ENGL 253 C
9:25-10:30 AM
BC 216
Mar. 17-May 5
Spring 2014
Dr. Neil Levi &
Dr. Edmond Chang
Drew University

Download the course policies and syllabus (PDF).

"Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind."
--Virginia Woolf,
A Room of One's Own

Taught in four two-credit modules, this course maps Anglo-American literary history from the medieval period to the twentieth century. This essential experience grounds English majors and minors in key texts as well as in major periods, transitions, shifts, and trends along with influences between and among them. Conducted primarily in lecture and discussion form to facilitate students' reading of difficult texts, the course involves extensive reading of primary works from each period and select twentieth-century texts set in dialogue with them. Assessment is primarily through written exams. Offered annually, 250/251 in the fall, 252/253 in the spring. Prerequisite: ENGL 150; Corequisite: ENGL 210 (Simultaneous enrollment with one of the four modules).

Specifically, our course goals include:

• Students can place major authors and texts in the Anglo-American literary tradition in a chronological sequence.
• Students can relate texts to a larger context (literary, social, political).
• Students apply different reading techniques to different kinds of texts.
• Students can historicize nine central concepts (i.e., students will be able to articulate how these categories are understood differently in different cultural contexts).

The Nine Concepts

Form. What are the major forms/genres in this period?
Theme. What are the thematic preoccupations in this period?
Art. What is art, both literary art and art more broadly defined? How do people define the function of art in this period, both literary art and art more broadly understood?
Self/Voice. How is the "self" understood in this period? How do literary texts shape the way self or subjectivity is imagined?
Language. How does the English language and its use change during this period?
Listener/Reader. What are the relations of author/audience in this period?
Culture. How does the literature respond to changes, conflict, or traumatic breaks/shifts in the culture?
Identity/Community. How are the boundaries of the culture (national, postcolonial, regional, ethnic) renegotiated in this period?
Intertextuality/Mobility of meaning. How do texts engage with/revise/appropriate texts from prior periods? How, in the process of appropriation/revision, do authors and texts participate in reshaping their cultures and societies?
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"First sentences are doors to worlds."
--Ursula K. Le Guin

Required Course Texts & Materials

• Damrosch, David, ed. The Longman Anthology of British Literature, 2nd Edition, Vol. 2C.
• Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby.
• Larsen, Nella. Passing.
• Steinbeck, John. Of Mice and Men.
• Ginsberg, Allen. Howl and Other Poems.
• Morrison, Toni. The Bluest Eye.
• Bechdel, Allison. Fun Home.
• ENGL 253 Course Reader (available in Sitterly 108)
• Web access and an active Drew email account.

Course Requirements

Daily Writing and Mid-Module Quiz (40%)
Module Exam (60%)

Daily Writing and Mid-Module Quiz (40%)

For the first 5 minutes of class, you will write briefly in response to a question drawn from the reading questions for that class. If you are late for class, you miss the questions. There are no make-ups for reading questions. Daily writing will be graded on a P/F basis. To earn a "P," you must address the question thoughtfully and show that you have done the reading and can use evidence from the reading specifically and effectively in your response.

There will also be one 15-minute quiz at the end of the third week (Friday, April 11). Like the final exam (for which it is practice), this quiz will be based on the nine concepts and ask you to apply a concept to the texts we have been reading.

Module Exam (60%)

The exam for this module will be a one-hour exam given on Friday, May 9, from 8:30-11:30 AM. There will be a review session for the exam on Monday, May 5 during the regular class time. This exam will focus on your ability to think about the literature we've studied using the nine key concepts around which we focus the course. The exam will also ask you to see connections and themes that run through the century and/or to make comparisons between British and American literatures. More information and guidelines for review will be distributed closer to the exam.
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Download the course policies and syllabus (PDF).

Learning (With) Technology

Unless you have an official accommodation, the use of technology in our classroom is a privilege, not a right. Mobile devices like phones, media players, and cameras should be off and put away. Computers and tablets should be used for note-taking, in-class work, and readings only. Print is generally preferred for course texts and readings, but full-size e-versions are acceptable provided the student is able to readily highlight, annotate, and index. Finally, be conscientious and respectful in the use of the course website and social media and post no material from class to the internet or non-class sites without explicit permission from the instructor and the class. Keep in mind these three rules: 1) Use the Right Tool for the situation and the task--keep it simple and elegant, 2) Practice Best Practices--it must improve or enhance your learning, 3) Be a Good Neighbor--it cannot distract or detract from others' learning. Inappropriate use and abuse of technology in class will result in the taking away of technology privileges for the offending student and/or class as a whole.

Academic Integrity

All students are expected to abide by the Drew University Standards of Academic Integrity. Plagiarism, whether deliberate or unintentional, and cheating on examinations are not acceptable. Any such incidents will be referred to the Dean of the College and the Committee on Academic Integrity. The policy can be found at: https://uknow.drew.edu/confluence/display/cladean/Standards+of+Academic+Integrity.


Should you require academic accommodations, you must file a request with the Office of Disability Services (BC 119B, anambiar@drew.edu). Please use the link: http://www.drew.edu/academicservices/disabilityservices/register. It is your responsibility to self-identify with the Office of Disability Services and to provide faculty with the appropriate documentation from that office at least one week prior to any request for specific course accommodations. There are no retroactive accommodations. The deadline to request Letters of Accommodations (LOAs) for all students currently registered with the Office of Disability Services is 02/10/2014.
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Contact Neil

Sitterly 308
Office Hours:
MW 12-1:15 PM
and by appointment
nlevi @ drew.edu

Contact Ed

Sitterly 303
Office Hours:
W 12-2 PM
Th 2-4 PM
and by appointment
echang @ drew.edu
AIM or Google Talk:

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