Spring 2010 ENGLISH 108.01/02 Craig Morehead [email protected] section 01 Bryan 204/ section 02 Petty 150 Office: MHRA 3112 Office Hours: TR 9.30 – 10.30 or by appointment Special Topics in American and British Literature: Reading Time(s) in Science and Literature To borrow from Yogi Berra, “I will keep this short as long as I can.” COURSE DESCRIPTION: Albert Einstein once said, “People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” So what is the illusory quality of past, present, and future? What is time? How do we use temporal markers and ideas to construct our art, science, history, biographies, and lives? These are the central questions we will be asking and begin to answer in this class. We will be reading and examining literature (poetry, short stories, novels, plays) in order to see how we might begin to trace the various representations and ideas of time and time’s embeddedness in our ways of thinking about and ordering the world and its possibilities. We will be reading literature with and through some basic scientific theories on the construction and deconstruction of time and space. You don’t necessarily need expert knowledge of theoretical physics in order to see how differing notions of time and space have been constructed in science and the arts over time. George Levine notes in “The Novel as Scientific Discourse: The Example of Conrad” that “The power of science within our culture is reflected in the way it infiltrates consciousness that knows very little about it. Perhaps to put it more carefully, it shares . . . in the dominant concerns of the culture, is in fact a powerful myth whose shape can be discerned well outside the realms of specifically scientific discourse. Scientific ideas are absorbed, used, and created by a culture that is only partially aware of science as a professional practice” (223). So, we can see how such “scientific” principles of time might constitute a dominant concern of our culture by tracking them in “realms” outside scientific discourse – for our purposes literature, visual arts, and music. Furthermore, we can also use literature to problematize and critique scientific principles of time. Levine also says, “Criticism requires an alertness to the presence of scientific discourse, or its metaphors, not only because it helps clarify what that the texts are doing, but because the texts themselves often constitute a fictional test of the science and of the transference. Participating equally but differently in the culture’s myths and ideologies, science and literature support, reveal, and test each other” (223). What I hope we can do in this class, is to use science and literature (and other arts) not to continue the separation of the arts and sciences, but rather see how they are interrelated, and how we might use them to push their theoretical boundaries, especially in their representations of time. We can use science to read literature and literature to read science. By doing this, I want to focus our attention on how we can read texts and cultural assumptions critically through interdisciplinary analysis. LEARNING GOALS: Students read and write about selected works of prose and/or poetry from diverse cultural traditions, analyzing the context, aims, and methods of literary expression. 1. Student Learning Goals At the completion of this course, the student will be able to: --Identify and understand varied characteristics of literature; --Apply techniques of literary analysis to texts; --Use literary study to develop skills in careful reading and clear writing; --Demonstrate understanding of the diverse social and historical contexts in which literary texts have been written and interpreted. II. General Expectations --Courses will be broad and foundational in nature; they will not assume extensive previous knowledge; --Courses will satisfy most (if not all) of these guidelines. REQUIRED TEXTS/MATERIALS: Science Fiction: Stories and Contexts, Ed. Heather Masri, Bedford/ St. Martin’s ISBN: 0-312-45015-X The Rule of Four, Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason, The Dial Press ISBN: 0-385-33711-6 (not in bookstore) Access to Blackboard and RadioLab podcast ATTENDANCE: It is crucial that you attend class. Because this class is discussion driven, anytime you miss class you are missing out on the face-to-face conversations between your class members, and thus, you are missing out on learning opportunities. Students are allowed three absences without a grade penalty. For every absence beyond those allowed, students will be penalized one-half letter grade. Students who miss six classes on a two-day schedule will fail the course. There are no “excused” absences. Students who are absent from class due to school sanctioned activities must present official written notification to me prior to the absence and work out any due dates they might miss ahead of time. If you are absent you are responsible for all of the materials missed and for turning in any due assignments before you miss class. More than likely the readings and schedule will be constantly revised to meet the needs of the class; you will be responsible for any new assignments announced on those days you are absent. It is very important that you check blackboard for updates on assignments and due dates. If you are more than 5 minutes tardy you will be counted absent for the day. Leaving early without prior agreement will result in an absence as well. I do not accept any late work. GENERAL GUIDELINES: You are solely responsible for your work and personal conduct in class. Respect others’ comments and contributions to class discussion. Class participation in discussion is expected of you daily. You are required to come to class prepared having done the readings and assignments, having the proper materials for class and ready to engage in critical discussions. All electronic devices should be turned all the way off and not used during class time. I reserve the right to ask you to leave for any infraction and will count you absent for the day. CIVILITY: Students at institutions of higher learning are expected to exhibit high ethical and respectful behavior. Disruptive behavior is prohibited. Disruptive behavior means conduct that materially and substantially interferes with or obstructs the teaching or learning process in the context of the classroom setting and will be determined by me. Disruptive behavior will result in an expulsion from the class and a resulting absence. Behavior that can be considered disruptive includes, but is not limited to: arriving late or leaving early, talking/texting on a cell phone, disrespecting peers or the instructor, talking out of turn, not bringing the necessary materials to class, coming to class unprepared to participate, and eating in class. All electronic devices that could interrupt class should be turned off. Such devices may not be accessed during the class period. Laptops may be brought to class when it is announced ahead of time by me. Laptops must be used solely for educational purposes specific to the context of this class and will be forbidden if misused. Misuse will be determined by me. Consult the Student Handbook for more information for class behavior expectations and consequences. PREPARATION AND PARTICIPATION: “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success,” said Alexander Graham Bell. You are expected to come to class on time and fully prepared to engage with the content of the class. All readings must be read for the specified class and all assignments need to be completed and handed in on time. A lack of preparation and failure to live up to my expectations for class participation will negatively affect your grade. GRADES: Assignments You will have 2 exams – a midterm and a final exam. You will have a reading quiz due every Thursday and a blackboard discussion prompt due every Tuesday. You are expected to contribute to daily class discussion, group work and classroom activities. You will also sign up for 2 class periods that you will be responsible for leading class discussion and bringing up questions and quotes for the class to discuss. Exam 1 Exam 2 Reading Quizzes 25% 30% 15% Blackboard Discussion Prompts 15% Daily Class Participation in Discussion 10% Discussion leader Questions and Quotations 5% A = 94-100 A- = 90-93 B+ = 87-89 B = 83-86 B- = 80-82 C+ = 77-79 C = 73-76 C- = 70-72 D+ = 67-69 D = 63-66 D- = 60-62 F = <59 PLAGIARISM: Part of your work and responsibility as a scholar is that you accept the rules and ethics of writing and documenting your outside sources. In addition to downloading a paper off of the Internet or getting someone to write one for you, plagiarism is: Verbatim copying without proper acknowledgement—whether you copy a phrase, a sentence, a paragraph, or a whole paper, the source material must be introduced, in quotation marks, and documented. Paraphrasing without proper acknowledgement—reworded source material must be introduced and documented; again, the length of the paraphrased material doesn’t matter—you still have to cite it! Failing to acknowledge sources—any time you use sources, you need to identify the source material both within the essay and on a works cited page. Use of other's ideas without acknowledgement. When you submit work, your reputation as a writer is at stake. Do not risk your grade on an essay or in the course by either deliberately or accidentally plagiarizing. Plagiarism will result in a minimum of a failed paper and a maximum of suspension from the university. We will be discussing proper paraphrasing and citation guidelines as we go along. If in doubt, ask! Visit http://academicintegrity.uncg.edu for more information on the University’s Academic Integrity policy ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: Academic integrity is founded upon and encompasses the following five values: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility. Violations include, for example, cheating, plagiarism, misuse of academic resources, falsification, and facilitating academic dishonesty. If knowledge is to be gained and properly evaluated, it must be pursued under conditions free from dishonesty. Deceit and misrepresentations are incompatible with the fundamental activity of this academic institution and shall not be tolerated” (from UNCG’s Academic Integrity Policy). To ensure that you understand the university’s policy on academic integrity, review the guidelines and list of violations at <http://academicintegrity.uncg.edu>. I expect you to abide by the Academic Integrity Policy. ADJUSTMENTS FOR DISABILITIES: Students with documentation of special needs should arrange to see me about accommodations as soon as possible. If you believe you could benefit from such accommodations, you must first register with the Office of Disability Services on campus before such accommodations can be made. The office is located on the second floor of the Elliott University Center (EUC) in Suite 215, and the office is open 8am to 5pm, Monday - Friday. Telephone: 334-5440; e-mail: [email protected] A FEW KEY THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND: Don’t hesitate to see me or email me if you ever have any questions, concerns, problems. I am here to help you and am eager to work with you. Expect to make mistakes and learn from them. We all make mistakes and this is a good thing. Like my mom always says, “Learn from your mistakes, so you don’t make them again.” And as Winston Churchill said, “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” Bring your own interests, ideas and personality to class and your ideas. You being you is what I want you to be. Everything counts in this class. “Strive for success and remember you won't get what you want unless you want what you get.” – Yogi Berra These policies are subject to change at my discretion. You will be notified of any changes. DATE CLASS WORK/ASSIGNMENTS Week 1 T 1/19 Course Expectations Syllabus R 1/21 Introduction to theories of time – scientific, social, narrative Sign up for discussion leaders Time and close reading practices Newton, Relativity, Quantum Time Poetry selections from Browning Week 2 T 1/26 R 1/28 Progressive Time Week 3 T 2/2 R 2/4 Present Tense - Presence Week 4 T 2/9 R 2/11 Infinity – All Time Week 5 T 2/16 R 2/18 Narrative Time Week 6 T 2/23 Musical Time Historical Time – Lost Time Social Time – Lived Time Religious Time DUE NEXT CLASS/ READING HOMEWORK Syllabus quiz – bb Augustine Confessions - bb bb- selections from Hawking, Davies Sartre – Being and Nothingness - 664 bb - Frost – The Road Not Taken Hawthorne – Rappaccini’s Daughter – 1029 Robinson – The Lucky Strike 568 bb - Borges – The Aleph Van Vogt – The Weapon Shop - 716 Chiang – Story of Your Life – 614 Bb - Selections from Blake Messiaen - Quartet for the End of Time R 2/25 Week 7 T 3/1 R 3/4 Time Travel Primer Primer Discussion Review for Exam Exam 1 Week 8 T 3/9 R 3/11 Spring Break Week 9 T 3/16 R 3/18 Time in the Visual Arts Surrealism and Futurism War Time Bb - selections from WW1 poetry bb- Fitzgerald – Babylon Revisited Week 10 T 3/23 R 3/25 Traumatic Time Week 11 T 3/30 R 4/1 Quantum Time bb – selections from Lewis Carroll Bb - Eliot – Burnt Norton Rymann – Dead Space for the Unexpected – 826 Bb – Dillard – Total Eclipse Nature and Time – Deep Time Jameson - Progress vs. Utopia Week 12 T 4/6 R 4/8 Utopian Time Imagining Time Chapters 1-6 Week 13 T 4/13 R 4/15 Mystery of Time – Reconstructing Time The Rule of Four The Rule of Four Chapters 7-13 Week 14 T 4/20 R 4/22 The Rule of Four Chapters 21-26 The Rule of Four Chapters 27-30 Week 15 4/27 4/29 The Rule of Four Week 16 5/4 Spring Break Dream Time Chapters 14-20 Weatherspoon visit – archives and time catalogues Review for Exam 2 Class Evaluations *** This is subject to change at my discretion. You will be reasonably notified of any changes via blackboard.