ENGLISH 253: Introduction to Fiction, Section 38704 (Fall '97)

Chip Rogers, Graduate Teaching Associate
Phone: 524-4685
Email address: chip@fleetman.com
URL: http://funnelweb.utcc.utk.edu/~chipster

Course Description
English 253 explores the broad-scale development of fiction as a literary genre. "The course involves the study of novels and/or short stories from the eighteenth through the twentieth centuries. Students will examine the techniques and themes of such authors as Defoe, Fielding, Flaubert, Dostoevsky, Joyce, Faulkner, and Camus." —Undergraduate Study in English, UTK

Moll Flanders, by Daniel Defoe. Dover edition.

Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen. Dover edition.

Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley. Dover edition.

Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens. Signet Classic edition.

Tales of Terror and Detection, by Edgar Allen Poe. Dover edition.

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain. Dover edition.

The Kreutzer Sonata and Other Stories, by Leo Tolstoy. Dover edition.

Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Signet Classic edition.

The Awakening, by Kate Chopin. Dover edition.

Various 20th-century short stories on reserve.

10 journal entries (150 word minimum) 25% of semester grade
1 midterm exam 25%
Paper (5-7 pages) 25%
Final exam 25%
Daily attendance Crucial

In class:
At times it will be necessary for me to do lots of talking: there will be brief lectures providing background for the different eras, writers and works. Most of our class-time will involve open discussion of the readings, so it is essential that you come to class prepared.

The Readings: Our reading list is ambitiousin other words, the daily workload is demanding. To ease the burden I have tried to select novels and short stories that are engaging and entertaining even as they are "academically important." Tastes do vary, though. If you're not committed to reading 200+ pages of small type each week, you should reconsider taking this course.

Journals: informal writings roughly a page in length (150 word minimum), responding to the readings before we discuss them in classthat is, journals are accepted only at the beginning the period for which they are assigned. I will post specific journal questions the period before we discuss each reading assignment: each journal assignment is valid for one class period only.

Exams: both the midterm and the final will consist of two parts: 1) paragraph-length identification and commentary on the significance of specific passages, characters, terms, etc.; 2) essays making connections in theme or technique between different works and writers. You will have some choice in each of these areas: you might, for instance, select 5 of 7 short answer questions and 2 of 4 essay questions.

Papers: in 5-7 pages (1200 word minimum), you will explore in some depth a topic you choose from a list of specific possibilities (to be posted by mid-February). Papers must be typed and have sources cited and documented according to MLA guidelines (Refer to the MLA Handbook or chapter 34 in the Harbrace College Handbook). You may be required to do some limited library research for the paperi.e. you could be asked to cite two or three secondary sources in addition to quoting the primary work(s) you examine. You will have opportunities to meet with me outside of class to discuss your papers before and while you are writing them.

Attendance: I will not take attendance after the first few classes. However, I guarantee that missing class will have an adverse effect on your grade: some of what we read is difficult, and borrowing a classmate's notes is no substitute for attending discussion yourself and raising questions in person.

Late work: missed exams may not be made upif you cannot be in class during an exam, we can make other arrangements before the exam date. Journals and papers will not be accepted late: deadlines are real.

A promise: I'm committed to helping with questions and assignments outside of class in person, via email, or by phone. If you have questions or problems, don't be bashful about speaking up. But do not count on me getting messages in my office. Call me at home any time before midnight, or send me email.

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