Rail yard background, from the Library of Congress

Connections

A Hypertext Resource for Literature

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Fall 2009

Friday, August 28

First day: Introductions and course outline


Monday, August 31

  • Read the fiction section of Connections, following external links if and when you want to. Come to class prepared to apply the reading to a story.

Also, please go to the class discussion board and write a solid paragraph or two introducing yourself to the class. Aside from the obvious introductory function of this assignment, it also ensures that we flush out any technical problems before moving farther into the term.

Bring your short story anthologies to class.

We will do an in-class assignment designed to familiarize you with the terminology of fiction writing.


Wednesday, September 2

  • Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights, Introduction and opening, 3-37

    • You'll find good , bad , and outdated information alike from Mitsuharu Matsuoka's Brontë Sisters Web, but it's still the best starting point on the Web.

Group 1 Response: On the basis of the first pages of the novel, discuss images that strike you as interesting or potentially important. What patterns of images, in other words, would you suggest we follow as we read more of the novel? If you want a definition of literary imagery, look here.

Note: here and throughout this syllabus, the first (less indented) reading or link is required, while the second (more indented) reading or link is supplemental and optional. Here, for example, the reading from Wuthering Heights is required, whereas exploring the website is optional.


Friday, September 4

  • Wuthering Heights, 37-80

Group 2 Response: Use the last set of responses as the basis for these, either by following up on someone's suggestion or by pointing out a new development that you would like to follow.


Monday, September 7

  • Wuthering Heights, 80-138

We will also discuss close reading in class.

Group 3 Response: open response.


Wednesday, September 9

  • Wuthering Heights, 138-208

Group 4 Response: open response following the method of the close reading handout. Discuss how the close reading process affected your reading and response.


Friday, September 11

  • Wuthering Heights, 208-288

In class today, we will construct a list of key issues to follow as we read criticism of the novel.

Group 5 Response: open response.


Monday, September 14

  • Wuthering Heights criticism, 333-347

No class meeting today. (I will be away at an institute.)

Assignment: do the reading of the history of criticism and send me an email containing two items: first, your nomination of an addition to our topic-theory chart based on the reading for today; and second, your preliminary sense of what you might end up writing a paper about. This assignment is for reflective purposes; we will not yet meet about your topics, and they may change or develop as we do the critical readings. I just want you to go through a preliminary phase of considering topics.


Wednesday, September 16

I will still be gone today, but you will meet in the classroom at the usual time to hold a sentence compression contest among the five groups of the course. After class, each group will post its entry to the discussion board.


Friday, September 18

  • This and the next three assignments work through the critical case study in the back of your copy of Wuthering Heights. The first, for today, is Cultural Criticism, 411-450.

Group 1 Response: The response assignment will be the same for all four critical approaches. For the approach we read about each day, discuss a point in the article that you consider especially instructive or, on the contrary, to be a misreading of Wuthering Heights. You can talk about more general applications of the day's theory if you like, but every response should start by discussing a specific moment in the day's article.


Monday, September 21

  • Marxist Criticism, 379-410

We will discuss thesis development in class today as well.

Group 2 Response: See the assignment for September 18.


Wednesday, September 23

  • Feminist Criticism, 451-477

Group 3 Response: See the assignment for September 18.


Friday, September 25

  • Psychoanalytic Criticism, 348-378

Everyone: Note that the paper prospectus is due Monday.

Group 4 Response: See the assignment for September 18.


Monday, September 28

FICTION ANALYSIS PAPER PROSPECTUS DUE

Group 5 Response: open response, perhaps applying one or more of the critical perspectives from Wuthering Heights to the story.


Wednesday, September 30
  • Franz Kafka, "The Metamorphosis" (anthology)

Group 1 Response: open response, perhaps applying one or more of the critical perspectives to the story.


Friday, October 2
  • Edward P. Jones, "Marie"

  • Leslie Marmon Silko, "The Man to Send Rain Clouds"

Group 2 Response: open response, perhaps applying one or more of the critical perspectives to the stories.


Monday, October 5

  • Read the film section of Connections, following external links if and when you want to.

We will do an in-class assignment designed to familiarize you with the terminology of film analysis.


Tuesday, October 6

FICTION ANALYSIS PAPER DUE
UNDER MY OFFICE DOOR BY 4:00


Wednesday, October 7

  • Orson Welles, Citizen Kane (1941)

    • The standard resource: IMDB's page

    • Filmsite.org's page on the film has a lot of interesting information, especially about the Kane-Hearst parallel.

    • Roger Ebert's very good page

    • Reviews from MRQE

Group 3 response: Write a response based on any element of the film that you would not experience by reading a transcription of the film's spoken words.


Friday, October 9

  • Welles, Citizen Kane (continued)

We will do an in-class exercise on the film today.


Monday, October 12

No reading for today. We will do an in-class writing exercise.


Wednesday, October 14

  • Alfred Hitchcock, Vertigo (1958)

    • The IMDB page

    • The tdfilm.com page indexes some of the many web resources for the film

    • Reviews from MRQE

Group 4 response: Write a response based on any element of the film that you would not experience by reading a transcription of the film's spoken words.


Friday, October 16

  • Sam Mendes, American Beauty (1999)

Group 5 response: open response.


FALL BREAK

Monday, October 26

Everyone: Note that the paper prospectus is due Wednesday.

Group 1 Response: discuss how the ideas on Chandler's "notes" might apply to an analysis of American Beauty. We will do in-class work on the film.


Wednesday, October 28

  • Tom Tykwer, Lola Rennt (Run, Lola, Run)

Bring a brief issue or question to class for discussion.


Friday, October 30

No class session. (I'll be away.) Use the time to review the film you're writing about and work on your paper.


Monday, November 2

  • Read the sonnet section of Connections and make notes that will prepare you to analyze the technique of sonnets in class.

SCENE ANALYSIS PAPER PROSPECTUS DUE IN CLASS


Wednesday, November 4

  • Read the heroic couplets section of Connections and make notes that will prepare you to analyze the technique of couplets in class.


Friday, November 6

  • Read the blank verse section of Connections and make notes that will prepare you to analyze the technique of blank verse in class.


Monday, November 9

SCENE ANALYSIS PAPER DUE
UNDER MY OFFICE DOOR
by 3:00.

  • Read the ballad section of Connections and make notes that will prepare you to analyze the technique of ballads in class.


Wednesday, November 11

  • Read the free verse section of Connections and make notes that will prepare you to analyze the technique of free verse in class.


Friday, November 13

Group 2 Response: open response.


Monday, November 16

  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," 1817 Text (on the right side of the book)

Group 3 Response: Address one specific change Coleridge makes between the 1798 and 1817 versions of the poem and what significance you see in the change.


Wednesday, November 18

  • Reader Response Criticism, 97-130

Group 4 Response: We return to the response assignment for critical approaches. For the approach we read about each day, discuss a point in the article that you consider especially instructive or, on the contrary, to be a misreading of Coleridge's poem. You can talk about more general applications of the day's theory if you like, but every response should start by discussing a specific moment in the day's article.


Friday, November 20

  • Marxist Criticism, 131-167

Group 5 Response: See November 18.


Monday, November 23

  • Psychoanalytic Criticism, 220-260

Group 1 Response: See November 18.


Wednesday, November 25

  • Combining Perspectives, 315-342

Group 2 Response: See November 18.


Monday, November 30

Group 3 Response: open response using the manifesto from the first link and one of the poems.


Wednesday, December 2

Group 4 Response: open response drawing on some issue that connects or contrasts McKay and Hughes.


Friday, December 4

Group 5 Response: connect some of the commentary to the poem.


Monday, December 7

Group 1 response: open response


Wednesday, December 9

POETRY PAPER PROSPECTUS DUE IN CLASS

Group 2 Response: open response


Friday, December 11

  • Last day of class: wrapping up, questions about the final paper.


Thursday, December 17

FINAL PAPER DUE BY 2:00 P.M.
UNDER MY OFFICE DOOR

Note: anyone taking the extension for this paper by the normal procedure will have a deadline of 2:00 p.m. on Friday, December 18.


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