Conventions of Reading

Schedule of Readings

Note: This schedule is subject to change, but when changes are required I will give as much notice as possible. If you miss a class, be sure to check on upcoming assignments. All readings are required and should be completed for the first scheduled class discussion. Whenever possible, you should also reread texts after class discussion.
LEC=readings from Literature: The Evolving Canon.
FT=readings from Falling into Theory.

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Week 1

T 8/25 Introduction to course. After class, you are expected to get an e-mail account and learn the basics of the Microsoft Exchange e-mail program.

Th 8/27 LEC: Ch. 2: Reading Fiction (14-21), Reader-Response Criticism (1646-49), Chopin, "The Story of an Hour." FT: "Why We Read"; Graff, "Disliking Books at an Early Age." Come to class with your e-mail account set up (though it may not be active yet).

Week 2

T 9/2 LEC: Character (22-24), Plot (38-41), Setting (56-58); O'Connor, "Everything That Rises Must Converge" (98-109). Contributions to the class e-mail list should begin this week. By Thursday, you must have posted one message about the O'Connor story or the Graff essay. By Friday, respond to someone else's posting.

Th 9/4 LEC: Theme (71-72), Point of View (85-87, 97-98), Tone (110-113), Symbolism (125-27); review O'Connor's story. FT: hooks, "Toward a Revolutionary Feminist Pedagogy."

Week 3

T 9/9LEC: Gordimer, "Town and Country Lovers"; Tutuola, "Feather Woman of the Jungle."

Th 9/11 LEC: Barthelme, "Me and Miss Mandible," Calvino, "The Distance of the Moon."

Week 4

T 9/16 Read Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, either at this site or at this one.

Essay topic #1 available here

Th 9/18 Cramer, "In Small and Large Pieces," a hypertext fiction which you should read before class at an ACC computer terminal. I'll let you know through e-mail as soon as it's available.

Week 5

T 9/23 LEC: Casebook: "The Evolving Canon in a Video Age" (1614-36). FT: Pratt, "Humanities for the Future." Come ready to role-play the critic assigned to you.

Th 9/25 We'll continue our discussion of technology and reading by studying excerpts from Birkerts' The Gutenberg Elegies and parts one and two of "Page Versus Pixels," a dialogue among hypertext writers and critics.

Essay #1 due at the beginning of class.Sample Essays for This Assignment.

Week 6

T 9/30 Esquivel, Like Water for Chocolate (January, February, March, April, May, June). FT: "What We Read"; Donoghue, "A Criticism of One's Own"; Robinson, "Treason Our Text." 

Optional: view the Alfonso Arau film of the novel this week, either on your own or at the evening showing (time and date TBA).

Th 10/2 Esquivel, LWFC (finished).

Week 7

T 10/7 No class: Academic Festival. But you should be reading Achebe, Things Fall Apart.

Th 10/9 Achebe, TFA (through Part One).

Week 8

T 10/14 Achebe, TFA (finished). Be sure to study the historical, cultural, biographical, and critical contexts of Achebe's novel through the links to the "Postcolonial and Postimperial Literature" Website and The Igbo Home Page. Essay topic #2 available here

Th 10/16 Achebe, TFA. FT: Said, "The Politics of Knowledge."

Week 9

T 10/21 LEC: Greek Drama and the Origins of Tragedy (1011-1014); Sophocles, Antigone. Also, enhance your study of the play by looking at Prof. Mitchell-Boyask's (Temple Univ.) Study Guide to Antigone and Prof. Thomas Martin's (College of the Holy Cross) overview of The Development of Greek Tragedy . We will also explore The Perseus Project at Tufts University.

Th 10/23 Antigone. FT: Altieri, "An Idea and Ideal of Literary Canon." Essay #2 due at the beginning of class.

Week 10

T 10/28 LEC: Shakespeare, The Tempest.

Th 10/30 LEC: The Tempest (finished); Barnet and Frye essays on the play (1594-1602). FT: "Why We Read"; Will, "Literary Politics"; Greenblatt, "The Politics of Culture."

Week 11

T 11/4 LEC: Drama in the Modern Age (1438-40); Hwang, M. Butterfly (paperback edition). Look at a plot synopsis of Puccini's Madama Butterfly.

Th 11/6 Hwang, M. Butterfly, discussion concluded. Look at the following WWW sites: the lyrics to David Bowie and Iggy Pop's "China Girl" and a plot synopsis of Miss Saigon. FT: Sedgwick, "From The Epistemology of the Closet." Start viewing film version of M. Butterfly.

Week 12

T 11/11 Finish Cronenberg's film of M. Butterfly. Look at the Cronenberg interview on adapting Hwang's play to film.

Essay topic #3 available here

Th 11/13 LEC: Reading Poetry (534-46), Voice in Poetry (564-78). Holland, "Unity Identity Text Self" (photocopy). Also, for study purposes, look at the brief autobiography and outline of ideas that Holland has put on the WWW.

Week 13

T 11/18 LEC: Sound and Sense in Poetry (547-63), Imagery in Poetry (638-53), Formalism/New Criticism (1638-40), Keats, "To Autumn" (820).

Th 11/20 LEC: Figures of Speech in Poetry (654-64). Lakoff and Johnson, from Metaphors We Live By (xerox) and an e-text excerpt from More Than Cool Reason: A Field Guide to Poetic Metaphor.

Essay #3 due at the beginning of class.

Week 14

T 11/25 FT: Fish, "Is There a Text in This Class?"; Dasenbrock, "Do We Write the Text We Read?" LEC: Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"; Margolis, "On `The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock'" (954-66). An added assignment: go to the WWW and search for another response to Eliot's poem. Bring the URL and a description and evaluation of the response to class.

The Final Essay assignment is available here

Th 11/27 Thanksgiving Holiday

Week 15

T 12/2 LEC: Ch. 25: A Poet's Career: Adrienne Rich.

Th 12/4 LEC: from Ch. 28: Responses to the Poetry of Adrienne Rich; Using Sources (985-995). FT: Schweickart, "Reading Ourselves."

Final examination

Section 01: Saturday, 12/6, 2-4 pm.
Section 02: Tuesday, 12/9, 8-10 am.

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