M, W, F 11:00-11:50 – Oliphant Hall 141
Instructor: Jeffrey Drouin
Office Hours: M, W 12:00-1:00, and by appointment
This course will survey major poems, stories, and essays in British literature from 1800 to the present, with a view toward key literary movements and their historical contexts. Along the way, we will look at the broader context of the Romantics, the Victorians, and the moderns through the lens of youth, covering the major authors of those periods and finishing with the rock opera Quadrophenia by The Who. Students will complete regular short blog posts, three papers, and a final exam.
The anthology listed below is available in the TU Bookstore at the southeast corner of Harvard Ave. & 11th St. It may also be ordered online at venues like http://half.com, http://used.adall.com, and http://amazon.com.
- The Longman Anthology of British Literature, Volume 2 (4th ed.)
- To the Lighthouse, by Virginia Woolf (Harcourt, ISBN 978-0-15-690739-2)
Blog posts 15%
Late submissions will receive a lower grade if not approved by the instructor beforehand.
A major aspect of this course is to develop yourself as a writer. To that end, the blog assignments provide an opportunity for you to help each other as a community of writers, as well as to hone your skills in processing readings, identifying areas of interest for class discussion, practicing analytic writing, and generating material for use in papers. This is process-oriented writing, so informality is fine so long as you make specific interpretive claims or raise incisive questions – always follow through – and always quote from the text.
Students will divide into two groups—A & B—who will take turns making initial posts and responding. The schedule below indicates which group is performing which role for each day.
- Initiators (due 7pm the night before class): First response to the blog prompt. Should demonstrate lively analytic engagement with the material and raise interesting topics or questions.
- Respondents (due 9am the morning of class): Builds upon or constructively criticizes the initial post, also potentially raising further questions or bringing in additional relevant material.
In order to ensure that everyone receives feedback, respondents and moderators must reply to a post that does not yet have commentary.
Posts will be given a grade on an ascending scale between 1 and 3, depending on the level of analytic engagement. That means you should use these small exercises as practice writing for the larger assignments. Make the most of them!
Grading Critera (for each role)
3 – Shows lively analytic engagement with the material; raises interesting topics or questions; makes use of quotation or other discussion of evidence; is appropriately tagged with subject terms, authors, and other key information.
2 – Demonstrates interest and analytic engagement, but stops short or is not tagged thoroughly.
1 – Makes little or no attempt to move beyond description or observation; makes obvious or vague statements without follow-through; is not tagged properly.
Since this is not a lecture course, students are expected to participate in class discussion every day by sharing commentary and asking questions. Of course, completing the readings and taking notes on them are key to making yourself a vital presence in the group. Being an active discussant is a critical way to improve and expand your understanding of the readings. Discussion is also an excellent way to develop communication skills for other academic areas as well as potential careers. As with anything in life, you’ll get out of it what you put into it.
This is a discussion-oriented course, which means that regular, punctual attendance and participation are critical. Three or more absences will put you in jeopardy of failing the course. Two late arrivals will count as an absence.
Cheating or plagiarism will result in automatic failure of the assignment with no opportunities for a make-up, no exceptions. Serious cases may result in failure of the course and reporting to the Dean for punitive action.
Plagiarism is the use of someone else’s language or ideas as if they are your own, without proper acknowledgment of the source. It can include everything from paraphrasing a source without citation to wholesale copying of a phrase, sentence, paragraph, or more. If ever in doubt, or if you are having trouble with an assignment, contact the instructor to talk it over before it is due in order to avoid this serious problem. It is far better to come to an arrangement with the instructor and turn in an assignment late (with no penalty) than to risk a failing grade.
The College’s policy on academic misconduct and definition of plagiarism, among other practices, can be found here: