Unit 1 – Conflict
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Ken Kesey
Maus 1 & II – Art Spiegelman
Master Harold and the Boys – Athol Fugard
Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoevsky
Unit 2 – Man, Woman, and Family
Song of Soloman – Toni Morrison
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
Poetry and Speech Units
Unit 3 – Comedy and Satire
The Importance of Being Earnest – Oscar Wilde
Cyrano de Bergerac – Edmund Rostand
A Modest Proposal – Jonathan Swift
Welcome to the Monkeyhouse – Kurt Vonnegut
Much Ado About Nothing – William Shakespeare
Unit 4 – Tragedy
Macbeth – William Shakespeare
Oedipus Rex – Sophocles
Antigone – Sophocles
All My Sons – Arthur Miller or Long Day’s Journey Into Night – Eugene O’Neill
Important Things to Know
You should expect three to four major assignments a term. The most common of these will be the analytical essay that, on average, will be four pages in length. Other major assignments will be projects, exams, and presentations. Smaller assignments will be 1-page writing responses, vocabulary quizzes, reading quizzes. Once or twice a quarter, we will have graded discussion seminars. Assignments are given the following weight:
Essays: 100 points
Projects/Presentations/Essay Tests 80 points
Participation for the Quarter 80 points
Short Presentations 50 points
Discussion Seminars 20 points
One Pagers 20 points
Vocabulary Quizzes 20 points
Reading Quizzes 10 points
Each term you have one late day for essays or projects. You may not use this late day for anything other than essays and projects, and if you don’t use your late day, it does not carry over to the next term. If you miss a smaller assignment, you may hand it in the next day for partial credit, but make sure you put it in my hands (don’t leave it on my desk).
If an essay or project is late, 10 points are taken off for the first day and 5 points for every day thereafter.
What you need to do/know to succeed in this class:
I know that you are juniors and your lives are extremely busy, but you must make class attendance a priority. Since this will be a discussion-based class, you miss out and can’t make up or recreate a missed class. I do take attendance, and I expect you to inform me if you are going to miss even a single class. Very Important: If you are absent from a class, you need to get the assignments from someone in the class or from me. The homework for the next class is due even if you are absent, barring an assignment that is based on the class lesson. Also, if you miss a quiz or test you need to remember to make it up. I will not hunt you down and remind you of missed work. College professors won’t do so either.
Assignments and Workload
Depending on the difficulty of the reading, you can expect 40 pages a night. I do give unscheduled reading quizzes, and I implore you to never resort to Sparknotes or any such summarizing aid. We’ll be reading some of the best literature written in the English language, and it would be a shame for you to not actually read it.
You can expect 3 major assessments a term that will be about 900 words long. By far these are the most important assignments in terms of your grade since they are weighted heavily. Spend time on your writing and try your hardest to not wait until the last minute. Revision is a key to strong writing. You are given a late day each term. Save it for when it’s most needed, and if a paper is due on Friday and you are taking a late day, I expect you to email it to me on Saturday.
I stressed above that you attend each class, but if you sit through class in a daze you’re not really here. Class participation will be given a grade each term. If you are not inclined to speak in class, you can earn participation credit by talking to me outside of class and by paying close attention during class and talking during small group discussions.
To help guide our exploration of these works and provide some framework for discussion and connection, we will be coming back to the following essential questions:
- To what extent are we bound by our identities? How do boundaries affect human potential?
- How do social conventions about race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, health, religion, ability, age, and family structure shape practices and perceptions and define “normalcy”?
- How do authors use stylistic techniques and literary conventions to create complex layers of meaning in their work? What is the relationship among form, function, and larger commentary?
Get your sleep!
Take advantage of this incredible year ahead of you but leave time to be quiet and think
Spend time with friends (after you’ve done your reading for me).
I’m here to help you, not make your life miserable with work. You will work though.
Take a deep breath – everything will be fine!
The syllabus page shows a table-oriented view of the course schedule, and the basics of course grading. You can add any other comments, notes, or thoughts you have about the course structure, course policies or anything else.
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