Dear Students in Literature & Gender: ENG220L-721 CRN 10012

Dear Students in Literature & Gender:
Welcome to ENG220: Literature & Gender online for Winter 2016
ENG220L-721 CRN 10012
ENG220L-722 CRN 10026
Dates: Saturday, December 19 – Friday, January 15
Required Texts: You will find the texts to read within our iLearn site in RESOURCES.
Required Computer Access: All students must have regular access to the iLearn site during each week that the
online course is in session. You will need to use your Marist account to log in.
Course Content Description
In this course you will examine a diverse range of essays, book chapters, YouTube clips, advertising
images, and critical articles on gender. You are encouraged to make relevant links to contemporary society. We will
ask meaningful questions: How does each work represent gender roles and relations? What clues does literature
offer about its own time and place? What does each work seem to say about its cultural context? Is it critical,
supportive, or both? How have people’s and characters’ lives been caught between forms of oppression? To what
extent do these texts seek to illuminate gender issues? To what experiences do these texts bear witness? How do
authors and images represent questions about gender relations? Do these texts offer solutions? How do they attempt
to raise public awareness about gender-related issues? What are the relationships between the themes in these texts
and our own contemporary culture?
Researchers generally agree that whether we are born biologically male or female, it is our experiences in
families, in school, among peers in religious institutions, clubs, and other communities that create most of our traits,
behaviors, and characteristics. In other words, we are born male or female, but we are made men or women.
Gender analysis may address the following questions: What kinds of representations does this text offer
about gender roles? What versions of masculinity and femininity are promoted? How do men and women follow or
resist “traditional” roles? How does the character’s gender role determine her or his experience? What images and
“appropriate” behaviors are associated with women and men? How are men and women defined by their bodies?
As a class, we will develop intellectual frameworks for discussing important ideas and concepts about
gender. You are encouraged to use your critical thinking skills and imagination in our Forum and in your essays and
assignments. How are thematic concerns similar or different? How does the construction of these texts influence
your reading and viewing experience? How do these texts represent personality, identity, memory, needs, moods,
and physicality? What sensations, tone, figurative language, scenes and images are most striking?
In this course, you will be required to keep up with the assigned readings, type answers to Group Study
Questions, post in our class Forum, take quizzes, write two papers, and take a final examination. The success of this
course depends upon you and your willingness to prepare and participate in the Forum. You will increase your
powers of critique as you engage in more complex intellectual analysis. In the Forum, feel free to ask thoughtprovoking questions, use your imagination, and share insights. You are expected to be supportive and encouraging
to your classmates, enthusiastic about learning, and demonstrate a strong work ethic. A detailed syllabus will
provide you with more specifics.
*The syllabus includes how the course is graded and the Reading Calendar (below). Use the detailed
READING CALENDAR & WEEKLY ASSIGNENTS section on the syllabus as the main guide to follow
instructions for all aspects of the course, such as:
1) Readings (Primary Texts, such as book chapters from Fight Club and essays like “The King Herself”)
[Note: In our course, the Primary Readings are found in the iLearn site in RESOURCES]
2) Group Study Questions (Due on Sunday night by 11:55p.m. Found in ASSIGNMENTS)
3) Quizzes (Available Wednesday after 5:00p.m. until Sunday night at 11:55p.m.)
4) Forum Posting Due Dates (Posts 1 & 2 due by Wednesday at 11:55p.m.; Posts 3 & 4 by Sunday at 11:55p.m.)
5) Lessons (May include YouTube Clips Associated with our primary course readings, Lecture Notes, and
supplementary materials)
6) Due Dates for Essay #1, Essay #2, and the Final Examination
NOTE: On our last week ALL WORK is due by FRIDAY, JANUARY 15 th at 11:55p.m.
Brief Biography:
Professor Mercier has been teaching full-time at Marist College since 2007. He regularly teaches Writing for
College, First Year Seminar, American Literature I, Literature & Gender, and Hudson Valley Literature. His main
areas of expertise are in 19th-Century American Literature, Nature Writing, and Rhetoric & Composition. In 2004,
he received his Ph.D. in English from the University of Rhode Island, where he wrote his dissertation upon Hudson
Valley nature writer John Burroughs (1837-1921). Since then he has published several journal articles and book
chapters on Burroughs and has been interviewed by The New York Times and National Public Radio (NPR).
Feel free to contact me through MESSAGES in this iLearn system if you have any questions.
Dr. Stephen Mercier
Office: Fontaine 323
Campus Phone: 845-575-3000 ext. 2614