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ENG 421 AA: Literary Criticism, Fall 2018

Instructor: Dr. Mary Wheeling


Office Location: Arts & Sciences Suite, #6, Fulmer Center Annex
Office Hours: MW 12:30-3:00. TR 2:00-3:00, F 9:00-12:00, and by appointment
Phone: 302-225-6361
E-mail: wheeling@gbc.edu
Contact Hours: 42
Credits: 3

Textbooks:
Bressler, Charles E. Literary Criticism: An Introduction to Theory and Practice. Fifth Edition,
Second Printing. NY: Longman, 2011. ISBN 978-0205212149

Have on hand:

British/world/American/poetry literary anthology

Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein, 1818. Ed. J. Paul Hunter. Norton Critical Editions, 2nd ed. NY:
WW Norton, 2012. ISBN 978-0393927931

Course Description:
The way we read a text determines the kind of information we gain from it. This course will
examine different methodologies (psychoanalysis, feminism, deconstruction, etc.) for reading
texts, and students will explore a variety of texts in light of these methodologies in order to
understand what is offered by each.

Prerequisite:
ENG 175, ENG 176, ENG 255 (or prior permission of instructor)

Course Materials:
Texts listed above, online resources, handouts, and audio-visual materials.

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Learning Objectives/Goals:
Upon completion of Literary Criticism, students should be able to
1. Identify key authors and their critical approaches, particularly those most used today.
2. Explain the assumptions underlying the most widely used and influential theories.
3. Apply a variety of theoretical models to works of literature.
4. Produce a work of literary criticism using discipline-specific tools and standards.

Topics Covered:
1. Liberal Humanism (Classical to present)
2. Formalism and the New Criticism
3. Structuralism and Semiotics
4. Post-structuralism and Deconstruction
5. Postmodernism
6. Psychoanalytic Criticism
7. Reader-Response Theory
8. Feminist Criticism
9. Lesbian/Gay Criticism and Queer Theory
10. Marxist Criticism
11. New Historicism and Cultural Materialism
12. Postcolonial Theory
13. African-American Criticism
14. Ecocriticism

Course Format:
ENG 421, Literary Criticism, will offer lecture, discussion, and activities at every class meeting.
Course requirements (explained below) will include a Reading and Reflection Notebook, a
Theory Talk, an expository exam, and an extended work of literary criticism.

Course Policies
Attendance
Attendance is required. Missing 8 class meetings—no matter the reason—will result in an
automatic failure (F) of the course. Of course, missing fewer is no guarantee of a passing.

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ALL absences count toward this total—even athletic and medical—and will simply be marked
“Unexcused” on the Campus Web attendance roster for efficiency’s sake. I do understand that
all students have unavoidable absences from time to time.
Tardiness and leaving class early (“partial absences”) will accrue toward total absences.
If you know in advance that you must miss classes for reasons such as GBC athletics, a
scheduled medical procedure, etc., please notify me in writing. It is your responsibility to
submit your work or take your test BEFORE such absence occurs. The absence will still count
toward the absence maximum.
GBC athletes who have games taking them out of class during the semester must present the
professor with a game schedule, showing what days and times the student will need to miss..

Late and Missed Assignments


Late essays, notebook submissions, and other work will be penalized the longer they are
overdue. Some in-class assignments cannot be made up.

Make-Up Tests
Make-up exams are only permitted for valid emergencies, at the professor’s discretion. If you
have an athletic event scheduled for the same time as an exam, it is your responsibility to alert
your professor before your absence, in enough time to schedule a make-up exam in the ARC.

Course Requirements
Following are descriptions of the major requirements meant to foster achievement of the
course’s Learning Objectives:
Reading and Reflection Notebook (30% of final grade):
Students will respond to questions generated by the professor, the text, the class, or the
journal authors themselves regarding critical theories and applications thereof.
Theory Talk (20% of final grade):
Each student will present one critical theory to the class and will lead them in its
investigating and application.
Essay Exam (25% of final grade):
Students will complete an exam in which they demonstrate their understanding of the
major critical theories, particularly the assumptions upon which they are built and their
key arguments or tenets.
Work of Literary Criticism (25% of final grade):
Students will write a researched essay on an approved topic. This essay will include
several preliminary components (topic proposal, teacher-student conference, annotated
bibliography, etc.), the timely completion of which is necessary in order for a student to

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continue with the assignment. Students will use the MLA (Modern Language
Association) documentation style for academic writing in literature courses.

Grading Policy
See the Course Requirements section above for the grade percentage breakdown. I follow
GBC’s undergraduate grading scale for issuing final letter grades. Select "Grading System" at
http://catalog.gbc.edu/content.php?catoid=1&navoid=27 to see the scale.

Getting Extra Help


You are encouraged to email or see me in person with any questions about the course. I’m
available on a drop-in basis during my office hours (see page 1 of syllabus), or at other times
by appointment. Please email ahead to schedule.
If you have a physical, learning, or other disability that might hinder your access to or
performance in the class, please let me know so we can discuss appropriate accommodations.
See the section below entitled “Accessibility at GBC” for more information.
At the Academic Resource Center (ARC), you can schedule tutoring, reviews, or proctored
tests. For details, visit the ARC website (https://www.gbc.edu/academics/academic-
resources/tutoring-support.html). Phone the ARC at 302-225-6229.

Classroom Behavior Expectations


Literary Criticism (ENG 421) is an amazing experience when students
1. Keep electronic devices on silent and out of sight during class instruction (including
earbuds).
2. Arrive a few minutes in advance of class and stay until class is dismissed.
3. Limit talking to others to assigned discussions or activities.

Academic Integrity
All courses taught at Goldey-Beacom College are governed by the GBC Academic Honor
Code. A full description of the Honor Code and related procedures is available on the web at
Goldey-Beacom College Academic Honor Code (http://go.gbc.edu/honor-code).
Remember that ignorance of the proper use of sources is no excuse for a violation. Any
alleged academic dishonesty in this class will be addressed according to official procedures. It
is the professor’s prerogative to determine the appropriate penalty for academic offenses.
Penalties for violations of the Honor Code in my class can range from a zero on the work in
question to an F for the entire course.
I require all work submitted to be produced originally for this course. Recycling old
assignments or simultaneously submitting the same work to ENG 421 and another class
defeats the purpose of our unique learning process and gives you unfair academic advantage.

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College Policies & Resources

Academic Honor Code


Please familiarize yourself with the Goldey-Beacom College Academic Honor Code
(http://go.gbc.edu/honor-code). All courses are governed by this policy.

Accessibility at GBC
The Financial Aid/Advisement Office serves as the first point of contact for students to discuss
consideration for reasonable accommodations and as the location to provide documentation
for requested accommodations, as required. Please visit the Financial Aid/Advisement Office
on campus for more information.

Mental Health and Well Being


If you find yourself struggling with your mental or physical health to the extent that it has
affected your academic performance in this class, please feel free to approach me. I try to be
flexible and accommodating.
Goldey-Beacom offers help in the form of the Health Advocate Student Assistance Program
(SAP), a confidential service that can help you manage a crisis or find the support you need to
deal with personal or psychological challenges. Keep the following services’ contact
information handy in the event that you or a peer is in need of assistance. Asking for help is a
smart, safe, and courageous thing to do.
Health Advocate Student Assistance Program (SAP) mental health support: 1-855-384-1800
Crisis Numbers:
Mobile Crisis Intervention Services, statewide: 1-800-652-2929
Crisis Line for LGBTQ Youth: 1-866-488-7386
Crisis TEXT Line: Text DE to 741741
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Domestic Violence Hotline (New Castle County, DE): 1-302-762-6110
Rape Crisis Line through ContactLifeline DE: 1-302-761-9100

Hirons Library & Learning Center


The Hirons Library and Learning Center (HLCC), located in the Jones Center, contains a
variety resources to support your research throughout your time at Goldey-Beacom College.
• Search for information to help you complete your next class assignment using our
robust discover tool (https://www.gbc.edu/academics/academic-resources/library-
technology-services/), which includes over half a million full-text journal articles, eBooks,
print books, and government documents. We also have individual databases
(http://gbc.libguides.com/az.php) like Mergent Online and RIA Checkpoint that support
specific majors such as accounting.

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• Within the HLLC, the Academic Resource Center (ARC) is available to assist you with
your tutoring needs. Visit the ARC website (https://www.gbc.edu/academics/academic-
resources/tutoring-support.html) to learn more about the services the ARC provides.
• Computers, printers, and a scanner are available for you to use to complete
assignments as well. Visit the Library and Technology Services website
(https://www.gbc.edu/academics/academic-resources/library-technology-services/) for
details regarding computing options and hours of operation within the HLLC.

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