Major British Writers 3331: Syllabus

Roslyn L. Knutson, Professor,
FAX: 569-8185; Office: SH 501-U
Spring 2009

Major British Writers is primarily a lecture course.  The reading is constant and heavy.  I use the assigned readings as a basis for lectures, but you are responsible for the reading material even when I do not specifically comment on it in class.  I expect you to attend class regularly.  I follow the syllabus closely, but I feel free to make changes as I deem necessary.  I expect you to keep up and to adapt to revisions. 

I do not take late papers or give make-up exams.  See me if you know now that you have a conflict, and I will work out something with you.  If an emergency comes up on the day a paper is due, you have two choices: FAX the paper to me by class time (569-8185), or e-mail it by class time (attach it in WORD or rtf).

My office is in Stabler Hall, 501-U; I will keep office hours MW 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm and 3:00 – 4:00 pm; I am also available by appointment. 

Weekly Schedule of Readings

 Jan 12: Introduction (Study Questions on Chaucer)
Jan 14: Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, the Prologue (ll. 1-164 and ll. 717-860)
Jan 16: Canterbury Tales, the Prologue (ll. 165-479)

Jan 19: Dr. MLK, Jr. Holiday (no class)
Jan 21: Canterbury Tales, the Prologue (ll. 480-to conclusion)
Jan 23: Canterbury Tales: Prologue to “The Miller’s Tale” and “The Miller’s Tale”

Jan 26: Canterbury Tales, “The Miller’s Tale,” continued
Jan 28: Canterbury Tales, “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” (optional: the prologue to “The Wife of Bath’s Tale”)
Jan 30: Canterbury Tales, Prologue  to “The Pardoner’s Tale,” “The Pardoner’s Tale,” Epilogue; Take-home Exam given out (exam due at the beginning of class, Friday, February 6)

FEB 2: Medieval and Renaissance Drama, Introduction; begin reading Mankind
FEB 4: Mankind, continued
FEB 6: Mankind, continued; Take-Home Chaucer Exam due at the beginning of class

FEB 9: Dr. Faustus, by Christopher Marlowe
FEB 11: Dr. Faustus, continued
FEB 13: Dr. Faustus, continued

FEB 16: Rehearsal
FEB 18: Rehearsal
FEB 20: Rehearsal

FEB 23: Performances: Mankind, Doctor Faustus
FEB 25: The Faerie Queene, Edmund Spenser, Book I, canto 1 (narrative summary), (Spenser paper)    
FEB 27: Faerie Queene, Book I, canto 1, continued; canto 2

MAR 2: Faerie Queene, continued, Book I, canto 2, continued; canto 3
MAR 4: Faerie Queene, continued, Book I, canto 4                                   student presentations
MAR 6: Faerie Queene, continued, Book I, cantos 5 & 6                           student presentations

MAR 9: Faerie Queene, continued, Book I, cantos 7 & 8;                        student presentations
MAR 11: Faerie Queene, continued, Book I, canto 9                                 student presentations
MAR 13: Faerie Queene, continued, Book I, canto 10 & 11                      student presentations


MAR 16: Faerie Queene, continued, Book I, canto 12                               student presentations
MAR 18: Time Out: Shakespeare Scene Festival
MAR 20: Workshop on Faerie Queene paper

Spring Break: March 23 — 27

MAR 30: What is Petrarchism? (list of readings to be handed out)
APR 1: Petrarchan conventions & alternatives
APR 3: John Donne, Petrarchism and Petrarchism Plus

APR 6: Paradise Lost, by John Milton, Book I (Readings; Milton's Prosody)
APR 8: Paradise Lost, Book I, continued
APR 10: No class; I’m at a conference; Faerie Queene paper due

APR 13: Paradise Lost, Book II
APR 15: Paradise Lost, Book II, continued; Book III (ll. 1-415)
APR 17: Paradise Lost, Book IV

APR 20: Paradise Lost, Book IV, continued
APR 22: Paradise Lost, Books V, VI, VII, VIII
APR 24: Paradise Lost, Book IX

APR 27: Paradise Lost, Book IX, continued
APR 29: Paradise Lost, Book X
May 1: Paradise Lost, Book X, continued

MAY 4: Paradise Lost, Books XI, XII

May 8 (Friday, 10:30 am): Final Exam  in our classroom, on PL only (open book, open notes)

 TEXTS: The Norton Anthology of English Literature, vol 1 (any edition from the 6th to the most recent will do fine); Mankind (handout)

TESTS: There will be two tests: (1) a take-home exam on The Canterbury Tales, given out on Jan 30th; due back on Feb 2 at class time; (2) on Paradise Lost, May 8 (the final).  Both will be open book, open notes.

Workshop: instead of having a test on the drama, we’re going to perform bits of it; we’ll take three class periods to rehearse,  then perform scenes for each other; no one has to memorize anything; participation is part of the attendance grade.

PAPERS: There will be one paper, on Spenser’s Faerie Queene, due April 10th, by 12 noon; deliver to my mailbox or office in the English Department. Secondary Education minors have an additional paper due on Monday, March 2nd (see below).

Course Goals:

 Grading Scale:

            Attendance; participation in class discussion (FQ presentation) = 15 points
            Performance workshop = 15 points
            Chaucer test = 20 points
            Faerie Queene Paper: 25 points
            Paradise Lost Final: 25 points
                                    Total: 100 points

Students with a secondary Education Minor: As you know, the English Department complies with the assessment program in the Department of Education known as Chalk and Wire by building a suitable assignment into each English course required for the secondary education minor.  For this class, I will ask you to submit an essay of approximately 500 words in which you analyze and assess the performance activity on the plays with an eye toward its application in your future classroom. This paper is due on Monday, March 2nd.  Imagine this essay as a letter to your future department chair in which you persuade him/her to allow you to make a similar assignment in your own class.  Focus on the pedagogical value of performance as a learning tool, and feel free to use your experience with such activities as a frame of reference. This assignment, which replaces the “assessment sheet” other students will fill out, will be factored into your grade for the performance activity.

The NCTE Standards to which this assignment responds are the following:
2.4 Candidates use practices designed to assist students in developing habits of critical thinking and judgment
3.3.2 Candidates show a knowledge of ways to discover and create meaning from texts
3.5.2: Candidates show a knowledge of, or use of, a variety of teaching applications for works from a wide variety of genres and cultures, works by female authors, and works by authors of color

Students with disabilities: It is the policy of UALR to accommodate students with disabilities, pursuant to federal and state law.  Any student with a disability who needs accommodation, for example in seating placement or in arrangements for examinations, should inform the instructor at the beginning of the course.  The chair of the department offering this course is also available to assist with accommodations.  Students with disabilities are also encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Support Services, which is located in the Donaghey Student Center, Room 103, 569-3143.