Summer Session II, 2000

Andy Jones

  CRN# 79623  
  M/W 12:10-3 Office: 353 Voorhies, 2-3408  
  258 Wellman (new room as of 8/14!) Office Hours: MW 3:30-4:30  


Course Description

Looking at three genres of literature (the short story, the novel, the poem), English 186 will investigate the ways that women and men in England and America represent gender and the issues traditionally associated with gender: women's lives, sex roles, marriage, domesticity, power relationships, hierarchies, inequalities, resistance, and social statement and protest. We will also investigate more explicitly literary issues, such as the canon and authorship, as well as representations of domesticity, creativity and imagination, and social and psychological conflict, and the ways that racial and class affiliation affect women. Although informed by feminist thought and approaches, our class will not espouse an overt political agenda or political purpose; rather, we will see assigned texts as an opportunity to become more perceptive and purposeful readers. This section of English 186 will be computer-augmented, meaning that we will occasionally pursue class objectives by reading and creating e-mail and web resources.


Literature and Gender: Thinking Critically Through Fiction, Poetry, and Drama, Editors Wiegman, Robyn, and Glasberg, Elena

The Awakening, by Kate Chopin

Mrs. Dalloway, by Virginia Woolf

Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston

Sula, by Toni Morrison.

The Waste Land and "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," by T.S. Eliot

Except for the Eliot poems, which are available on-line and probably on your bookshelf, you should use the editions found in the bookstore.


Class Goals

      1. To grow as perceptive readers of literature, through close reading of texts, presenting analyses of those texts to the group, discussing those texts in class and via e-mail, and writing substantive and interesting essays.
      2. To think critically about literature, and about the relationship of literature to issues of gender.
      3. More specifically, to consider issues of difference and similarity, inequality and equality, expectation and surprise, subordination and independence, oppression and freedom.
      4. To work toward developing a classroom community, where each class member takes responsibility for the success of the learning enterprise.
      5. To become better writers and more curious and grounded thinkers.
      6. To learn how the topic of gender and literature can support and be supported by the instructor's other academic interests, instructional technology and preparation for graduate studies.


Assignments/ Evaluation

Class participation and enthusiasm; short essays 30%

Final paper (6-8 pages, due on last day of class) 30%

Group project (web site, annotated bibliography) 20%

Final exam, to be taken on the last day of class 20%

Class Design and Responsibilities

The small size of our class this summer will affect the class in two important ways: we will have more time for class discussion, close readings, and individual instruction; and we will be reading fewer novels than we would have if we had met as a lecture-only class. Because I will be sharing with you the responsibility and satisfaction of preparing for class, you will participate more fully in our class than you probably have in most other classes. This daily participation will take three basic forms:

      1. You should come prepared to every class. We meet only twelve times this quarter, and will be able to hold substantive conversations for only ten of those meetings, so you should plan not to miss a class. Complete the day's reading by the night before we meet. Have a clear understanding of each work's plot, characters, themes, and effects on you as a reader. To facilitate this necessary preparation, I will often distribute study questions in class, via e-mail, and/or on the class web page. In class, plan to share your ideas with your classmates and with me. Plan to practice the sort of leadership, responsibility and preparedness that will be expected of you by future employers and graduate school professors.

      2. Every other class (i.e., four Mondays or Wednesdays, depending on what group you are assigned to), you and a few others in the class will each write a two-page position paper in which you reflect upon and analyze the themes and gender relations that inform the novel that we will have read for that day's class; these observations and analyses should support a clear, insightful, and not immediately-obvious assertion (your "position"). You may also engage in typical close-reading, in which the language, conflicts, tensions and ambiguities of a text reveal relevant insights and connections to other texts and ideas. You should provide copies of your paper for everyone; in class we will read these position papers out loud, one member of the other group will respond formally, and then as a class we will discuss the paper's observations and assertions. As an incentive for finishing position papers early, students who bring their completed papers to office hours can have them Xeroxed by me for free.

      3. On the days when you are not presenting a position paper, you and the members of your group will select, prepare and present (in effect "teach") a poem (or pair of poems) or short story from our anthology, Literature and Gender. This will require not only that you come to a consensus regarding your choice of texts to present to the class, but also that you inform your classmates and me which text you have chosen so that we can prepare for your presentation. Much of this collaboration can be done electronically (and I will introduce you to some new tools to make these conversations more possible), but you may also want to plan to talk to each other on the phone and/or in person. See the attached handout on preparing for in-class presentations.

      The Schedule of Presentations

      Class Syllabus


Read carefully the handout on plagiarism distributed in class. If you use another person's work, ideas, images, tables, charts, etc. without acknowledging that use, you commit plagiarism--an infraction with serious academic and legal consequences. Also read carefully the "Reference and Citation" sub-chapter of our Wiegman text (383-393), and make sure that you cite and quote class texts appropriately and accurately. For further information on plagiarism and its consequences, consult the Student Judicial Affairs' web site at

Computer Augmented Instruction

Our class will benefit from both a class-specific web site and an automated class mailing list (or ACML). As of the night before our first meeting, both are under construction. The web site for the class will be linked to and from the English Department's Computer-Aided Instruction site (at The address for the ACML will be I'll let you know when they are both active.


Return to the Computer Assisted Instruction Site