INTRODUCTION TO LITERATURE
Benedda M. Konvicka
ENGLISH DEPT Phone:
Kirszner & Mandel. Literature:
Reading, Reacting, Writing.
"Study of various forms of English and American literature such as short stories, drama, poetry. Examples studied will be largely modern. Prerequisites: ENGL 1113 and 1123 or approval of Department Head."
The purpose of English 2203 is to increase your understanding of the primary genres of literature: fiction, poetry, and drama. We will closely read, analyze, discuss, and write about a selection of short stories, poems, and plays in hopes of enriching your understanding and appreciation of literature and the part it can play in your future beyond the confines of a literature class.
This course will approach the literary works from a writer's perspective. We will consider what choices the writers made and the effect of those choices on techniques and meaning. Included in our analyses will be discussion of several genres (academic essay, short story, drama, and poetry) and several theme topics. We will examine the characteristics of these genres and consider how the theme topics represent universal human experience. We will also discuss various critical approaches to the literary works as a means of discovering different perspectives.
The major objectives of the course are these:
Ø an increased understanding of the short story, the short poem, and he drama.
Ø the identification of major themes and conflicts in serious literature, themes and conflicts which are drawn from and reflect on the human condition.
Ø an increased awareness of structural and stylistic techniques in such literature.
Ø a heightened sensitivity to language.
Ø an introduction to the ways literature can be analyzed, interpreted, and responded to through major literary critical approaches and through your own discussion and writing employing these major approaches.
Ø clear thinking about the literature expressed in discussion and on paper.
Ø a broadened perspective which comes from the study and enjoyment of literature.
Specific objectives of this course are these:
- To increase your understanding of the primary genres of literature: short fiction, drama, and poetry
- To enhance your competence in the identification of major themes and conflicts in serious literature—themes and conflicts which originate in and reflect on human experience
- To increase your awareness of structural and stylistic techniques in such literature, including
- Point of View
- Tone and Style
- Figures of Speech
- Myth and Narrative
- To provide you with an introduction to the ways you can analyze, interpret and respond to literature through discussion and writing, including
- Formalist Criticism
- Biographical Criticism
- Historical Criticism
- Psychological Criticism
- Mythological Criticism
- Sociological Criticism
- Gender Criticism
- Reader-Response Criticism
- Deconstructionist Criticism
- Cultural Studies
- To provide you with vicarious experiences which lead to broader perspectives useful in understanding and coping with your own lives (past, present, and future)
- Through close-reading of the literary text
- Through discussion
- Through writing about the assigned stories, poems, and plays
The course will primarily be divided into three segments: the short story, the poem, and the drama. However, we will not focus on only one of these genres at a time, but instead, by examining the way overlapping topics such as point of view, setting, character, irony, tone, style, theme, symbol, and so on, function similarly and differently in each, we will develop an understanding of the parameters of each genre. The major emphasis in each segment of the course will be the artistry of the selected literary works and the relationship of the works to the experiences of human life.
I will ask you to be prepared to respond to the literature in class discussion and writing. You can expect to be prepared to write a response to each work assigned relating to the principles studied. I will tell you in class when reading responses are required and whether they are to be hard copy (on paper) or electronic (Discussion Board). In addition, I will assign two major written essays during the semester, five creative exercises, and expect you to be prepared for all quizzes (usually one or two questions) over the daily reading. The course concludes with a comprehensive final examination/writing.
Course Grade Components:
Your semester grade will be based on the following breakdown:
Two Tests 20% Formal Essay 10% Daily Average 60% Daily Quiz Average 30% 5 Creative Writing Exercises 10% Reading Responses 20% Final Examination 10%
If you need assistance or clarification of material and assignments, stop by my office during my office hours or make an appointment. I will be glad to discuss course materials, assignments, your progress in the course, or help you with anything I can.
I do not have a formal "attendance" policy. However, look at the portion of your course average that is determined by daily work: 60%. I will accept daily quizzes, Creative Writing Exercises, and Reading Responses ONLY on the day each is due. These are your daily assignments, hence the catchy name "Daily Average." Please, do not ask me to take daily work late. You either were or were not present when a daily assignment was due. Just come to class and turn your work in on time. This isn't a correspondence course.