SYLLABUS: TRANSATLANTIC LITERATURE, 1865-1945

ENGLISH 2073

All students should check this syllabus daily for announcements and updates and to make sure they understand the schedule and basic couse procedures. All students will be responsible for being aware of any information or announcements presented in this syllabus.

Note the special video lecture that has been posted for the class of Thursday, October 21, on how to write a critical essay. Time to start thinking about that!

Instructor:

Prof. M. Keith Booker

e-mail: m.keith.booker@gmail.com

Office Hours: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there will be no in-person office hours this semester. It should be possible to answer individualized questions by e-mail, or you can e-mail your instructor to arrange a private Zoom meeting.

Textbooks Required:

On-line textbook supplied free of charge. This syllabus provides links to the relevant sections. All assigned poetry will be included in this textbook. All assigned novels can be found in digital form on-line and are linked to the schedule below.

Description:

This course is intended to provide an introductory survey of “transatlantic literature” from 1865 to 1945, focusing on important trends and texts from Great Britain, Ireland, and the United States during that period.

Course Resources

Online textbook: Linked to the schedule below.

Online primary texts: Linked to the schedule below.

Facebook Group for Written Class Discussions: Click here to join or access.

Online video lectures: Most of these will be brief reviews, pointing toward the most salient features of the information presented in the primary texts and the textbook writeup. A large amount of information will be presented in this class, and these lectures should help you to manage that information and to prepare for exams, etc.

Face-to-Face Meetings: Face-to-face class meetings will be held to discuss the material that has been assigned for that class date. These meetings are held for the benefit of interested students who desire an opportunity directly to discuss the course material with the instructor and/or their fellow students. Attendance is optional, and participation (or not) in these sessions will not affect your grade in any way. Other than these discussion sessions, all content for this course will be delivered on-line. No material that emerges in the face-to-face meetings but is not in the video lectures on reading assignments will be covered in the exams.

Essays, exams, and other major requirements:

Students will write one critical essay (4-6 pages, double-spaced) and have an on-line mid-term exam and an on-line final exam, delivered via Blackboard.

There will also be a class Facebook page where students may participate in discussions, ask questions, post relevant information, and so on. For each class for which you post or comment on this page, you will be awarded 1-2 points, depending on the quality and substance of your contribution, up to a possible total of 10 points for the semester. Any crucial information posted by the instructor on the Facebook page will also be made available via this syllabus.

Note on participation in discussions on Facebook: To avoid spoilers, you should not discuss the material for a given class before the date of that class.

Attendance Policy

Attendance at all face-to-face classes is entirely optional and will not affect your grade in any way. All core course materials will be delivered on-line via this syllabus.

There will also be synchronous discussions on the class Facebook group page, as indicated in this syllabus. Any substantive post will gain 2 points toward a maximum of 10 points, so you need only post during 5 of these sessions for full credit. You are, of course, encouraged to monitor and participate in all of these sessions, during which you may also ask questions of the instructor.

Grades and Grading

            Facebook Discussions: 10%

            Mid-term exam: 20%

            Final exam: 20%

            Critical essay: 50%

Course Schedule:

Note on color coding in this schedule:

Items with brown backgrounds are routine assignments.

Items with blue backgrounds are special assignments or announcements.

Items in yellow are assignments that are recommended for repetition as preparation for exams.

Tuesday, August 24

Face-to-face class: General Introduction to the course and course procedures.

Thursday, August 26

Face-to-face class: Historical and Literary Background: Britain and America, 1865-1900.

Read the on-line assignment before the start of this class.

View the review lecture on historical and literary background before this class.

Tuesday, August 31

Note to the wise: I have generally tried to schedule classes on poetry before classes on novels, because there is less to read for poetry classes, giving you an opportunity to get a head start on reading the novels.

Face-to-face discussion of the poetry of Whitman and Dickinson.

Read the on-line assignment on Walt Whitman before this class.

View the review lecture on Walt Whitman before this class.

Read the on-line assignment on Emily Dickinson before this class.

View the review lecture on Emily Dickinson before this class.

Thursday, September 2

No face-to-face class on this day. Instead, we will convene the class Facebook group at 3:30 pm for a synchronous discussion of Whitman and Dickinson.

Tuesday, September 7

Face-to-face discussion of Huckleberry Finn.

Finish reading Adventures of Huckleberry Finn before this class. The text can be found on-line here.

Thursday, September 9

No face-to-face class on this day. Instead, we will convene the class Facebook group at 3:30 pm for a synchronous discussion of Huckleberry Finn.

Read the on-line assignment on Huckleberry Finn before this class.

View the review lecture on Huckleberry Finn before this class.

Tuesday, September 14

Face-to-face discussion of Arnold and Housman.

Read the on-line assignment on “Dover Beach” before this class.

Read the on-line assignment on “Terence, this is stupid stuff” before this class.

View the lecture on “Dover Beach” before this class.

View the review lecture on “Terence, this is stupid stuff” before this class.

Thursday, September 16

No face-to-face class on this day. Instead, we will convene the class Facebook group at 3:30 pm for a synchronous discussion of Matthew Arnold’s “Dover Beach” and A. E. Housman’s “Terence, this is stupid stuff.”

Tuesday, September 21

Face-to-face discussion of The Island of Doctor Moreau.

Finish reading The Island of Doctor Moreau before this class. The text can be be found on-line here.

Finish reading the on-line assignment on The Island of Doctor Moreau before this class.

View the review lecture on The Island of Doctor Moreau before this class.

Thursday, September 23

No face-to-face class on this day. Instead, we will convene the class Facebook group at 3:30 pm for a synchronous discussion of The Island of Doctor Moreau.

Tuesday, September 28

Face-to-face discussion of Heart of Darkness.

Finish reading Heart of Darkness before this class. The text can be be found on-line here.

Finish reading the on-line assignment on Heart of Darkness before this class. You should also read Chinua Achebe’s essay on Conrad, “An Image of Africa,” which can be found here.

View the review lecture on Heart of Darkness before this class.

Thursday, September 30

No face-to-face class on this day. Instead, we will convene the class Facebook group at 3:30 pm for a synchronous discussion of Heart of Darkness.

Tuesday, October 5

Face-to-face class: General Historical Background: Great Britain and the United States, 1900-1945. Read the on-line assignment.

View the review lecture on general historical background before this class.

Thursday, October 7

Begin reading Joyce, Dubliners, through “Two Gallants.” Available on-line at https://www.gutenberg.org/files/2814/2814-h/2814-h.htm.

View the review lecture on Dubliners through “Two Gallants” before this class.

No face-to-face class on this day. Instead, we will convene the class Facebook group at 3:30 pm for a synchronous discussion of these stories.

Tuesday, October 12

Continue to read Joyce, Dubliners, through “Grace.”

View the review lecture Dubliners through “Grace” before this class.

No face-to-face class on this day. Instead, we will convene the class Facebook group at 3:30 pm for a synchronous discussion of these stories.

Thursday, October 14

Read “The Dead.” Read the on-line assignment on Dubliners.

View the review lecture on “The Dead” before this class.

Face-to-face discussion of Dubliners.

Tuesday, October 19

Midterm exam. Covers all material through Dubliners. The exam will be conducted on-line via Blackboard. It will be open book. You may consult the lectures, on-line reading assignments, or other recorded sources., including the primary texts. Do not, however, consult other people. The exam will go live on Blackboard at 3:30 pm. You will have thirty minutes to complete the exam once you start, though it will remain live until 4:30, in case some people get started late.

No face-to-face class on this day.

Thursday, October 21

As we enter the second half of the semester, now might be a good time to start thinking seriously about your critical essay. You might find this video helpful for that project.

Read the on-line assignment on British Literature, 1900-1945 before the start of this class.

View the review lecture on British Literature, 1900-1945 before this class.

No face-to-face class on this day. Instead, we will convene the class Facebook group at 3:30 pm for a synchronous discussion of the British Literature Overview, 1900-1945.

Tuesday, October 26

NO CLASS. FALL BREAK.

Thursday, October 28

Modernism and T. S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” Before this class, read the on-line assignment on this poem and watch the following video:

View the review lecture on modernism, modernist poetry, and “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.”

No face-to-face class on this day. Instead, we will convene the class Facebook group at 3:30 pm for a synchronous discussion of modernism and T. S. Eliot.

Tuesday, November 2

Face-to-face discussion of Modernism and T. S. Eliot.

Thursday, November 4

No face-to-face class on this day. Instead, we will convene the class Facebook group at 3:30 pm for a synchronous discussion of To the Lighthouse.

Finish reading To the Lighthouse before this class. The text can be be found on-line here.

Finish reading the on-line assignment on To the Lighthouse before this class.

View the review lecture on To the Lighthouse before this class.

Tuesday, November 9

Face-to-face discussion of To the Lighthouse.

Thursday, November 11

No face-to-face class on this day. Instead, we will convene the class Facebook group at 3:30 pm for a synchronous discussion of Brave New World.

Finish reading Brave New World before this class. The text can be be found on-line here.

Finish reading the on-line assignment on Brave New World before this class.

View the summary lecture on Brave New World before this class.

Tuesday, November 16

Face-to-face discussion of Brave New World.

Thursday, November 18

Read the on-line assignment on American Literature, 1900-1945 before this class.

View the review lecture on American Literature, 1900-1945 before this class.

No face-to-face class on this day. Instead, we will convene the class Facebook group at 3:30 pm for a synchronous discussion of American Literature, 1900-1945.

Tuesday, November 23

No face-to-face class on this day. Instead, we will convene the class Facebook group at 3:30 pm for a synchronous discussion of the poetry of Williams and Stevens.

Before this class, read the on-line assignment on Williams.

View the review lecture on William Carlos Williams.

Before this class, read the on-line assignment on Stevens.

View the review lecture on Wallace Stevens.

Thursday, November 25

NO CLASS. THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY.

Tuesday, November 30

Optional pre-submission: students who wish may submit the first paragraph of their critical essay to the instructor for feedback prior to submitting the full essay the following week. Paragraphs should be submitted to the instructor by e-mail as a Word-compatible attachment.

Face-to-face discussion of the poetry of Williams and Stevens.

Thursday, December 2

Before this class, read the on-line assignment on the Poetry of the Harlem Renaissance.

View the review lecture on the Poetry of the Harlem Renaissance.

No face-to-face class on this day. Instead, we will convene the class Facebook group at 3:30 pm for a synchronous discussion of the Poetry of the Harlem Renaissance.

Tuesday, December 7

No face-to-face class on this day. Instead, we will convene the class Facebook group at 3:30 pm for a synchronous discussion of The Great Gatsby.

Finish reading The Great Gatsby before this class. The text can be be found on-line here.

Finish reading the on-line assignment on The Great Gatsby before this class.

View the review lecture on The Great Gatsby before this class.

Thursday, December 9

Face-to-face discussion of The Great Gatsby.

Review for final exam.

Critical essays due for all students by midnight on this date. Essays should be submitted to the instructor by e-mail as a Word-compatible attachment.

Thursday, December 16 (3:00 pm): Final Exam

Final Exam. The exam will be open book. You may consult the lectures, on-line reading assignments, or other recorded sources. Do not, however, consult other people. The exam will go live on Blackboard at 3:00 pm. You will have one hour to complete the exam once you start, though it will remain live until 4:30 in case some people get started late.

Miscellaneous Relevant University Policies:

Disabilities: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal antidiscrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities.  Moreover, the University of Arkansas Academic Policy Series 1520.10 requires that students with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations to ensure their equal access to course content. If you have a documented disability and require accommodations, please contact me privately at the beginning of the semester to make arrangements for necessary classroom adjustments. Please note, you must first verify your eligibility for these through the Center for Educational Access (contact 479–575–3104 or visit http://cea.uark.edu for more information on registration procedures).

Discrimination and Sexual Harassment: Anyone experiencing discrimination and/or sexual harassment while at the university may report it to a complaint officer appointed by the Chancellor.  The complaint officer will discuss any situation or event that the complainant considers discriminatory or constitutive of sexual harassment. Reports may be made by the person experiencing the harassment or by a third party, such as a witness to the harassment or someone who is told of the harassment.  For more information and to report allegations of discrimination and/or sexual harassment, contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance, 346 N. West Avenue (West Avenue Annex), 479-575-4019 (voice) or 479-575-3646 (tdd).

Academic Integrity: “As a core part of its mission, the University of Arkansas provides students with the opportunity to further their educational goals through programs of study and research in an environment that promotes freedom of inquiry and academic responsibility. Accomplishing this mission is possible only when intellectual honesty and individual integrity prevail.  Each University of Arkansas student is required to be familiar with, and abide by, the University’s ‘Academic Integrity Policy,’ which may be found at http://provost.uark.edu/academicintegrity/245.php

Students with questions about how these policies apply to a particular course or assignment should immediately contact their instructor.”

Attendance:  “Student absences resulting from illness, family crisis, University-sponsored activities involving scholarship or leadership/participation responsibilities, jury duty or subpoena for court appearance, military duty, and religious observances are excusable according to university rules. The instructor has the right to require that the student provide appropriate documentation for any absence for which the student wishes to be excused. Moreover, during the first week of the semester, students must give to the instructor a list of the religious observances that will affect their attendance.”

Emergency Procedures – Many types of emergencies can occur on campus; instructions for specific emergencies such as severe weather, active shooter, or fire can be found at emergency.uark.edu.  

Severe Weather (Tornado Warning):

Follow the directions of the instructor or emergency personnel

Seek shelter in the basement or interior room or hallway on the lowest floor, putting as many walls as possible between you and the outside

If you are in a multi-story building, and you cannot get to the lowest floor, pick a hallway in the center of the building

Stay in the center of the room, away from exterior walls, windows, and doors

Violence / Active Shooter (CADD):

  • CALL-  9-1-1
  • AVOID- If possible, self-evacuate to a safe area outside the building.  Follow directions of police officers.
  • DENY- Barricade the door with desk, chairs, bookcases or any items.  Move to a place inside the room where you are not visible.  Turn off the lights and remain quiet.  Remain there until told by police it’s safe.
  • DEFEND- Use chairs, desks, cell phones or whatever is immediately available to distract and/or defend yourself and others from attack.

SAMPLE CRITICAL ESSAY PROMPTS

The following suggested topics are intended to give students an idea of the kinds of topics that are likely to make successful critical essays. These topics my be used directly, or they simply may be used as guidance for students who wish to develop their own topics.

  • Choose at least two stories from Dubliners and discuss the way in which these stories address the British colonial rule of Ireland.
  • Discuss the ways in which “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” epitomizes literary modernism.
  • Compare and contrast The Great Gatsby and Brave New World in terms of the ways they address the phenomenon of consumer capitalism.
  • Discuss the ways in which To the Lighthouse displays an understanding of the first decades of the twentieth century as a time of radical change.

GRADING RUBRIC FOR CRITICAL ESSAYS

Opening paragraph clearly states a thesis for the essay: 10

Essay shows signs of supporting research: 10

Essay is well-written and uses proper grammar: 10

Proper use of evidence in the argument: 10

Argument is rhetorically effective and convincing: 10