R. L. Knutson (RLKnutson@ualr.edu)
Office: SH 501-U; Office Hours, MW 12 noon to 1:30 pm
FAX: 501-569-8185 (address to R. L. Knutson)
Web: www.ualr.edu/~rlknutson/ (follow the World Lit link)

Spring 2009

I. Policies:

English 2337 (World Literature) belongs to the Blue Ribbon Core Curriculum. As such, the course emphasizes critical thinking, writing, and aesthetic appreciation. It also emphasizes historical and cultural awareness of ethical, social, and aesthetic issues, which each of the texts in the course provides for different historical times and cultures.

This is a discussion class, not a lecture class, and I expect you to participate in the discussion.  I also expect you to attend class promptly and regularly (see allotment of points for attendance, below). There are no “excused” absences.  Absences during the performance activity (workshops, performances) factor into that assignment.

There is a penalty for late papers (one letter grade lower). The calendar below gives you the dates when assignments are due, and I expect you to complete work on time. See me if you know now that you have a conflict.  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).

II. Calendar of Assignments:

Jan 12: Introduction to the course (Study Questions on Ovid)
Jan 14: The Metamorphoses by Ovid (ISBN # 0253200016); Book I (all), plus from Book XV, “Pythagoras”
Jan 16: The Metamorphoses, from Book II, “Phaethon,” “Jove in Arcady,” and “Europa”; from Book III, “Actæon,” “Semele,” “Tiresias,” and “Echo and Narcissus”

Jan 19: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Holiday
Jan 21: The Metamorphoses, from Book IV, “Pyramus and Thisby,” “Mars and Venus,” and “Salmacis”; from Book VI, “Minerva and Arachne” [pp. 129-33], and “Tereus, Procne, and Philomela”
Jan 23: The Metamorphoses, from Book VIII: “Daedalus and Icarus,” and “Baucis and Philemon”; from Book IX: “Iphis and Ianthe”; from Book X: all stories

 Jan 26: The Metamorphoses, from Book XI: “The Death of Orpheus,” “Midas,” and “Midas Never Learns”; from Book XV: “Pythagoras” (again), “Deification of Caesar,” and “Epilogue.”
Jan 28: In-class essay: Essay Questions
Jan 30: No class; read The Epic of Gilgamesh

Feb 2: The Epic of Gilgamesh (ISBN #014044100X)
Feb 4: The Epic of Gilgamesh, continued
Feb 6: The Epic of Gilgamesh, continued

Feb 9: The Epic of Gilgamesh, continued
Feb 11: In-class essay
Feb 13: No class: read The Jew of Malta

Feb 16: The Jew of Malta by Christopher Marlowe (ISBN #0-393-90070-3)
Feb 18: The Jew of Malta, continued
Feb 20: The Jew of Malta, continued

Feb 23: Transition to The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare (ISBN 0-451-52680-5)
Feb 25: The Merchant of Venice, continued
Feb 27: The Merchant of Venice, continued

Mar 2: The Merchant of Venice, video study
Mar 4: Play Workshop #1: choosing a text
Mar 6: Play Workshop #2: casting, costumes, properties, rehearsal

Mar 9: Play Workshop #3; more rehearsal
Mar 11: Play Workshop #4; final rehearsal
Mar 13: Performances: The Jew of Malta and The Merchant of Venice

Mar 16: Performances: The Jew of Malta and The Merchant of Venice
Mar 18: No class; Shakespeare Scene Festival
Mar 20: No class; read Frankenstein

Spring Break: March 23—March 27

March 30: Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley (ISBN #0-553-21247-8)
April 1: Frankenstein, continued
April 3: Frankenstein, continued

April 6: Frankenstein, continued
April 8: Frankenstein, continued
April 10: No class, but Writing Assignment # 1 due; bring to my mailbox in the English Department or FAX/e-mail it (FAX = 569-8185; for an e-mail attachment, use WORD or send in rtf); read Cry, the Beloved Country

Apr 13: Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton (ISBN #0743262174)
Apr 15: Cry, the Beloved Country, continued
Apr 17: Cry, the Beloved Country, continued

Apr 20: Cry, the Beloved Country, continued
Apr 22: Cry, the Beloved Country, continued
Apr 24: No class: read Snow White

April 27: Snow White by Donald Barthelme (ISBN 0-684-82479-5)
April 29: Snow White, continued
May 1: Snow White, continued

May 4: Snow White, continued
May 6 (Wednesday, 10:30 am) : Writing Assignment #2 due when you come to the Final; also part of the final is a Test on Style (15 points)

III. Texts: All of the texts assigned above are available in the UALR bookstore, but I have included the ISBN numbers of the editions we will use on the syllabus so that you can order these on-line if you prefer.
p Please Note: buy your books by mid-term because the bookstore sells them back to the publisher then.

IV. Assignments, Etc.:

A. Play Workshop: Beginning March 4, we will do a series of exercises that will enable us to "perform" pieces of The Jew of Malta and The Merchant of Venice (no one has to memorize anything!). We'll divide into several playing companies, create texts, assign parts, collect stuff for properties and the set, rehearse, and perform for each other. Everyone will participate at some level. This counts 15 points toward your grade. Each absence = one letter grade lower

B. Test on Style: Part of the Final Exam (Wednesday, May 6) is a test made up of quotations from the three novels we have read since mid-term (starting with Frankenstein). You will be asked to discuss the quotes in terms of the relationship of style to content. This test will take place in the classroom, on the day of the Final.

 V. Course Goals:

Goal #1: Subject Matter & Comprehension
Students will read a variety of types of literature (competencies: (aesthetic experience, verbal literacy) from different times and different cultures (competencies: social, cultural, and historical consciousness)  in both western and non-western traditions (competencies: international awareness)

Goal #2: Methods

Goal #3: Critical Thinking
Students will be given the opportunity to reflect on the ways in which ideas, values and stylistic features in literary works from other times and cultures interact with or contrast with those of American culture or the culture of the students’ countries of origin (competencies: (social, cultural, and historical awareness; ethical and moral consciousness; critical thinking), and to present the conclusions drawn from their analyses in both written and oral forms (competencies: (verbal literacy, critical thinking)

 VI. Grading:

In-class Essays: 10 points each
Writing Assignment #1: 15 points
Play Workshop: 15 points (each absence = one letter grade lower)
Writing Assignment #2 (due at the final as part of the final): 20 points
Quotations Test (in class, at the final exam): 15 points
Attendance, Class Participation: 15 points (if you miss more than 3 classes, I will subtract 3 points from this total; at 7, I subtract 3 more points, and so on; coming late repeatedly also carries a penalty (two tardies = 1 absence); absences for play workshops count on that assignment)

90 — 100 points = A; 80 — 89 points = B; 70 — 79 points = C; 60 — 69 points = D
below 60 points = F

VI. Disability Support Services: It is the policy of UALR to accommodate students with disabilities, pursuant to federal law and state law. Any student with a disability who needs accommodation, for example in arrangements for seating, examinations, note-taking should inform the instructor at the beginning of the course. It is also the policy and practice of UALR to make web-based information accessible to students with disabilities. If you, as a student with a disability, have difficulty accessing any part of the online course materials for this class, please notify the instructor immediately. The chair of the department offering this course is also available to assist with accommodations. Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact Disability Support Services, telephone 501-569-3143 (v/tty), and on the Web at http://www.ualr.edu/dssdept/.