Syllabus

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Syllabus

ENGL 203: British Literature I Fall 2017/Hibbs 407/TR 12:30-1:45
Dr. Campbell/Anderson 205/Office hours T & TH 3:30-4:30 & by appt./828-1172/wgcampbell@vcu.edu/
This course is dedicated to Drs. Bill Kemp, Terry Kennedy, and Marie McAllister, with whom I spent many a merry semester teaching a course like this.

Cognitive Disciplines and Learning Objectives for this course

Zooming In: We will practice attending to specific uses of interesting language (words, phrases, analogies, metaphors, poetic form, etc.) in each work of verbal art we read together. By the end of the semester, you should be able to identify these specific uses of interesting language more frequently on your own, and to describe them and the way they function in verbal art with greater precision. (This list is not exhaustive.) Ideally, you should emerge from this class better able to do these things in the works we read together, in works in our anthology that we do not read together, and in instances of verbal art outside the primary focus of our class.

Zooming Out:  We will practice identifying and describing ways in which interesting language contributes to major themes, concepts, large formal structures, and other larger-scale elements of works of verbal art, short and long. In addition, we will practice thinking about ways in which works of verbal art both reflect and help to shape the cultures from which they emerge, as well as the cultures that will come after them. (This list is not exhaustive.) Ideally, you should emerge from this class better able to do these things in the works we read together, in works in our anthology that we do not read together, and in instances of verbal art outside the primary focus of our class.

Connecting: Using a variety of approaches under the general heading of what Douglas Hofstadter calls “fluid concepts and creative analogies,” we will identify, imagine, and share connections among the works we study: connectinos among the creative strategies and accomplishments in these works, among writers and readers across boundaries of time and space, among recurring ideas, questions, and problems expressed in the verbal art we read, and especially among ourselves as fellow learners who live within many cultures and identities and are bound on this journey together. (This list is not exhaustive.) Ideally, you should emerge from this class better able to do these things in the works we read together, in works in our anthology that we do not read together, and in instances of verbal art outside the primary focus of our class.

Note: the better you get at these three practices, the more they will stimulate each other. A virtuous cycle! They may even begin to resemble each other, more and more.

Areas of practice (aka assignments):

**Our class meetings will combine all of these cognitive practices, which is why you should attend class regularly.
**Exams will combine all of these cognitive practices. Two exams are take-home exams. The final exam is cumulative. It will be given in our regular classroom on the date and time noted in the syllabus.
**Our work in Hypothes.is will be a primary area for practicing zooming in and connecting. Set up your account at hypothes.is, please, by Tuesday, August 29. There are ten (10) Hypothes.is assignments. Their due dates are on the syllabus. I expect you to contribute two substantive annotations to each hypothes.is assignment.
**Your course blog will be a primary area for practicing zooming out and connecting. The course motherblog (rampages.us/britlit1) is an easy way to read your classmates’ blogs and find the ones you’d like to comment on, or link to. If you don’t have a blog site already on rampages.us, VCU’s connected learning platform, please set one up there. If you already have an account, you can work from your existing blog site, or you can start a new blog site (RamPages allows for multiple sites for each account). Please have your site ready to go by Tuesday, August 29. I expect you to publish at least two substantive (creative, engaged, interesting) blog posts each week, related to our course work, spread throughout the week (i.e., not two on one day), beginning the week of August 29. I also expect you to comment on two of your classmates’ blog posts each week. Linking to a classmate’s post in an interesting way counts as a comment.

Textbook: The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Part 1 (in three volumes), Ninth Edition
Class rules, executive summary: passion encouraged; civility required.

Syllabus (beta: subject to change)
Dotted lines mean “next Norton volume”

8/24       Introductions, testimonials, fair warnings; cognitive practices and learning objectives; logistics.
8/29       Bede and Caedmon’s Hymn, Norton 29-23. Optional and helpful: Norton 3-10.
8/31       Beowulf (Grendel), Norton 36-69.
9/5          Beowulf (Grendel’s mother), Norton 69-88. Hypothes.is assignment 1 due.
9/7          Beowulf (the Dragon), Norton 88-108.
9/12       “The Dream of the Rood,” Norton 32-26; Julian of Norwich, Norton 412-424 (all selections)
9/14       Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Norton 183-209 (asynchronous online class)
9/19       Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Norton 209-238 – Hypothes.is assignment 2 due
9/21       Chaucer, The General Prologue to The Canterbury Tales, Norton 238-248 
9/26       Chaucer, The General Prologue to The Canterbury Tales, Norton 248-256 – Hypothes.is assignment 3 due
9/28       Chaucer, The General Prologue to The Canterbury Tales, Norton 256-261 (Take-home exam 1 distributed)
———————————-
10/3       Faerie Queene  Book 1, Cantos 1-4
10/5       Faerie Queene Book 1, Cantos 5-8 (Take-home exam 1 due)
10/10    Faerie Queene Book 1, Cantos 9-12
10/12    Renaissance Lyric I (Wyatt, Sidney, Spenser)
Wyatt: “They Flee From Me” and “The Lover Showeth How He is Forsaken of Such as He Sometime Enjoyed”; “Whoso List to Hunt” and Petrarch Rima 190
Spenser Amoretti 54, 64, 67, 68
Sidney Astrophel and Stella 1, 15, 31, 45, 71
10/17    Renaissance Lyric II – Hypothes.is assignment 4 due (Jonson, Herrick, Shakespeare)
Shakespeare, Sonnets 29, 73, 74, 130
Jonson, “Upon My First Son,” “On My First Daughter,” “To John Donne”
Herrick, “The Vine,” “Delight in Disorder,” “Corinna’s Going A-Maying”
10/19    No class meeting (Reading Days)
10/24    Renaissance Lyric III –  (Donne, Herbert, Marvell)
Donne, “The Good Morrow,” “The Sun Rising,” “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning,” “To His Mistress Going to Bed,” “A Nocturnal Upon Saint Lucy’s Day, Being the Shortest Day”
Herbert, “Church Monuments,” “Prayer,” “Love (3)”
Marvell, “To His Coy Mistress,” “The Garden”
10/26    Shakespeare, King Lear Acts 1-2
10/31    Shakespeare, King Lear Act 3 – Hypothes.is assignment 5 due
11/2       Shakespeare, King Lear Act 4-5 (Take-home exam 2 distributed)
(NB: Nov. 3 is VCU deadline to withdraw from courses)
11/7       Lanyer, from Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum – problem of Pilate’s wife
11/9       Milton, Paradise Lost Book 1 (Take-home exam 2 due)
11/14    Milton, Paradise Lost, Book 3.1-415, Book 4.1-775
11/16    Milton, Paradise Lost, Book 9 Hypothes.is assignment 6 due
———————————
11/21    Pope, The Rape of the Lock
11/28    “Debating Women” (all Norton selections)- Hypothes.is assignment 7 due
11/30    Katherine Phillips, Mary Astell (selections TBA)
12/5       Swift, Gulliver’s Travels I –
12/7       Swift, Gulliver’s Travels I – Hypothes.is assignment 8 due
12/14    FINAL EXAM 1:00-3:50 pm Hypothes.is assignment 9 due

GRADING:  Blogs and hypothes.is work will be graded credit/no credit. Exams will be graded on a 100-point scale:
A+            98-100    B+             87-89       C+             77-79                         D+             67-69       F 59 and below
A               93-97       B                83-86       C                73-76                         D               63-66
A               90-92       B                80-82       C                70-72                         D               60-62
Weighting for each assignment:
Exam I (Medieval) 15%                   Exam II (Renaissance) 20%        Final exam (entire course)   30%
Hypothes.is participation 15%     Blog participation 20%
ATTENDANCE:  Voluntary, but see above under class meetings.  Please let me know ahead of time if you must miss class, and please tell me why. Excessive absences will hurt your performance in this class. You are (of course) responsible for all material covered during your absence.
BLACKBOARD:  I will use our course Blackboard site for the gradebook and to make available to you a list of relevant university policies. Please familiarize yourself with these policies and contact me if you have any questions. The course syllabus and other class materials will be posted to https://rampages.us/britlit1.