Lit 165: Introduction to Literature
TTh 9:30-10:45, Main Anderson 201
Instructor: Dr. Robert Fletcher
This course introduces you to the academic study of literature. We will
read and discuss examples of short fiction, poetry, drama, and the novel,
and, at the same time, we will also be studying the cultural, cognitive,
and rhetorical processes that enable people to read and write texts. My
hope is that you'll leave this class with better interpretive and analytical
skills, greater awareness of the relation between imaginative texts and
their cultural contexts, and greater range in your responses to literature.
The goals of this course are as follows:
to reveal the complexity and collaborative basis of the seemingly "natural"
process of reading and interpretation
to familiarize you with the tools--conventions, concepts, and vocabulary--of
to enhance your understanding and enjoyment of complex texts by providing
opportunities to share and respond to interpretations.
- to introduce you to the uses of writing in studying literature and give you the opportunity to practice your writing skills
The following are required and can be purchased at the campus bookstore:
Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart
Birkerts, Sven, ed. Literature: The Evolving Canon. Be sure to buy
the 2nd edition (orange cover)
Esquivel, Laura. Like Water for Chocolate
Hwang, David Henry. M. Butterfly
There will also be some study materials made available on-line.
Your performance in the course will be evaluated in two different ways:
80% Formal writing assignments (see grading
two out-of-class essays: short story and poetry (750-1000 words)
two in-class exams: novels and drama (short essays and identifications)
20% Class participation
completion of reading assignments on time
enthusiastic engagement in class discussions
impromptu in-class writing, including the occasional quiz
In accordance with ADA guidelines, I am happy to make reasonable accommodations
for students with disabilities. Please contact me if you would like such
Late Assignments: Papers or other assignments submitted late will have
1/3 of a grade deducted for each day (not class period) that passes after
the due date. I will not accept any assignment more
than 1 week late.
Plagiarism: "Plagiarism is using another's words or ideas without appropriate
acknowledgement" (MLA Style Manual 4). In formal essays, "acknowledgement"
means using conventions of citation such as the quotation marks and parenthetical
note in the previous sentence. Even if you paraphrase someone's
words, you must provide a note showing your debt. NOTE: If you plagiarize
or use commercial study aids (e.g. Cliff's Notes), in your formal
essays, you will receive an irrevocable "F" grade.
Attendance: A class that studies reader response, as ours will, has
to have some healthy discussion of actual responses to readings, and so
attendance will be part of your participation grade. You are permitted
absences during the semester, excluding those for major medical
problems, which will be handled on an individual basis. If you miss too
much of the semester--even with a legitimate medical excuse--I may have
to ask you to withdraw. After the two cuts, your final grade in the course
will be lowered a third of a grade (e.g. from C to C-) for each cut.
Back to Robert Fletcher's Homepage.