Community College of Rhode Island Fall 2014 ENGL1250-151, Readings in the Short Story Course Meets: MW, 1 to 1:50 pm, Room 2563 R, 1-1:50pm, Room 2561 Flanagan Campus Instructor: Beth O’Leary Anish e-mail: [email protected] Office: 1364, Flanagan Campus Office Hours: MWR, 9am-11am Phone number (during office hours): (401) 333-7139 Course Description: This course considers the development and themes of the short story. Significant examples from diverse cultures and historical eras are analyzed and discussed. (Meets literature elective and English concentration requirements.) Lecture: 3 hours Methodology: In this introduction to the short story genre, the instructor will spend some class time delivering lectures on literary terms, time periods, and cultural background of the stories, but the bulk of class time will be spent in discussing the stories themselves. While the instructor will facilitate these discussions, student participation is crucial to their success. Students must come to class prepared to discuss readings found on the syllabus for each course meeting. Each student in the class will lead the discussion of an author of his or her choice once during the semester. Students will also be asked to interpret literature in writing, through in-class examinations and takehome essays, and to compose one original short story based on a character from the stories on the syllabus. Instructional Objectives: At the conclusion of this course, you should be able to: - understand how the short story is a distinct literary genre, yet recognize the variety within that genre - identify some major authors of short stories and their time periods and cultural background - perform close readings of texts with varying levels of difficulty - write thoughtfully and critically about short stories Required Text: Charters, Ann, Ed. The Story and its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction, 9th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2015. ISBN#: 978-1-4576-6461-8. (CCRI bookstore: http://bookstore.ccri.edu/store2/home.aspx ) Expectations for Written Work: All written assignments completed for homework must be formatted according to MLA style. This means that papers should be typed and double-spaced, in size 12 font, with 1 inch margins. The student’s name, instructor’s name, course title and date should appear in top left corner of the first page. No cover page is necessary. On written assignments where outside sources are used, those sources must be documented according to MLA style. Assessment Procedures: Student papers will be judged according to the four bases for revising essays: unity, support, coherence and sentence skills. To be judged excellent and earn an “A” grade, student papers must have a clear focus, supported by plenty of specific details presented in an interesting, organized manner and through error-free sentences. As papers move away from this standard of excellence, grades will be lowered accordingly. See grading rubric on page 4 of this syllabus for more details. Course Requirements: 1) Interpretive Essays: Two take-home essays, 2-3 pages in length each, exploring more deeply a story or stories by one or more authors. Due 10/2 and 12/4. 2) Author Presentation: One 5-7 minute presentation on one of the authors on the syllabus (professor will provide a sign-up sheet with a list of authors from which to choose. The presentation will introduce the author’s life, background, and historical/cultural situation to the rest of the class. Bonus points for students who read one additional short story by the author (other than what is in our text) and summarize it for the class. 3) Original short story: the only creative writing requirement for this course, students will be asked to write a 3-10 page story based on one of the characters encountered in the stories we read together. Students may write a story about the character’s life after the original story ends, or place a character from an earlier time period in a contemporary setting, etc. Due 11/6. 4) Examinations: Mid-term Exam (10/15) and Final Exam (date to be announced). Both exams will be essay-based and completed in class. Students will have a choice of topics on each of the exams. 5) Class Participation: To earn class participation credit, students must show evidence that they have completed readings prior to class by making positive contributions to class discussions, and by offering their peers feedback in writing workshops. The instructor will grade class participation on a “check”, “check plus” and “check minus” system. A student who makes positive contributions to writing workshops and full class discussions will receive a “check plus” for that day of class. A student who shows up for class but does not get involved will receive a “check” for attending. A student who misses ½ a class, due to tardiness or leaving early, or who comes to writing workshop days without a draft prepared, will receive a “check minus” for the day. Two “check minus” grades will count as an absence from the class. At the end of the course, the instructor will tally up the “check plus” grades to determine the students’ class participation grades. Grade Breakdown: Short essays: 30% (2 essays at 15 % each) Midterm Exam: 15% Author presentation: 10% Original short story: 10% Class Participation: 20% Final Exam: 15% Attendance policy: Students should make every attempt to attend and participate in every class. In the case of a brief illness or other unforeseen circumstances, however, the instructor understands if a student has to miss a class. Too many absences will detract from the student’s ability to participate in class and should be avoided. Absences should be used only for serious illnesses or other emergencies. You are expected to complete homework assignments even if you are absent; all reading assignments are listed here on this syllabus, and writing assignments not obtained in class can be found on our course Blackboard site or by emailing the instructor. The first three absences will not affect the student’s grade. For the 4th, 5th and 6th absence, the student’s final grade will be dropped ½ letter grade each. After six absences the student should officially withdraw or a final grade of “F” will be given. Two late arrivals or early departures will be considered equivalent to one absence. This policy is in accordance with the CCRI English Department’s attendance policy. Late paper policy: All written assignments should be handed in on the day they are due according to the syllabus. In the event that a paper cannot be turned in on time because of an emergency or other problem, you must alert me in advance and e-mail me the assignment as soon as possible. For each day a paper is late, ½ a letter grade will be taken off the paper grade. This means a “B” paper turned in one day late will be a “B-”; the same paper turned in two days late would be a “C+”, etc. After 10 days, even an “A” paper would be an “F,” so no papers will be accepted more than 10 days late. The final exam will not be accepted late. Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism: Plagiarism is passing someone else’s words and ideas off as one’s own. Whether that involves taking a whole paper off the internet, borrowing from a source without acknowledging it, or having a friend or family member give a little too much input into an assignment, plagiarism is not an accepted academic practice. Students only learn if they do their own work. It is within the rights of the instructor to fail a student for an assignment or the course, if he or she has been caught plagiarizing. Clearly having someone else write a paper or borrowing a paper from the internet is wrong. More subtle cases of plagiarism happen when students are not clear how to cite sources properly in a research paper. Know that any time you borrow words or ideas from an outside source you must give credit to the author of that source. In this class we will follow the guidelines of the MLA (Modern Language Association), when citing sources for the research paper. You are not expected to know MLA citation style coming into this course; it will be part of the material taught in the course. For more information on CCRI’s academic dishonesty policy, see the Student Handbook: http://www.ccri.edu/Advising/Student_Services/handbook.shtml#POLICY_ON_ACADEMIC_DISHO NESTY Classroom Etiquette: All students have a right to learn in this classroom without being distracted by their peers. Please be considerate of both your instructor and fellow students to maintain a positive learning environment. To this end, students are not permitted to engage in the following activities during class time: - text messaging, answering phones or otherwise using phones for games, internet, etc. - listening to head phones - holding side conversations or chatting about non-course related topics - using computer for any purpose other than note-taking or in-class writing assignments Students engaged in any of the above activities may be asked to leave the classroom. Class discussions should be conducted with civility and respect for all voices and opinions. It is by being open to diverse opinions that we best learn. In this classroom you are considered an adult. If you need to excuse yourself to use the bathroom or take an urgent phone call you can do so without my permission, and with as little disruption to the class as possible. Grading Rubric for Literary papers: Unity Support Coherence Sentence Skills A (Excellent) Essay has clear main point (thesis), often stated at end of introduction. Thesis points paper in one direction, and is easily defensible in a short essay (not too broad or too narrow). All supporting details in the essay fit with thesis. Essay includes plenty of specific details and examples from text(s), including quotations, to back up thesis statement. B (Good) Essay has clear main point (thesis) in introduction, though perhaps not as interesting, unique or insightful as that of an “A” paper. Supporting details back up thesis. C (Fair) Essay’s point (thesis) may be vague and difficult to defend in a short paper, but writer does attempt to have a point or direction. The paper may wander off of this point occasionally. D (Poor) Essay is lacking a clear direction or point (thesis), therefore supporting details are scattered to support various points. F (Failing) There is no point to the essay. Essay includes some specific details and examples from text(s) to support thesis, but perhaps not as many as an “A” paper. There is not one clear direction so support is increasingly vague. Essay may include more clichés than specific details. Support is vague, if there at all. No specific details or examples to illustrate what writer is trying to say. Essay flows smoothly from start to finish. There are transitions between ideas and paragraphs. Ideas are arranged in logical order, and new paragraphs started when topic shifts. Essay includes introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion. Essay includes clear, error-free sentences. Few, if any, fragments, run-ons, point of view shifts, etc. Essay is organized well overall, but may include some places where a new paragraph should have been started and wasn’t, or where writer jumps to next topic without a transition. Essay has introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion. Support for thesis is vague, not specific. Few details and examples are given as evidence. Writer may bring up a point but not support it. Essay may jump around, not flow smoothly from start to finish. It may lack some transitions. Paragraphs could perhaps be ordered differently. It does attempt a separate introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion. Essay tries to cover too many topics so it cannot be neatly organized. It may lack a conclusion and not have enough body paragraphs. It may introduce a point at the end of the essay that should have been developed earlier in the essay. Essay has no plan of organization, no logical order. Essay may include a few grammatical errors, but not enough to get in the way of communicating writer’s ideas. At this level paper Sentence-level Sentence-level grammatical errors are found errors throughout mistakes become throughout the essay. Writer has a problem; there essay. It not communicated are more run-ons, becomes difficult ideas clearly. fragments, point to understand of view shifts and writer’s ideas misused words because they are than in “A” and not expressed “B” papers. clearly. Source for the “Four Bases for Revising Essays”: Langan, John. College Writing Skills with Readings, 7 th ed. New York: McGraw Hill, 2008. Course Topics/Assignment Schedule: Week 1 Due: 9/3, 4 Week 2 Due: 9/8,10,11 Week 3 Due: 9/15,17,18 Week 4 Due: 9/22,24,25 Week 5 Due: 9/29, 10/1,2 Week 6 Due: 10/6,8,9 Week 7 Due: 10/15,16 Week 8 Due: 10/20,22,23 For 9/4, read intro to Charters text, p. 1-4, and Appendices 1 and 3, p. 16671675 and 1692-1701, plus Maupassant’s “The Necklace,” p. 879 and O.Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi,” p. 1147. Course introduction. Introduction to the Short Story genre. Read Appendix 2, The Elements of Fiction, p. 1676-1691 and Appendix 5, Literary Theory and Critical Perspectives, p. 1728-1733, for 9/8; and Poe, “The Cask of Amontillado,” p. 1108, “The Fall of the House of Usher,” p. 1114, and “The Tell Tale Heart,” p. 1127; plus related commentary by Poe, 1509-1512, for 9/10. Elements of Fiction. Critical Theory. Edgar Allan Poe. Read Hawthorne, “The Minister’s Black Veil,” p. 569 and “Young Goodman Brown,” p. 578, plus related commentary by Melville, p. 1473-1476, for 9/15; and Appendix 4, Writing About Short Stories, p. 1702-1727 for 9/18. Nathaniel Hawthorne (9/15 &17). Writing about literature (9/18). Assign Essay #1 on early American short fiction. Read Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” p. 533 and related casebook, p. 15781588 for 9/22; Chopin’s “Desirée’s Baby,” p. 284 and “The Story of an Hour,” p. 288, plus Chopin’s commentary on Maupassant, p. 1412-143 for 9/24. Early Feminist writers: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Kate Chopin. Read Hurston, “The Gilded Six-Bits,” p. 594 and “Sweat,” p. 602, plus related commentaries by Hurst, p. 1434-1442 and Walker, p. 1535-1536 for 9/29 and Walker, “Everyday Use,” p. 1312 for 10/1. Interpretive Essay #1 due 10/2. Writing the African American woman: Zora Neale Hurston and Alice Walker. Read Ch. Lawrence, “Odour of Chrysanthemums,” p. 787 and “The RockingHorse Winner,” p. 801 for 10/6; and Steinbeck, “The Chrysanthemums,” p. 1223, plus related commentaries on Lawrence and Steinbeck, p. 1432-1434 and 1507-1509, for 10/8. D.H. Lawrence and John Steinbeck. Review for midterm exam, 10/9. Read Faulkner, “A Rose for Emily,” p. 454 and “That Evening Sun,” p. 460, plus related commentary, 1424-1425 for 10/16. Midterm Exam, 10/15. William Faulkner. No class on Monday, Oct. 13: Columbus Day holiday. Read Flannery O’Connor, “Everything that Rises Must Converge,” p. 1005, “Good Country People,” p. 1016, and “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” p. 1031, plus related commentaries in Flannery O’Connor casebook, p. 1589-1615. Flannery O’Connor. Introduce creative writing assignment (original story). Week 9 Due: 10/27,29,30 Week 10 Due: 11/3,5,6 Week 11 Due: 11/10,13 Week 12 Due: 11/17,19,20 Week 13 Due: 11/24,26 Week 14 Due: 12/1,3,4 Week 15 Due: 12/8,10,11 Week 16 12/15 Read Joyce, “Araby,” p. 675 and “The Dead,” p. 679, plus related commentaries on “The Dead,” p. 1422-1424 and 1497-1498 for 10/27. James Joyce. View film of “The Dead,” 10/29-30. Read Camus, “The Guest,” p. 178 and Frank O’Connor, “Guests of the Nation,” for 11/3; and O’Brien, “The Things They Carried,” p. 1001 for 11/5. Creative Writing Assignment: Original Short Story due 11/6. Albert Camus, Frank O’Connor, Tim O’Brien and the Fiction of War. Read Conrad, “Heart of Darkness,” p. 299 for 11/10, plus Achebe, “Civil Peace,” p. 10 and related commentaries on “Heart of Darkness,” p. 1385-1390 and 1513-1515, for 11/13. Joseph Conrad, Chinua Achebe and Postcolonial Theory. No class on Wednesday, Nov. 12th: College following Tuesday schedule. Read Munro, “Age of Faith,” p. 927 for 11/17; and Cisneros, “Barbie-Q,” p. 290, Bambara, “The Lesson,” p. 64, and Olson, “I Stand Here Ironing,” p. 1054 for 11/19. Assign Interpretive Essay #2. Later 20th-Century Women Writers: Alice Munro, Toni Cade Bambara, Sandra Cisneros, Tillie Olson. Read Atwood, “Happy Endings,” p. 32 and Diaz, “How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie,” p. 394 for 11/24. Playing with Plot and Point of View: Margaret Atwood and Junot Díaz. No class on Thursday, Nov. 27: Thanksgiving holiday. Read Baldwin, “Sonny’s Blues,” p. 40 and related casebook, p. 1544-1555 for 12/1; Ellison, “Battle Royal,” p. 418 and related commentary, p. 1420-1421, for 12/3; Wright, “The Man Who Was Almost a Man,” p. 1370 for 12/4. Interpretive Essay #2 Due 12/4. African American Men’s Fiction of the Civil Rights Era: James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, Richard Wright. Read Lahiri, “Interpreter of Maladies,” p. 771, plus related commentary, p. 1463-1466; Otsuka, “The Children,” p. 1067; and Tan, “Two Kinds,” p. 1232 for 12/8. Immigrants and Their Children: Jhumpa Lahiri, Julie Otsuka, Amy Tan. Review for final exam (12/15). Final Exam date to be announced later.