Introduction to Literature                                                                                     Fall 1999
Dr. Catherine Stevenson                                                                                                 Office: Computer Center 311
My office hours are by appointment; feel free to call me at Ext.5103 or 4504.
I am always available by Email: "stevenson" and I welcome your communication.

Texts:   Sven Birkerts. Literature: The Evolving Canon. 2nd ed. Allyn and Bacon.
            Mary Shelley. Frankenstein, ed. Johanna Smith. Bedford. St. Martin Press.

Goals:
1. To increase the sophistication with which students read and analyze texts.
    a.  Students should be able to isolate main points and themes in literary texts
    b.  Locate supporting evidence
    c.  Recognize and respond to obvious literary devices(figures of speech)
    d.  Recognize assumptions, purposes, and perspectives implied in literary texts.
2.  To develop an understanding of how writers working in any medium use language and rhetoric to make meaning and to affect readers' response.
3. To develop an understanding of how the lives of authors and the cultural contexts in which they live and work influence the creation of meaning.
4. To develop a critical awareness of the engaged reader's personal role in influencing the interpretive process.
5.  To increase students' facility with vocabulary and the use of dictionaries.

Requirements:
1. Regular attendance and participation in class are essential to success in this class. If you miss more than four classes without a doctorís note, you will be administratively withdrawn from the class.

2. Writing: We will write regularly as a way to clarify our feelings and ideas; this writing will take place in class, on the class's "webboard"(see below), and in paper/homework assignments. You will hand in 3 Formal Papers 3-5 pages, typed double space, free of spelling and grammatical errors
Plagiarism is the unacknowledged use of another personís words or ideas. It is a legal offense and a violation of the Universityís judicial code. Plagiarized works earn an automatic "F" and possible dismissal from the class.

Late work. Papers should be handed in on the day indicated on the syllabus unless you have made a special arrangement with Prof. Stevenson in advance. For fairness sake, the grade of late work will be reduced as follows:
3 days late: -20%                                5 days late:-40%                                          8 days late:-60%

3. Vocabulary  Challenge:  because words will be our most important tools in this class, we will all share in the fun of enriching our word stock.  At the beginning of every class, I invite you to bring in a word or words from the reading that you didn't know and you think will stump the class.  If you "stump" the group, will get 3 points added to your next test grade. We will discuss these words in class and then they will be on the quizzes.
 
4.   In class activities: Every Student will be required to participate in at least one in-class activity:
1. Leading a discussion about a story or poem
2. Performing in the poetry slam or in the presentation of dramatic scenes
3. Being part of the panel on interpreting Hamlet or Frankenstein .

5. WEBBOARD:  during the course of the semester students must engage in at least 3 on-line discussions about the
readings on the Webboard (it can be reached through a link from my WEB page (click text) or by entering  http://webboard.hartford.edu:8080/~stevenson. Webboard is an interactive part of the University's website: we will use it to continue outside of the classroom our discussion about the texts we are reading.  Many of you have probably already engaged in a "chat" on the internet.  Webboard functions in a similar way.  Once you log on and enter our class's discussion space, you can post a response to a question or comment on another student's response. I will post a weekly question  (or questions)related to our readings and class discussions.  That question will be "live" for a week; its response time will expire when a new question is posed.

Grading: 3 Quizzes= 40% of grade;  3 Papers=40% of grade;  In-Class Activities=10%
WEBBOARD Discussion and Class Participation=10% of grade