Spring 2005 Office Hours: M-Th,
M-F …and by appointment
Room L 218 Phone: 564-2109 (office, voice mail) 564-2341 (A & H Office)
Mailbox: Arts & Humanities, R 230
Textbook: Twentieth-Century American Poetry, Gioia, Mason, and Schoerke (2004)
It is difficult to single out one style of poetry that makes it inherently “American.” Poet Donald Hall says that American poetry has always been “outrageous,” always experimental and individualistic. Mark Strand states that many American poets devote their life’s work to defining the American experience, investigating “a self- definition …by circumstances that tend to set it apart [from others’ experiences].”
The evolution of American poetry can be traced through the changes in style and subject matter adopted by American writers through the years. In English 221 we will investigate these major styles or “schools” of American poetry from 1900 to present. Our focus will be on the ways in which each writer’s work reflects the artistic, social and political ideas of the era. We will also consider the stylistic aspects of each writer’s work to discover the shared characteristics within each major poetry movement.
We will be using a “critical thinking” approach to reading, discussion, and writing. You will be analyzing the literature you read, identifying the themes, forms, and techniques of American poetry. The course assignments are also designed to help you improve the communication skills you need in other college classes.
Students completing English 221 should be able to:
· Use the “critical thinking” approach in reading and annotating texts.
· Synthesize information about an author(s) from reading, group, and class discussions and integrate it into a clearly written analysis.
· Recognize the major “schools” of American poetry in the 20th century.
· Identify the historical and social contexts of 20th-Century American poetry.
· Compare and contrast the themes and stylistics of major American poetry movements.
· Know and apply the standard aspects of poetry criticism to the analysis of poems (for example, theme, connotation, denotation, imagery, symbolism, sounds, and structure).
· Integrate biographical information about an author with the analysis of critical aspects of the author’s writing.
· Look beyond historical contexts to consider contemporary perspectives on themes and structure.
· Write an informed critical analysis of an author’s body of work.
· Write an informed comparison/contrast of two authors’ work within a single poetry movement.
· Write an informed comparison/contrast of two or more American poetry movements.
· Use literary criticism sources properly and document them correctly.
· Work as a self-motivated learner, seeking questions, responses, and possible paper topics in reading and discussion of course materials.
· Formulate informed questions that facilitate a deeper understanding of the literary texts.
· Compose clear, understandable analytical papers using college-level writing skills.
· Use the composing process, including revision and editing, to generate thoughtful, significant, and polished final drafts of papers.
· Work cooperatively and effectively with other students in a small group setting.
Your reading for the course will be assigned from your textbook, Twentieth-Century American Poetry. Since your reading is the foundation of everything we do in class, it is important that
you read the material closely (and critically), that you understand the information covered, and that you complete your reading and writing assignments before class.
Ø First, you should read and understand the description of each major poetry movement; we will be studying one “school” of poetry (one section of the textbook) each week. Highlight or make notes on the most important points in each. These introductions are historical and critical overviews of each movement that provide much of the information for your discussions, seminar papers, and exams.
Ø Next, read the biographical/critical introduction to each writer that precedes the poems. Highlight those aspects of the writer’s work that link it to that particular “school” of poetry.
Ø Finally, read each assigned poem at least twice and make annotations about your response.
Our class discussions will be active. You will be working with other students (in pairs and small groups) to discuss study questions on poems and other in-class exercises. I will ask each of you to come to class prepared to discuss your answers to questions or problems I assign. Please be prepared to be an involved member of the class and to contribute to our discussions. Remember that our discussions and class exercises also generate much of the information I expect you to know (and use) in exams and seminar papers.
As a 200 level course, English 221 requires strong, college-level writing skills. If you have not completed English 101(or equivalent), you may find it difficult to do well in the required work for this class. Please see me if you have questions or problems with writing.
You will be writing three (3) Seminar Papers in this course: [= 35% of course grade]
Analysis of One Poet’s Work from a
Single Poetry Movement [Realism & Naturalism, Imagism to High Modernism, or The
Finished length: 3-4 typed pages.
2. A Comparison/Contrast of Two Writers from a Single Poetry Movement
[Romantics & Neoclassicists,
Mid-Century Poets, or Open Form: Objectivists,
Finished length: 3-4 typed pages.
of Two (or Three) Representative Writers from Two (or Three) Different Poetry
Movements [one writer must be from poetry movements 7-10 in your textbook: Postwar Formalism (Formalism, Feminism,
Confessional), Internationalism (Surrealism,
Use of excerpts from the textbook and literary criticism must be documented properly using MLA format (forms will be provided).
Finished length: 4-5 typed pages.
I will provide samples of the types of papers you will be writing this quarter. You may receive feedback on drafts of your papers by seeing me during my office hours, or by emailing your draft to me for comments any time during the week preceding its due date.
* Please Note: These “seminar” papers are to be written from materials gathered during the quarter from assigned readings and should be generated by our class discussions. I’m not as interested in hearing what literary critics have to say about these poems, as I am in hearing your responses. I use plagiarism detection web sites to check any paper I suspect has been plagiarized (including use of someone else’s writing or critical materials without proper source documentation). If plagiarism is confirmed, the paper will be given an “F” and the incident will be reported to the BCC Discipline Officer.
Short Written Responses
You will be asked to write short responses to questions or problems each week. Each answer should be ½ to one page long and typed. You will discuss each of these in small group and class discussions before submitting them for a grade. I will grade them Pass/Fail.
[=15% of the course grade].
Your Seminar Papers are due on the dates listed in the Course Schedule (unless otherwise stated). Papers may be submitted in paper copy up to on the day it is due, or as Word attachments to email up to of the day it is due. Please remember that it is your responsibility to ensure that I receive your paper through email (get a notification of arrival from me either verbally or electronically through return email). Assignments turned in after class time should be brought to my office in the Arts & Humanities Division (Room R 230, Office S).
You may turn in two of your three Seminar Papers one day late during the quarter by notifying me on or before the due dates. You may choose to take the extra day option for both Papers 1 and 2, for example, or for Paper 1 (or 2) and Paper 3. You will have until the day after its original due date to submit it in paper copy and up to to submit it as a Word attachment to email (please get a notification of arrival from me).
Any assignment turned in two or more days late, without prior permission from me, will be dropped one grade level for each day it arrives after the stated due date.
Please note: I grade only those assignments from students who attend class regularly.
Also, if you wish to turn an assignment in late because of illness, please okay it
with me first.
You will have three exams in the course. Each will cover three or more Poetry Movement chapters in your textbook (the 3rd exam will cover the final four Movements). They will test you on material covered in the assigned readings, response questions, and class discussions. The exams will be a combination of Identification and Short Essay Questions. [Exams = 35% of the course grade]
Participation and regular attendance are essential to passing this course. Each student must be an active participant in the discussion of assigned readings and other class activities. All assignments must be completed to pass the course. You can not get credit for the course by merely attending.
Your grade in English 221 will be calculated in the following way:
Paper 1: Analysis of One Poet’s Work from One Poetry Movement 10%
Paper 2: Comparison/Contrast of Two Poets from One Poetry Movement 10%
Paper 3: Comparison/Contrast of Two Poets from Two Poetry Movements 15%
Short Written Responses (P/F) 15%
Exam 1 10%
Exam 2 10%
Exam 3 15%
Discussion, Class Participation, Attendance 15% _______
Grades on exams and seminar papers are calculated using a 100 point scale:
Attendance is required in this course. All of the information that will be covered in exams and that you will need in order to write the seminar papers comes directly from group and class discussion of assigned readings and response questions. A student who misses 20% of the class meetings (10 or more absences) will fail the course.
Please note: you fail this course if you…….
1. Do not submit all assignments, or
2. Miss 10 or more classes
Þ Þ In both situations, you may avoid receiving an “F” for the course by withdrawing on or before, Fri., May 20th (in person, by 5:00 p.m.), or by Sun., May 22nd (via the Web, by noon).
Unexcused absences affect your participation grade in the following way:
0-2 absences = A
3-4 absences = B
5-6 absences = C
7-9 absences = D
10 absences = F
Please read the section on “Attendance” in the Arts & Humanities Division Student Procedures and Expectations for the stated requirements that I use in my course design. It is posted on the Arts & Humanities Division web site (see below).
If you are absent for medical reasons or emergencies, please let me know via voice mail or email whenever you can. If you know you will have to miss class(es) in the future, let me know so that I can make a note of it for the date(s) in question.
Please Note: Most course materials for English 221 will be available on the Arts & Humanities
division web site or my personal site on “ My BCC.”
2. Click on #2 Course Materials
3. Spring 2005
4. English Department
5. Scroll down until you find English 221 and click on Sydney Dietrich
Saving Your Work
Be sure to duplicate your English 221 work from your hard drive to a CD, pen drive, or other disk copies as backup. It is especially important that you keep drafts of your seminar papers until they are graded and returned to you. Keep backup copies of your short written responses, as well.
If you would rather not annotate the assigned readings on the pages of your textbook, plan to generate a set of annotated notes to record your responses and questions about each assigned reading. Remember that these will be your review notes for the exams and your papers.
It is a good idea to save all assignments until the end of the quarter as proof of work completed. This will protect you from having to rewrite a paper that is destroyed or lost.
In addition to what I have already said about plagiarism in English 221 (see “Requirements: Writing” above), the BCC Student Code is very clear about the seriousness of cheating and the actions that faculty members are required to take in cases of plagiarizing:
The BCC Student Code prohibits cheating, stealing, plagiarizing,
knowingly furnishing false information to the college, or submitting
to a faculty member any work product that the student fraudulently
represents as his or her own work for the purpose of fulfilling or
partially fulfilling any assignment or task required as part of a program
of instruction. All forms of cheating, stealing, and plagiarizing will be
reported to the BCC Discipline Officer.
Please read the entire section on “Academic Honesty” in the Arts & Humanities Division Student Procedures and Expectations for further explanation. It is posted on the A & H web site.
Inappropriate Classroom Behavior
All students are expected to behave in a mature and appropriate manner for a college class. Students who ignore the rights of others in class by talking, doing work for other classes, or disrupting the class in any way, will be asked to leave. Lack of respect for cultural, physical, or philosophical differences of students in class will not be tolerated.
The BCC Student Code prohibits any inappropriate or disruptive conduct in the classroom. Disruptive conduct is defined as “disorderly, abusive or bothersome behavior that interferes with the rights of others or which obstructs or disrupts teaching, research, or administrative functions.” Violations of this code are reported to BCC’s Discipline Officer.
Please read the entire section on “Classroom Environment” in the Arts & Humanities Student Procedures and Expectations for additional explanation. It is posted on the A & H web site.