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Connections

A Hypertext Resource for Literature

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Syllabus for Spring 2014

Monday, January 20

First day: Introductions and course outline


Wednesday, January 22

  • Read Marjorie Garber's introduction to Shakespeare After All.

Class will not meet today. Instead of class, we will have individual introductory conferences.

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.


Unit One

Shakespeare's Language:
The Sonnets


Friday, January 24

Come to class prepared to apply the film and readings to a discussion of one of Shakespeare's sonnets.

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 film viewing and Connections links are required, whereas exploring the other websites is optional.


Monday, January 27

Using the close reading handout as a guide, write a paragraph about something unusual and interesting you find in one of the sonnets. We will discuss some of your paragraphs in class, and I will collect them all.


Wednesday, January 29

  • Shakespeare's "Young Man" sonnets (selections): 20, 30, 37, 62, 76, 84, 93, 115, 116, and 123

  • And the "Dark Lady" sonnets (selections): 42, 127, 130, 133, 138, 144, 147, 148, and 152

Group 1: Write a response connecting some small issue you find in a close reading of one of these sonnets to one of the broader concerns that Garber raises about interpreting Shakespeare's works. The key to this assignment lies in conveying that connection between a few small details and the big issues or questions of Shakespeare criticism.


Friday, January 31

  • Five Ways of Looking at a Thesis (handout)

    • If you want to see more of what I say about writing papers, you are welcome (but not required) to look through the Writing section of Connections.

Come to class with a draft thesis for your sonnet analysis. We will do an in-class exercise about thesis construction, at the end of which you will reflect on your own draft thesis.


Unit Two

Shakespeare Comical and Tragicohistorical:
Much Ado about Nothing and Richard III


Monday, February 3

  • Much Ado about Nothing, Act I

  • Parker on New Criticism

Group 2: Stage-setting response


Wednesday, February 5

  • Much Ado about Nothing, Acts II and III

Group 3: Middle acts response


Thursday, February 6

SONNET EXPLICATION DUE OUTSIDE MY
OFFICE DOOR AT 4:00 P.M.


Friday, February 7

  • Much Ado about Nothing, Acts IV and V

  • Russ McDonald, "Theater à la Mode: Shakespeare and the Kinds of Drama"

Group 4: Final acts response


Monday, February 10

  • Film: Kenneth Branagh, Much Ado about Nothing (1993)

Group 5: Film response


Wednesday, February 12

Group 6: Stage-setting response


Friday, February 14

  • Richard III, Acts II and III

Group 1: Middle acts response


Monday, February 17

  • Richard III, Acts IV and V

  • Russ McDonald, "Theater à la Mode: Shakespeare and the Kinds of Drama"

    • ERIC (English Renaissance in Context) has a tutorial on Richard III

Group 2: Final acts response


Wednesday, February 19

Group 3: Film response


Friday, February 21

Writing day: we will do an in-class exercise on transitions and organization.


Unit Three

Critical Perspectives on Shakespeare:
The Example of Hamlet


Monday, February 24

Group 4: Scene-setting response


Wednesday, February 26

  • Hamlet, Acts II and III

Group 5: Middle acts response


Friday, February 28

  • Complete the Treasure Hunt of the MIND (handout) and bring your findings to the library for class.

Library day!


Monday, March 3

  • Hamlet, Acts IV and V

  • Critical history of Hamlet

Group 6: Last acts response, incorporating some aspect of the critical history as well


Wednesday, March 5

PAPER PROSPECTUS DUE IN CLASS

Group 1: Write a response that finds some way of tying together the two readings for today.


Friday, March 7

  • Parker on historicism and cultural studies

  • Stephen Greenblatt, from Hamlet in Purgatory

Group 2: Write a response that finds some way of tying together the two readings for today. For instance, you might find a point from the critical history that illustrates the power or limitations of a psychoanalytic approach to Hamlet.


Unit Four

Shakespeare in Context:
The Merchant of Venice and Othello


Monday, March 10

  • The Merchant of Venice, Act I

  • Parker on queer studies

    • ERIC (English Renaissance in Context) has a tutorial on The Merchant of Venice

Group 3: Stage-setting response


Tuesday, March 11

PAPER DUE OUTSIDE MY OFFICE BY 3:00


Wednesday, March 12

  • The Merchant of Venice, Acts II and III

  • Contextual readings on finance

Group 4: Middle acts response


Friday, March 14

  • The Merchant of Venice, Acts IV and V

  • Contextual readings on religion

Group 5: Last acts response


SPRING BREAK

Monday, March 31

  • The annotated bibliography assignment (handout)

We will do an in-class workshop on sample bibliography entries.


Wednesday, April 2

  • Film: Michael Radford, The Merchant of Venice (2004)

  • Film: Barton, section 4 of Playing Shakespeare: Exploring a Character (on Shylock)

Group 6: Film response


Friday, April 4

  • Othello, Act I

Group 1: Stage-setting response


Monday, April 7
  • Othello, Acts II and III

Group 2: Middle acts response


Wednesday, April 9

Group 3: Last acts response


Unit Five

The Shakespearean Text:
King Lear


Friday, April 11

  • King Lear, Act I

Group 4: Stage-setting response


Monday, April 14

  • King Lear, Acts II and III

Group 5: Middle acts response


Wednesday, April 16

  • King Lear, Acts IV and V

Group 6: Last acts response


Unit Six

Shakespeare on Stage:
Macbeth


Friday, April 18

PAPER PROSPECTUS DUE IN CLASS

  • Macbeth, Act I

  • Sourcebooks edition introductory materials, pages 1-20, and CD tracks 1-18 (all material from Act I)

Group 1: Stage-setting response with special attention to the interpretive decisions made by at least one of the actors on the CD


Monday, April 21

  • Macbeth, Acts II and III

  • CD tracks 19-29 (all material from Acts II and III)

Group 2: Middle acts response


Wednesday, April 23

  • Macbeth, Acts IV and V

  • CD tracks 30-40 (all material from Acts IV and V)

Group 3: Last acts response


Thursday, April 24
Unit Seven

Shakespeare's Legacies:
The Tempest


Friday, April 25

PAPER DUE OUTSIDE MY OFFICE BY 3:00

  • The Tempest, Act I

  • Parker on postcolonial and race studies

Group 4: Stage-setting response

Monday, April 28

  • The Tempest, Acts II and III

Group 5: Middle acts response


Wednesday, April 30

  • The Tempest, Acts IV and V

Group 6: Last acts response


Friday, May 2

PEER REVIEW OF RESEARCH PRODUCTS: Bring to class THREE COPIES of a) two full entries for your annotated bibliography and b) two paragraphs taken from current versions of your papers in which you quote an external source.


Monday, May 5

PEER REVIEW OF SKELETON PAPERS: Bring to class FOUR COPIES of a current version of one of your papers that removes the body paragraphs except for the first sentence of each one. Your version should have a title, first paragraph, transition sentences, last paragraph, and Works Cited list. In class, you will share this skeletal paper with a group and work through a set of questions to evaluate it.


Wednesday, May 7

PEER REVIEW OF SKELETON PAPERS: Bring to class FOUR COPIES of a current version of one of your papers that removes the body paragraphs except for the first sentence of each one. Your version should have a title, first paragraph, transition sentences, last paragraph, and Works Cited list. In class, you will share this skeletal paper with a group and work through a set of questions to evaluate it.


Friday, May 9

No responses: we will leave time for end-of-course carnival events and contests of skill.
Thursday, May 15

PORTFOLIO DUE OUTSIDE MY DOOR BY 2:00 P.M.
 

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