St. Thomas University
Prof. Dawn Morgan
Dept. of English Language and Literature
Fall/Winter Term 2004-2005

Introduction to Literature
M W 3:30 p.m.
Room TBA

Office: ECH 122
Tel: 452-0431
Email: (Always use "1006F" in the subject line of email.)

Office hours: MW 2-3 p.m. or by appointment

Introduction to Literature

This course will emphasize the close interpretive reading of texts from the major genres of literature - poetry, drama, and prose fiction - and the ability to discuss the results in written assignments that follow the conventions of the academic essay. The texts selected range chronologically from the roots of our literature in classical antiquity to contemporary Canadian writing. Throughout the course, attention will be given to the role of genre in the literary process.

The first term introduces dramatic, verse, and prose narrative in cultural cornerstone works by Sophocles, John Milton, Alexander Pope, Daniel Defoe, and Emily Brontë. The prose narrative "book-ends" of the second term are Marilynne Robinson's lyrical Housekeeping and William Gibson's cyberpunk Neuromancer. In between, we examine the historical roots and development of the dramatic monologue in works by Andrew Marvell, Robert Browning, and T.S. Eliot and go on to read book-length dramatic verse narratives by the late twentieth-century Canadian writers Andrew Suknaski, Mary di Michele, and Stephanie Bolster.

Required Texts:

Sophocles, Oedipus the King
Hamilton, Mythology (optional)
Milton, Samson Agonistes
Pope, "The Rape of the Lock" and "The Key to the Lock"
Defoe, Journal of the Plague Year
Brontë, Wuthering Heights
Robinson, Housekeeping
Bolster, White Stone
Di Michele, Mimosa
Gibson, Neuromancer

Course Pack: Defoe, "A True Relation…," Suknaski, Wood Mountain Poems (selections), Marvell, "To His Coy Mistress," Browning, "My Last Duchess," T.S. Eliot, "The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock."

A college-level dictionary and a writing handbook of MLA style.

Attendance and Participation:
Students are expected to attend every class on time, with the assignment read, and thoughtful comments or questions in mind. Recurrent absence, late arrival, and early departure from class will diminish the 10 % participation grade. Six absences without a doctor's note or equivalent will result in failure in the course.

Assignments and Evaluation:
Students will be required to write one essay per term (approx. 1,000 words), a December exam on the first term work, and a final April exam that will emphasize the second term work but may ask students to draw on first term reading as well. The exams will be open book, exclusive of course notes, and will consist of short and long essay questions. The essay due in the second term will have a required research component tied to the class visit to the library in early March. Details will be announced in class.

In addition to these formal assignments, students will be required to write four one-page response papers (typed, double-spaced) during each of the two terms. Response papers will not be individually graded but all must be submitted in order to receive a grade out of 15. I may comment on spelling, grammar, correct use of appropriate vocabulary, quotation and citation method, overall coherence and the relevance of your response. Students are encouraged to use the response papers to test ideas for possible use later in course essays and exams.

The breakdown of marks for assignments is as follows:

Participation: 10 %
Midterm Essay #1 (due Wednesday, October 13): 15 %
December Exam (scheduled Dec 10 at 2 p.m.) 15 %
Midterm Essay #2 (due Wednesday, February 9): 15 %
Final April Exam (scheduled April 15, 2 p.m.): 30 %
Response Papers (one page each): 15 %
Term I: Due Sept 29, Oct 25, Nov 10, Nov 29  
Term II: Due Jan 17, Feb 2, Mar 2, Mar 23.  

Submission of assignments:

A paper will not be considered late as long as it is turned in by 5 p.m. on the day it is due, provided that the student comes to class that day. A paper's point total will be reduced by one point for each day it is late. Extensions may be granted provided that arrangements are made outside of class time and before the paper is due. Papers over one week late or submitted after the last day of classes may not be accepted.

Papers must be typed in 12-point font size and double-spaced with one-inch margins at the top, bottom, and both sides. Pages must be numbered and stapled. These and other specifications are outlined in the MLA style manual.

Late response papers may not be accepted. No papers will be accepted by fax or email. Please do not bind essays or response papers in plastic.

Plagiarism and Cheating:
Consult the St. Thomas University calendar, pages 244 and following, for definitions and procedures.

Provisional Schedule of Readings and Lectures:

Term I:

M Sept 13 Introduction to the course and course materials.
W Sept 15 Dramatic Narrative. Background to ancient drama from Hamilton,
Mythology, Ch.1-2 on the Dionysian rites.
Introduction to Sophocles'Oedipus the King
M Sept 20 Tragic Drama: Oedipus the King cont'd
W Sept 22 cont'd
M Sept 27 cont'd
W Sept 29 Response #1 due. Dramatic narrative without theatre: John Milton,
Samson Agonistes
M Oct 4 cont'd
W Oct 6 cont'd
M Oct 11 Thanksgiving. No class.
W Oct 13 Verse Narrative. Mock epic and social satire: Alexander Pope,
"The Rape of the Lock." Midterm Essay #1 due.
M Oct 18 cont'd
W Oct 20 cont'd
M Oct 25 cont'd
Response #2 due.
W Oct 27 Prose Narrative: fact and fiction. Daniel Defoe, Journal of the Plague Year
M Nov 1 cont'd
W Nov 3 cont'd
M Nov 8 cont'd
W Nov 10 Response #3 due. Defoe, "A True Relation of the Apparition of One Mrs. Veale."
M Nov 15 Prose Narrative: the gothic and Romantic tale. Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights
W Nov 17 cont'd
M Nov 22 cont'd
W Nov 24 cont'd
M Nov 29 cont'd. Response #4 due.
W Dec 1 Review and prep for end of term exam
    End of Term I Exam December 10, 2 p.m.

Term II:

M Jan 3 Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping
W Jan 5 cont'd
M Jan 10 cont'd
W Jan 12 cont'd
M Jan 17 cont'd. Response #5 due.
W Jan 19 Dramatic Narrative Verse. Literary antecedents of the dramatic
monologue. Andrew Marvell, "To His Coy Mistress."
M Jan 24 Robert Browning, "My Last Duchess"
W Jan 26 cont'd
M Jan 31 T.S. Eliot, "The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock"
W Feb 2 cont'd. Response #6 due.
M Feb 7 Mary di Michele, Mimosa
W Feb 9 cont'd. Midterm Essay #2 due.
M Feb 14 Andrew Suknaski, Wood Mountain Poems, selections
W Feb 16 cont'd
M Feb 21 Stephanie Bolster, White Stone: The Alice Poems
W Feb 23 cont'd
M Feb 28 cont'd
W Mar 2 Response #7 due. Library visit. Details tba.
M Mar 7 Mid-term break. No class.
W Mar 9 Mid-term break. No class.
M Mar 14 William Gibson, Neuromancer
W Mar 16 cont'd
M Mar 21 cont'd
W Mar 23 cont'd. Response #8 due.
M Mar 28 Easter Monday. No class.
W Mar 30 Neuromancer cont'd
M Apr 4 cont'd
W Apr 6 Final class meeting. Review and preparation for second term exam.
    Final Exam April 15, 2 p.m.

A final note on email correspondence:
Please reserve email correspondence with the Instructor to emergency or otherwise pressing circumstances. Let's try to use class time and my office hours to communicate as much as possible. Due to the volume of email I receive, if you do send me an email, please put the course number, "1006F," in the subject line. A response may take up to two days.