Approved byFaculty Senate.
· Department or Program English
Course Numbers 414,417,447
Semester Hours each-3
Frequency of Offering each-every year
Course Titles Shakespeare: Comedies &
Tragedies, Modern Literary
Catalog Descriptions Varies (see current catalog)
These are existing courses previously Yes approved by A2C2
This is a new course proposal No
(If this is a new course proposal, the WSU Not applicable
Curriculum Approval form must also be
Completed as in the process prescribed
By WSU Regulation 3-4)
Proposal Category Writing Flag
Department Contact Douglas Hayes
E-mail Address dhayes @winona.edu
UNIVERSITY STUDIES WRITING-FLAG COURSES COLLECTIVE PROPOSAL AND RATIONALE
English 414: Shakespeare: Comedies & Histories
English 417: Shakespeare: Tragedies
English 447: Modern Literary Criticism
These courses merit the writing flag in that they
-have section enrollments of 25' or fewer students; they are thus relatively small classes that therefore allow for "clear guidance, criteria, and feedback for the writing assignments."
-include such work in writing that, by virtue of either the depth and thus frequency of this writing, students will be engaged in 'a significant amount of writing ... distributed throughout the semester"
-are based on a grading plan that derives at least 50% of each student's final grade from the grades on the writing assignments that each student completes; writing, therefore, constitutes "a significant portion of the students' final course grade."
-integrate opportunities for students to revise their writing after having received comments from their peers and professor; students thus will be in the position to "incorporate iaaders1 critiques of their writing."
These courses Include requirements and learning activities that promote students' abilities to
a. practice the processes and procedures for creating and completing successful writing in their fields.
Students who enroll in these courses will have been learning about such processes and procedures as early as their
Freshman composition course and their introductory courses to literary studies. The 400-level writing-flagged courses of the English Department will review and emphasize these basic strategies: pre-writing, exploring topics,
· Pending approval
examining secondary sources, formulating a working thesis, drafting, integrating information and insights from primary and secondary texts, sharpening and solidifying an argument, revising, incorporating the critiques of the professor and peers, revising further, editing, and proofreading. In addition, students writing in these courses will strengthen their skills in analyzing literary texts, discussing these texts from a contextual angle or theoretical. perspective, and shaping their arguments to interact productively with what others have said about the literary topic in question.
b. understand the main features and uses of writing in their fields. Students in these writing-flagged courses will, before entering any of these courses, have acquired some knowledge of the principal features of writing about literature. In these courses, though, students will be required to apply the terminology and approaches distinctive to written arguments concerning literature. To this end, those who teach these courses will review the specialized vocabulary and particularly pertinent methodologies of literary study. As students in these courses will learn once more, and more thoroughly, the uses of writing about literature vary widely, comprehending, as they do, applications related to pragmatic realms such as teaching. reviewing, or professional writing. or less readily applicable realms such as scholarly or critical contributions to the ongoing conversations that take place in books, articles, on-line avenues, conferences, and academic commerce among students who are peers. Writing in focused, informed ways about complex literary material, students in these courses will in some fashion enter a significant dialogue in reference to the subject that they choose to treat.
C. adapt their writing to the general expectations of readers In their fields. As students in these courses will be reminded, the audience of an advanced paper in literary studies will expect not just such things as credibility, proper citation of sources, standard English usage, apt modulation of tone, and use of suitable terminology. but also an analytical penetration of the literary text's) under consideration and an effective incorporation of historical, biographical, theoretical, or critical sources into a discussion. that shows knowledge of the subject and that develops an argument about the same. The feedback of both the student's professor and peers should give the student a good idea of readers' expectations. Furthermore, the outside reading that the student does as he or she is engaged in a writing project should give the student a sense of the standards and nature of the critical dialogue that he or she is entering, as well as a sense of what elements his or her audience comprises.
d. make use of the technologies commonly used for research and writing In their fields. Although much writing about literature draws directly from primary texts, students who take these courses will be expected to integrate into their papers information from secondary sources. Whether they fall under the inchoate category of technology or not, such secondary sources can take many forms, and many of them exist in actual books shelved in libraries and actual articles found in journals on libraries' shelves. Yet in order to locate these sources, students will use on-line catalogs that point them to such non-electronic books and articles. Further use of technological resources may include information resources that students will find and use through computerized venues. By the time that students enroll for the 400-levels courses that have writing flags, they should have some finesse in navigating these cyber paths, but insofar as they may not, these writing-flag courses will include a review of such technologies. For example, students may be given, or asked to discover, websites, chatrooms, or list serves related to the subject about which they are writing. Or, students may be asked to turn in working bibliographies that they cull from on-line databases such as the MLA bibliography or humanities oriented index.
e. learn the conventions of evidence, format, usage, and documentation In their fields. The papers assigned in
these courses will require that students use MIA (Modern Language Association) format for citation and documentation (MIA sets the conventions for such matters in the field of literary studies). Students in these 400-level classes should already be familiar with MLA style, but in these classes students will review and practice it.
I ' I
while in many courses you may be (may have been) expected to write, in English Department Writing Flag courses you can expect to write frequently, throughout much of the course, and to a high standard of accomplishment. A 400-level literature course carries the expectation of your bringing to bear your prior study in English-and, consequently, of your writing papers marked by depth, breadth, and sophistication.
You will usually be occupied in some sort of writing at any given point in the semester, and you can expect that your writing will account for a substantial part-at least 50%-of your final grade. You can expect some considerable discussion of the assignments, considerable guidance given to your writing, and considerable revision work based upon constructive commentary from your professor and peers. Your writing in this class may be used as part of your graduation portfolio in English, as part of a dossier should you apply to graduate schools or for related employment, and/or as potential topics for possible conference or teaching presentations.
The Writing Center
Selected Resources for writing about Literature
Likewise, students will be re-exercised in the conventions that govern usage associated with formal academic writing in standard English. With regard to conventions of evidence, students in these classes will be expected to apply what they in prerequisite courses have learned about argumentation and evidence in writing that pertains to literary analysis. Any students who display a sub optimal aptitude in these areas will ideally attain competence as they work on writing assignments with the help of their professor and peers.
English 447: Modern Literary Criticism: Theory and Practice
The course will focus on the ways we read, interpret, and analyze literary texts; students will also write about and discuss the assumptions behind their own critical responses. The course will introduce some of the issues and problems facing contemporary critical theorists rather than attempt an historical survey of critical approaches. Graduate students will be expected to complete additional readings, research, and/or writing in consultation with the instructor.
Keesey, Donald. Contexts for Criticism. 3rd Ed. Palo Alto, CA: Mayfield, 1997.
Basic Instructional Methods:
The course will emphasize reading and analyzing texts and examine the possible reasons for and consequences of choosing critical approaches. Students will also practice criticism by responding to literature in short writings, group discussions, and longer critical papers. These responses will themselves be the basis for additional discussion and analysis.
Quizzes on the reading will be given regularly; see schedule for dates.
Primarily essay and/or short answer questions, the exams will cover the readings, discussions, and lectures. See sample questions.
Short "Practical Criticisms"
Students will regularly practice criticism in short, written responses to anonymous literary works. These responses will be the basis for class discussion (papers will be shared and/or read aloud). The writings will not be evaluated, but all the assignments must be completed to receive credit in the course. See handout on practical criticism assignments.
Longer Critical Paper:
All students will be expected to write a longer piece of literary criticism. The focus of the paper will be selected by the student in consultation with the instructor. There is no length requirement for the paper, although most students have submitted papers of about 1500 to 3000 words. (Please have a conference with me about your paper topic by midterm.) See critical payer assignment.
In small groups, students will share the responsibility of introducing and directing the discussion of the theoretical readings. These presentations and groups will be assigned early in the term and evaluated on criteria revised by the class. See handout on group presentations and criteria.
Criticism is a continuing dialogue and your participation in that process is necessary. Consequently, if you miss more than 10% of the course without a legitimate excuse, you can expect your grade to be lowered.
Practical Criticism Assignments
On a regular basis (see course schedule), students will write original critical responses to anonymous literary works, primarily short prose pieces and poems. These "practical criticism" assignments will be shared and analyzed and used as a basis for further examination of the critical context being studied. while there are no "right" or "wrong" criticisms, no set length requirements, no model responses, it is assumed that students will submit work that reflects an attentive reading of the text, significant personal reflection, and thoughtful and careful writing.
Although these assignments will be publicly discussed, they will not be evaluated or graded. Students wilt, however, need to complete all the assignments to receive passing credit for the course.
Course Paper and Analysis of Critical Approach
This assignment has two distinct parts:
Part I: A Work of Literary Criticism (2000-3000 words)
See sample paper
The assignment is a substantial piece of literary criticism (about 2000-3000 words). You may choose to write about any aspect of the three texts featured in the Keesey text (The Awakening Intimations Immortality, or The Tempest. but check with me first on your topic). Obviously you must limit the scope of your paper to fit the limited length of the paper and the requirements of the critical approaches you choose. And it is also obvious that certain critical approaches lend themselves more readily to certain kinds of critical papers. And to certain time frames. Beyond these restrictions, you are not limited in your approach. Some approaches may
Although you may be working with a particular set of critical assumptions (theories), the actual paper will also make use of many of the best tools and practices (methods) of all good criticism--such as carol reading, a knowledge of relevant context, a review of what critics have said on the issue, rhetorical and organizational skills, and a writing style that enhances rather than obscures your argument.
The paper should support the generalization that you make about the work. Follow the standard MLA author-page-works cited format.
Part H: Critical Analysis of your Critical Approach (700-1000 words)
After completing the paper, you are to write a separate analysis of your approach's critical assumptions, purposes, and strategies. Although your critical paper probably included many of the different "contexts" we studied in the course, you may be able to identify one or two contexts as dominant. Obviously, since many critical approaches overlap and borrow from each other, you will have to carefully define and delineate what you see to be the salient features of the approach (es) you have chosen. There is, of course, no "correct" or "right" response to this analysis. You might discuss why some approaches worked better than others, why you did or did not use certain contexts, what problems you see in your approach. what you would do differently next time, etc.
This analysis should be concise, an abstract of the whole. Limit yourself to about 700-1000 words. This explanation of the critical approach will be used in two ways: 1)1 will read it to see if you show a good understanding of critical method, and 2)1 will use it to evaluate your own application of the method--to see if you have done what you said you did.
Final Revised Paper
You are required to confer with me informally before midterm about possible paper topics.
After that (see the syllabus), you will be required to present, to the whole class or to small groups (depending on class size), a short one-page "prospectus" or proposal for your paper. This prospectus will indicate your tentative topic, a tentative thesis, a short discussion of why you think the thesis is worth arguing (what the issue or problem is), a tentative outline of points to be taken up in the paper, and some indication of the evidence you will use to back up your claims. A copy of the prospectus will be collected.
On the day's) designated in the syllabus, you will share drafts of your papers in small groups and receive (and give) suggestions for revision. Groups should help presenters focus and develop their papers: Is the thesis clear? Is it a thesis worth arguing? Has the writer considered relevant opposing arguments? Does the writer provide sufficient evidence to support the arguments? Can you suggest evidence? Are there questions unanswered?
Final revised papers (with a duplicate copy) will be collected on the day indicated on the syllabus. Your final exam take home assignment will be to write a critical analysis of someone else's paper. If you do not have a paper to hand in on this date, you will NOT receive credit for the take-home examination.
Group Presentations of Critical Articles
PURPOSE: I would like you to think of your purpose in these group presentations as twofold: 1) to sincerely try to understand the reading and help us (and I include myself here as well as the rest of the class) understand its meaning and significance; 2) to practice the essence of criticism itself (as I see it) by sharing, and negotiating, individual interpretations of a text to produce a collaborative presentation.
PREPARATION: Groups should prepare for their presentation as individuals and as collaborative groups. That is, each member of the group should prepare by carefully reading the article assigned before the group gets together to discuss and plan the presentation. (You will, of course, spend most of your time on the article your group is presenting; but an understanding of all the readings in the chapter will enhance your report.) When working together as a group, all members must contribute and take on responsibility. The best reports will illustrate this shared responsibility in their coherence and collaboration. This process takes work.
PRESENTATION: Since your group will have only ten or fifteen minutes to present your findings, you should be organized, focused, and precise. Please don't obfuscate by using big words, or merely repeat what Keesey says in his introductory notes, or just present quotes from the article as if we all understood. Your job is not to impress us but teach us. The following suggestions are only suggestions:
Beardsley's "Principle of Plenitude" relates to Hirsch's views on inclusivism?)
Hamlet an example of historical criticism? How might Bowler's focus on reading-which sounds like a
different context--still fit the historicist/intentionalist context?)
EVALUATION: Each group should distribute (to the whole class) a one-page handout which will include the group members' names, the author's name and title of the article, and the most important points of the group presentation. All the members of the group will receive the group grade based on criteria such as the following (seethe separate grading criteria handout):
\½xcellent3 = good 2 = satisfactory 1 = weak
Group Presentations. Grading Criteria
All the features of the "Good" report with something more--better planning, smooth cooperation, more effective aids, examples, illustrations, better presentation skills, a better understanding of the materials, a greater sense of context and connection to other ideas and readings, a truly "excellent" effort.
A strong, well planned and executed cooperative effort; effective and relevant aids (overheads, handouts, etc.), clear and interesting explanations (presenters put the material in their own words), coordination of effort (all members contributing), well-chosen questions that involve the audience, a good understanding of the materials --an honest attempt at least, and an honest admission of what one doesn't understand.
A presentation which may show some cooperation, or present some effective handouts or aids, or offer a few good explanations, but one which, overall, seems to tack some cohesiveness or relevance or understanding. Perhaps some of the presentations are weak, or some illustrations and examples seem to lack relevance, or the separate parts don't seem work together to help us understand the reading: presenters might not put the ideas in their own words and merely represent phrases from the reading as if we all understand.
This presentation has some clear weaknesses: perhaps there is a lack of understanding, cooperation, or commitment on the part of some or all the group; we learn little if anything from the presentation--perhaps we even sense some obvious omissions or serious misreading.
Presentation Evaluation Form
Please evaluate each group presentation, preparing a sheet with the following information (which I will collect, record, and then give to the presenters).
Names of Presenters:
What was effective?
What did you question or find not so effective?
4 = excellent 3 = good 2 = satisfactory 1 = weak
Course Grades will be based on the following:
unit quizzes 10%
mid term exam 20%
group presentations 5%
practical criticism essays 1004
final exam 20%
take home essay 10%
course paper 20%
Schedule: Spring 2000
Week 1 1/12/00 W Introduction to course
1/14F Discussion: What is Literature? and What is Literary Criticism?
Week 2 1/1 7M MLK Day (no classes)
1/19W Quiz #1: KEESEY, "GENERAL Introduction" 1-8; assign poem #1; Group
presentations, Wordsworth's 1tThtimations of Immortality"
1/21 F discuss practical criticism #1; group presentations, The Tempest
Week 3 1/24M Quiz #2 KEESEY, "HISTORICAL CRITICISM I," 9-16; assign poem #2; group
presentations, The Awakening
1/26W Hirsch, "Objective Interpretation," 17-28; discuss practical criticism #2
1/28F Group presentations: 1) Watson, "Are Poems Historical Acts?" 29-33; 2) Fowler,
"Intention Floreat," 34-39
Week4 1/31M 3)Yachnin, "Shakespeare and the Idea of obedience: Gonzalo in The Tempest," 40-52; 4)
Ross, "Seeking a Way Home: The Uncanny in Wordsworth's Immortality Ode," 53-64
2/2 W 5)Walker, "Feminist or Naturalist: The Social Context of Kate Chopin's The
2/4 F Quiz #3--KEESEY, "FORMAL CRITICISM," 71-79; assign poem #3
Week 5 2/7 M Brooks, "Irony as a Principle of Structure," 80-88; discuss practical criticism #3
2/9 W group presentations: 1)Wimsatt, "The Structure of the Concrete Universal," 88-96; 2)
Schorer, "Technique as Discovery," 97-107
2/1 IF 3) McDonald, "Reading The Tempest,"108-120;4) Vendler, "Lionel Trilling and the
Immortality Ode," 121-132;
Week 6 2/14M 5) May, "'Local Color in The Awakening"133-138
2/16W Quiz #4--KEESEY, "READER-RESPONSE CRITICISM," 139-149; assign poem #4
2/1 SF BREAK DAY: No WSU Classes
Week 7 2121M Rosenblatt, "The Quest for "The Poem Itself," 149-57; discuss practical criticism #4
2/23W group presentations: 1)Iser, "Readers and the Concepts of the Implied Reader," 158-65;
2)Holland, "The Miller's Wife and the Professors: Questions about the Trans active Theory of
2/25F 3)Skilleas, "Anachronistic Themes and Literary Value: The Tempest," 181-1904)
Meisenhelder, "Wordsworth's Informed Reader,"190-6;
Week 8 2/28M 5) Shaw, "Puffing Audience in Its Place: Psychosexuality and Perspective Shifts in 'The
3/1 W Review for test and submit possible paper topics
3/3 F Midterm Exam: Historical Criticism, Formalism, Affective Criticism
Spring Break Spring Break Spring Break Spring Break Spring Break Spring Break Spring Break
Week 9 3/20M Quiz #5--KEESEY, "MIMETIC CRITICISM," 203-12; assign poem #5
3/22W Alter, "Character and the Connection with Reality,"213-225; discuss practical criticism
3/24F group presentations: l)Paris, "The Uses of Psychology, " 226-34; 2) Donovan, "Beyond
the Net: Feminist Criticism as a Moral Criticism," 235-45
Week 10 3/27M 3) Paris, "The Tempest,"246-54; 4)Trilling, "The Immortality Ode," 255-62;
3/29W 5) Wolff, "Thanatos and Eros: Kate Chopin's The Awakening" review mimetic criticism
3/31 F Quiz #6--KEESEY, INTERTEXTUAL CRITICISM," 279-92;assign poem #6; present
revised critical paper topics
Week 11 4/3 M Frye, "The Critical Path," 293-301; discuss practical criticism #6
4/5 W group presentations: 1) Culler, "Structuralism and Literature," 302-11; 2) Rosmarin,
"Defining a Theory of Genre," 312-37,
4/7 F 3) Frye, "Shakespeare's The Tempest," 338-45; 4) Williams, "The Intimations Ode:
Wordsworth's Fortunate Fall," 346-53,
Week 12 4/lOM 5) Gilbert, "The Second Coming of Aphrodite: Kate Chopin's Fantasy of Desire,"354-
70;Tentative Prospectus for Critical Paper due
4/12W Quiz #7--KEESEY, "POSTRUCTURAL CRITICISM," 371-82; assign poem #7
4/14F Derrida, "Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourses of the Human Sciences," 383-94; discuss practical criticism #7
Week 13 4/17M group presentations: 1) de Man, "Semiology and Rhetoric," 395-404; 2) Fish, "What
Makes an Interpretation Acceptable?" 405-14;
4/19W 3) Miko, '"Tempest," 415-24; 4) Hartman, "'Timely Utterance' Once More," 425-32;
4/21 F 5) Yaeger, "A Language Which Nobody Understood": Emancipatory Strategies in The
Week 14 4124M Quiz #8-- KEESEY, "HISTORICAL CRITICISM II," 451-59; assign poem #9
4/26W Eagleton, "Literature and History 460-67; discuss practical criticism #9
412SF group presentations: 1) Belsey, "Literature, History, Politics," 468-76; 2) Greenblaft,
Week 15 5/1 M 3) Brown, "This Thing of Darkness I Acknowledge Mine,' The Tempest and the
Discourse of Colonialism," 483-97; 4) Megan, "Wordsworth and the Ideology of Romantic Poems,"
5/3 W 5) Strange, "Personal Property: Exchange Value and the Female Self in The Awakening"
5/5 F Drafts of course papers presented in groups
5/l0w Critical papers due
5/12r Review; explain take-home exam
5/15 M Final Exam
5/16 T Final exams