English 2006-- Introduction to Literary Studies


Professor Alan Bourassa
Office: Edmund Casey Hall (ECH) 121
e-mail: bourassa@stu.ca
ECH 103
TTh 11:30-12:50

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 Portrait of the Artist, or Voltaire's Candide or the energies and advancements of the Renaissance. 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. You should think of this course as your introduction to independent thinking.

Reading List

Fall 2005
The Rebel Angels - Robertson Davies
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - James Joyce
Henry V - William Shakespeare

Winter 2006
Candide - Voltaire
The Inferno -- Dante


WEEK 1 Sept. 7-9 Introduction
WEEK 2 Sept. 12-16 The Rebel Angels - Robertson Davies
WEEK 3 Sept 19-23 The Rebel Angels - Robertson Davies
WEEK 4 Sept. 26-30 The Rebel Angels - Robertson Davies
WEEK 5 Oct. 3-7 The Rebel Angels - Robertson Davies
WEEK 6 10-14 Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - James Joyce

Monday Oct 10 - No Classes Thanksgiving
WEEK 7 Oct. 17-21 Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - James Joyce
WEEK 8 Oct. 24-28 Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - James Joyce
WEEK 9 Oct. 31-Nov. 4 Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - James Joyce
WEEK 10 Nov. 7-11 Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - James Joyce
Friday Nov. 11 - No Classes Remembrance Day

WEEK 11 Nov. 14-18 Henry V - William Shakespeare
WEEK 12 Nov. 21-25 Henry V - William Shakespeare
WEEK 13 Nov. 28-Dec. 2 Henry V - William Shakespeare

Winter 2005
WEEK 1 Jan. 4-6 Henry V - William Shakespeare
WEEK 2 Jan. 9-13 Candide - Voltaire
WEEK 3 Jan. 16-20 Candide - Voltaire
WEEK 4 Jan. 23-27 Candide - Voltaire
WEEK 5 Jan. 30-Feb 3
Friday Feb 3 Chancellor's Day. No classes.
WEEK 6 Feb. 6-10 The Inferno -- Dante

WEEK 7 Feb. 13-17 The Inferno -- Dante
WEEK 8 Feb. 20-24 The Inferno -- Dante

WEEK 9 Feb. 27-Mar. 3 Final Paper Preparation
WEEK 10 March 6-10 Mid-Term Break - No Classes
WEEK 11 March 13-17 Final Paper Preparation
Paper 2 Due
WEEK 12 March 20-24 Revisions
WEEK 13 March 27-31 Revisions
WEEK 14 April 3-5 Conclusion

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: 10% of your total grade is for participation. This 10% 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.


Semester 1
(2) Quizzes - 10%
Research Paper 1 -- 25%
Research Assignments 10%
Participation 5%

Semester 2
(2) Quizzes - 10%
Research Paper 2 -- 25%
Research Assignments 10%
Participation 5%