English 2006A-- Introduction to the Study of Literature

Instructor: Alan Bourassa
Time: TTH 11:30-12:50
Tel: 474-1882
e-mail: bourasa1@nb.sympatico. ca

After successfully navigating English 1006, Introduction to Literature, you are familiar with the pleasures of reading good literature; the exploration of human life, the skill of expression that makes a great writer, the beautiful complexity of the worlds created in literary masterpieces. In this course you will be introduced to a new level of pleasure in literature. At this level you will not just be a reader of literature, but an explorer of those very complex worlds that literature creates. A great work of literature invites us (indeed demands of us) to think beyond it, to think about the philosophical, ethical, psychological, political, historical, and ideological conditions from which it sprang and to which it contributed. There is much to know about the world to properly understand James Joyce's Dublin, or Mary Shelley's Frankenstein or the energies and advancements of the Enlightenment. This course will teach you how to teach yourself these things. We will discuss these works and I will tell you about them, but our ultimate goal is for you to teach yourself enough about them (especially those aspects that interest you as an individual thinker) that you will be telling me about them.

Reading List

Fall 2004
Dubliners (Penguin Modern Classics) James Joyce
Frankenstein: The 1818 Text Contexts, Nineteenth-Century Responses, Modern Criticism (NORTON CRITICAL EDITIONS) Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Winter 2005
The Enlightenment: A Sourcebook and Reader
by Paul Hyland (Editor), Olga Gomez (Editor), Francesca Greensides (Editor)

Fall 2004

WEEK 1 Sept. 9-10 Introduction

WEEK 2 Sept. 13-17 "The Dead"
WEEK 3 Sept 20-24 "The Dead"
Library Assignment Due
WEEK 4 Sept. 27-Oct. 1 Backgrounds of "The Dead"
WEEK 5 Oct. 4-8 Backgrounds of "The Dead"
Library Assignment Due
WEEK 6 Oct. 11-15 Dubliners
Oct 11 - No Classes Thanksgiving

WEEK 7 Oct. 18-22 Dubliners
WEEK 8 Oct. 25-29 Background and Research on Dubliners
WEEK 9 Nov. 1-5 Background and Research on Dubliners
Joyce Paper Due

WEEK 10 Nov. 8-12 Frankenstein
Nov. 11 - No Classes Remembrance Day
WEEK 11 Nov. 15-19 Frankenstein
WEEK 12 Nov. 22-26 Frankenstein

WEEK 13 Nov. 29-Dec. 3 Genres - Gothic and Romantic

Winter 2005

WEEK 1 Jan. 3-7 Genres - Gothic and Romantic
WEEK 2 Jan. 10-14 Themes and background - Biographical and Historical
WEEK 3 Jan. 17-21 Themes and background -- Ethics and Science
WEEK 4 Jan. 24-28 Themes and backgrounds --Psychology
WEEK 5 Jan. 31-Feb. 4 Conclusions
Feb 4 Chancellor's Day. No classes.


WEEK 6 Feb. 7-11 Introduction to the Enlightenment
Mary Shelley Paper Due
WEEK 7 Feb. 14-18 Basic Sources
Kant "What is Enlightenment?"
Sade "Philosophy in the Boudoir" and "Dialogue between a Priest and a Dying Man"
Pope "An Essay on Man"
WEEK 8 Feb. 21-25 Basic Sources
Locke "Two Treatises of Government"
Rousseau "Discourse on Inequality"
Mary Wollstonecraft "A Vindication of the Rights of Women"
WEEK 9 Feb. 28-March 4 Individual Research
WEEK 10 March 7-11 Mid-Term Break No Classes
WEEK 11 March 14-18 Individual Research
WEEK 12 March 21-25 Individual Research
March 25 - No Classes Good Friday
2006 Enlightenment Paper Due
WEEK 13 March 28-April 1 Meetings and Revisions
March 28 - No Classes Easter Monday
WEEK 14 April 4-8 Meetings and Revisions

Assignments and Evaluation

Your participation grade will include not only attendance and participation in class, but also in class assignments and participation in group work.

The papers are due at the beginning of class on the dates specified (always the FIRST class of the week in which the paper is due. If the first class is a Monday, the paper will be due Monday. If there is a holiday then it would be due the first class of the week e.g. Wednesday). Late papers will be marked down one grade per day (i.e. one day late brings a B+ down to a B). If you have to hand a paper in late you must tell me BEFORE the paper is due and we can negotiate. There are certain good reasons for not handing in a paper: family problems, illness, going out of town for school. There are certain reasons that won't fly: hangovers, assignments for other classes, fatigue, just feeling like it. Just be reasonable about handing in your assignments and I will be reasonable if something unforeseen comes up.

You will be allowed four unexcused absences during the semester. After that your final grade will be dropped one mark per extra absence (so three extra unexcused absences drops you from B to C). Again, an unforeseen crisis will excuse the absence. But if you miss several classes, even with a legitimate reason, it will certainly reflect on your work and therefore your grade.

Important Note: Always keep extra copies of your papers, on floppy disk, and make an extra hard copy of each assignment. I will be dealing with hundreds of assignments this semester. One or two are bound to get misplaced, so don't put yourself in an awkward position. Always have a backup.

The Secret to the Participation Grade: 20% of your total grade is for participation. This 20% is, in effect, a gift. It is very easy to get an A in participation: just participate. Speak in every class. Make me remember you. If you participate a lot, I will remember. If, at the end of the semester, when I am giving you your participation grade, I remember that you spoke in almost every class, and that you did in-class assignments enthusiastically, you will be on your way to a strong grade in participation. If I remember you speaking a fair amount, you will get a B-range grade. If you just sat quietly -- even if you showed up for all the classes -- I would give a C or lower. Just talk, ask questions, make comments, give an opinion, argue, come for extra help and you will get a good grade in participation. Simple as that. Take advantage of the boost this policy can give to your grade.


Fall 2004

Library Assignment #1 5%
Library Assignment #2 5%
Quiz 1 (Joyce "The Dead") 5%
Quiz 2 (Shelley Frankenstein) 5%
Joyce Paper 20%
Participation 10%

Winter 2005

Mary Shelley Paper 20%
Enlightenment Paper 20%
Participation 10%