The Yellow Wallpaper”).

Mon., Jan 29

o  Read Writing about Literatureand “Taking Essay Examinations” (CS)

o  Get your blue books in preparation for the exam

** Be prepared to draft and workshop your approach to the exam essay with peers during class time.

Wed., Jan 31

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

 

Section Two: The Novel

Mon., Feb 5

o  Begin reading The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (chap. I-IV, pg. 1–66, plus the epigraph)

Wed., Feb 7

o  Continue The Handmaid's Tale (chap. V-VI, pg. 67–100)

** If your last name begins with A-I, do Assignment 4 by posting a discussion question (50 words minimum) concerning pg. 1–100 of Atwood’s novel for your peers to discuss during class (due Tuesday midnight).

Mon., Feb 12

o  Continue The Handmaid's Tale (chap. VII-IX, pg.101–148)

Wed., Feb 14

 

o  Continue The Handmaid's Tale (chap. X-XI, pg. 149–196)

o  Read, and if you like print, the Guidelines on the Presentation and Essay in the CS, and begin contemplating which stories you prefer to do for the presentation and paper (you will need to post your preferences to Assignment 5 after the break, but you will be more likely to get your first choice if you do the assignment sooner)

** If your last name begins with J-R, do Assignment 4 by posting a discussion question (50 words minimum) concerning pg. 101–196 of Atwood’s novel for your peers to discuss during class (due Tuesday midnight)

Feb 19– Feb 25

No Class—Winter Recess

Mon., Feb 26

o  Finish The Handmaid's Tale (chap. XII-XV, pg.197–296)

o  Begin watching three episodes of the 2017 TV adaptation of The Handmaid's Tale depending on the first letter of your last name: A-I (Episodes 1-3), J-R (Episodes 4-6), and S-Z (Episodes 7-9). Ideally, everyone will watch the final (tenth) episode and the other episodes of the series as well.

** If your last name begins with S-Z, do Assignment 4 by posting a discussion question (50 words minimum) concerning pg. 197–296 of Atwood’s novel for your peers to discuss during class (due Sunday midnight).

Wed., Feb 28

* Story Preferences Due (2/27)

o  Read “Fiction across Media” (CS)

o  Read “Historical Notes on The Handmaid's Tale” (in the “Back Matter” of the novel, pg. 299–311)

o  Be prepared to discuss your three episodes of the TV adaptation of the novel in class

** All students must complete Assignment 5, “Story Preferences,” by Tuesday midnight (Feb. 27). You can check which stories are still available by viewing the Group Presentation Schedule in the CS.

Mon., Mar 5

o  Be prepared to discuss your response to The Handmaid's Tale in class.

** All students must do Assignment 6 by posting a 400-word response to The Handmaid's Tale by Sunday midnight, focusing primarily on the novel (including its concluding chapters), but also comparing and/or contrasting it with the TV adaptation if you like.

 

 

Section Three: The Elements Applied

Wed., Mar 7

* Groupwork Day

o See the Group Presentation Schedule and review the Guidelines on the Presentation and Essay in the CS

o Read, and then re-read, the short story assigned to your group from the 40 Short Stories anthology, thinking about the setting, characterization, point of view, plot structure, conflicts, themes, and literary devices like symbolism or imagery in particular.

** Note: coming to this class is important since you can only make up the Groupwork points (Assignment 7) through extra credit. All students must afterwards complete Assignment 8, a discussion question for your group’s story, by Saturday midnight (Mar. 10). The group’s Short Story Presentation is Assignment 9.

Mon., Mar 12

* Groups 1 & 2 Present

o Read John Updike, “A & P” (40SS)

o Read Junot Diaz, “Fiesta” (40SS)

o Read the Discussion Questions on Groupwork Stories in the CS, and the author biographies at the back of the anthology, for not only these groupwork stories, but also those to follow in the coming weeks.

** Be prepared to respond to other students’ discussion questions if you are not presenting.

Wed., Mar 14

* Groups 3 & 4 Present

o Read Alice Walker, “Everyday Use” (40SS), plus the discussion questions and author biography

o  Read Amy Tan, “Two Kinds” (40SS), plus the discussion questions and author biography

Mon., Mar 19

* Group 5 & 6 Present

o Read Sherman Alexie, “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven” (40SS), plus the discussion questions and author biography

o  Read Joyce Carol Oates, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” (40SS), plus the discussion questions and author biography

Wed., Mar 21

* Groups 7 & 8 Present

o Read Shirley Jackson, “The Lottery” (40SS), plus the discussion questions and author biography

o  Read Tim O’Brien “The Things They Carried” (40SS), plus the discussion questions and author biography

Mon., Mar 26

o Review once more the Guidelines on the Presentation and Essay in the CS

o Read “Comparison: An Analytic Tool”

** All students must do Assignment 10 by posting an introduction and outline for the Comparison-Contrast Essay by Sunday midnight. 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 of the essay).

Wed., Mar 28

o  Begin reading Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Part 1)

Mon., Apr 2

o Continue Americanah (Part 2–3)

** If your last name begins with A-I, find connections between one passage from Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale and another from Parts 1–3 of Adichie’s Americanah to discuss with peers in class. Post the two quotations, plus a description of the connection between them (150 words minimum), to Assignment 11 by Sunday midnight.

Wed., Apr 4

o Continue Americanah (Part 4)

** If your last name begins with J-R, find connections between one passage from Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale and another from Part 4 of Adichie’s Americanah to discuss with peers in class. Post the two quotations, plus a description of the connection between them (150 words minimum), to Assignment 11 by Tuesday midnight.

Mon., Apr 9

o Continue Americanah (Part 5–6)

o  ** If your last name begins with S-Z, find connections between one passage from Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale and another from Parts 5–6 of Adichie’s Americanah to discuss with peers in class. Post the two quotations, plus a description of the connection between them (150 words minimum), to Assignment 11 by Sunday midnight.

Wed., Apr 11

o Finish Americanah (Part 7)

o See the Guidelines on Exam Two in the CS

* Fri., Apr 13

Comparison Contrast Essay Due in the CS by midnight

Mon., Apr 16

 

o  Review Writing about Literatureand “Taking Essay Examinations” (CS)

o  Get your blue books in preparation for the exam

** Be prepared to draft and workshop your approach to the essay with peers during class time.

* Wed., Apr 18

11:30–1:00pm

Exam Two (True-False; Self-Designed Essay Question)—Section 009 only (reg. #20492, MW at 12:30 pm)

* Mon., Apr 23

11–12:30pm

Exam Two (True-False; Self-Designed Essay Question)—Section 000 only (reg. #23716, MW at 11:00 am)