Trent Oshawa
Department of English Literature
ENGL 1003H (Summer 2012)
Introduction to English Literature I: Revolution!
Location and Time
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:30 p.m. – 9:20 p.m.
Interactive lecture
Thornton 116
Joel Baetz
Room 158
[email protected]
905-435-5100 (ext. 6108)
Patricia Heffernan
Traill College, WH 134
705-748-1011 (ext. 7733)
[email protected]
Office Hour
Tuesdays, 4 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Course Description Revolution is variously defined as a) “a drastic and far-reaching change in
ways of thinking and behaving”; b) the overthrow of a government by
those who are governed; and c) a rotation: a single complete turn (as in
“the revolution of the earth about the sun takes one year”).
This course will introduce students to the work of writers who argued for
or were caught up in revolution--political, social, and cultural--or whose
work explores the consequences and after-effects of revolution.
By participating in this course, you will
understand the virtues and challenges of some of the major
personal and cultural revolutions of the modern age,
be able to identify and interpret some of the major features of the
three major genres (i.e., prose, poetry, and drama), and
be able to articulate your interpretations in a formal essay.
Required Texts
Atwood, Margaret. Cat’s Eye. Toronto: Doubleday, 1989.
Highway, Thomson. The Rez Sisters. Saskatoon: Fifth House, 1988.
Lori-Parks, Suzan. Top Dog/Underdog. New York: Theatre
Communications Group, 2001.
Moore, Alan. V for Vendetta. New York: DC Comics, 2005.
Ondaatje, Michael. In the Skin of a Lion. Toronto: Random House,
Course Kit
N.B.: You will find it helpful to have the editions specified above. That
way you’ll have an easier time following class discussions and finding
particular passages.
Assignments and
A Formal or Scholarly Essay (approximately 750 - 1000 words): 25%
Due May 29
A Formal or Scholarly Essay (approximately 1000 words): 35%
Due June 14
Final Exam (30%)
During the formal exam period of June 22-23
Participation (10%)
You’ll notice that 10% of your final grade is allotted for your level of
participation in class throughout the term. This class runs for three hours
and will contain formal lectures, group work, and class discussions; it’s
your responsibility to participate in all activities. Please note that this
grade will not be for mere attendance. These marks are reserved for the
kind and degree of your participation.
The best way to participate is to make sure you have read the assigned
material before class. Have some questions ready about what you didn’t
understand or what you found interesting in the readings, and do some
preliminary analysis of the assigned material.
Participation means that you
ask questions when you don’t understand,
contribute your ideas to classroom discussions,
listen to the ideas of others,
be open to new ideas and ways of thinking,
respond helpfully to others, and
help others learn.
Academic Honesty
Trent University is keen to develop independent thinkers and therefore
wants to stop students from plagiarising others’ thoughts, arguments, and
research. Any good essay will use and respond to work written by other
people, but it needs to indicate (properly and carefully) the sources for all
the ideas that are not your own. If you have any questions about the
documentation of sources or how to develop your own ideas, please speak
with me.
Academic dishonesty, which includes plagiarism and cheating, is an
extremely serious academic offence and carries penalties varying from a 0
grade on an assignment to expulsion from the university. Definitions,
penalties, and procedures for dealing with plagiarism and cheating are set
out in Trent University’s Academic Integrity Policy. You have a
responsibility to educate yourself; unfamiliarity with the policy is not an
excuse. You are strongly encouraged to visit Trent’s Academic Integrity
website to learn more:
Access to
It is Trent University’s intent to create an inclusive learning environment.
If a student has a disability and/or health consideration and feels that
he/she may need accommodations to succeed in this course, the student
should contact Trent Oshawa’s Disability Services, located in Room 111,
through the Trent Oshawa Office at (905) 435-5100. Complete text can
be found under Access to Instruction in the Academic Calendar.
myLearningSystem This course will use myLearningSystem to post assignment sheets and
Late Penalties
All essays are due in class on the date specified. No electronic
submissions will be accepted.
If an essay is handed in late, it will be docked two grades per week or
partial week. So, if an essay is due on Monday but you choose to hand it
in on Wednesday, the essay’s grade will drop from A+ to A-, from A to
B+, from B+ to B-, and so on.
For any of the assigned work or testing opportunities, you may be granted
an extension or an alternative testing day if one of two things happens: 1)
you have a personal emergency that can be documented (i.e., you have a
medical note, police report, or funeral program) or 2) you speak with me
two weeks before the assignment is due. Not all extensions requested will
be granted, but I will be willing to discuss the possibility.
Schedule for
Day 1
May 15
The Revolutions You Know
Soundtrack: The Beatles, “Revolution”
Day 2
May 17
Rebels and Rebellion
Melville, “Benito Cereno” (CK)
Soundtrack: Arcade Fire, “Rebellion (Lies)”
Day 3
May 22
We Shall Overcome: African-American Civil Rights
King Jr.: “Letter from Birmingham Jail” (CK)
Malcolm X, “The Ballot and the Bullet” (CK)
Clarke, “Vision of Justice” (CK)
Baraka, “Black Art” (CK)
Soundtrack: Sam Cooke, “A Change Is Gonna Come”; Bob Marley, “Get
Up, Stand Up”; Nina Simone, “Mississippi God Damn”
Day 4
May 24
Parks, Top Dog/Underdog
Soundtrack: Notorious B.I.G., “Things Done Changed,” Common, “Song
for Assata”; The Roots, “Been Thru the Storm”
Day 5
May 29
This Land Is Our Land: Native Protest, Revolution, and Rights
Johnson, “A Cry from an Indian Wife” (CK)
Scott, “The Onondaga Madonna” (CK)
Halfe, “I’m So Sorry,” “Wagon Ride” (CK)
King, “A Seat in the Garden,” “A Short History of Indians in
Canada” (CK)
Soundtrack: Buffy St. Marie, “Generation”
Essay 1 Due (in class)
Day 6
May 31
Highway, The Rez Sisters
Soundtrack: Keith Secola, “Indian Car”; Dan Mangan, “Road Regrets”
Day 7
June 5
A Room of One’s Own: Women in the World
Bronte, selection from Jane Eyre (CK)
Gilman, “Why I Wrote the Yellow Wall-paper,” “The Yellow
Wall-paper” (CK)
Piercy, “Barbie Doll” (CK)
Wallace, “The Heroes You Had as a Girl,” “The Woman in this
Poem” (CK)
Soundtrack: Carole King, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural
Woman”; M.I.A., “Bad Girls”
Day 8
June 7
Atwood, Cat’s Eye
Soundtrack: Gotye, “Somebody I Used to Know”
Day 9
June 12
Page, “Photos of a Salt Mine,” “The Stenographers” (CK)
Ondaatje, In the Skin of a Lion
Soundtrack: Pork Belly Futures, “Michael Ondaatje Has Stolen My
Girlfriend,” Mumford and Sons, “Little Lion Man”
Day 10
June 14
Ondaatje, In the Skin of a Lion
Soundtrack: Great Lake Swimmers, “Concrete Heart”
Essay 2 Due (in class)
Day 11
June 19
Moore, V for Vendetta
Soundtrack: Sex Pistols, “Anarchy in the U.K.”; Radiohead, “You and
Whose Army”
Day 12
June 21
Exam: during the formal exam period of June 22-23

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