31 August 2011

English Skills 2011 Fall

English Skills Autumn 2011
ENG100 Professor Mead
Class Schedule (Subject to Change)
31 W Introduction
2 F Parts of Speech
7 W Function of Words in sentence, or “noun,” or “subject”
9 F Phrases and Clauses
12 M Four types of Sentences
14 W Grammatical Mood
16 F Commas
19 M Commas
21 W Semicolons
23 F Colons
26 M Dashes
28 W Parentheses, Brackets, Ellipses
30 F Contractions
3 M Verb-centered prose
5 W Abstract (verbs) and Concrete (verbs)
7 F All the Tenses
10 M Voice
12 W Tone
17 M Audience
19 W The Paragraph (Topic Sentence)
21 F The Paragraph (Develop w/ detail, example, explanation)
24 M The Paragraph (Unity)
26 W The Paragraph: The Concrete Sandwich
28 F How Paragraphs Work Together
31 M Concision
2 W More Concision
4 F Still More Concision
7 M Listening to Your Tempo, Accent, and Beat
9 W Catch-up
14 M Catch-up
16 W Catch-up
18 F Catch-up
21 M Super Mondo Grammar Exam! Part I
23 W Super Mondo Grammar Exam! Part II
28 M In-class handbook workshop
30 W In-class handbook workshop
2 F In-class handbook workshop
5 M
7 W Evaluations. Recitations
14 W Grammar Exam Re-take 8-10.
There are no required texts in this class, as each student’s job will be to create a personal and comprehensive Textbook of English Skills. However, it may assist you to know the books that I will be working from when I come to the classroom:
Oxford A-Z of Grammar & Punctuation, John Seely. Oxford: UP, 2009
1001 Words You Need to Know and Use: An A-Z of Effective Vocabulary, Martin
H. Manser. Oxford: UP, 2010.
The Bluebook of Grammar and Punctuation, Tenth Edition. Jane Straus. San
Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2008.
The Hodge’s Harbrace College Handbook, 17th Edition with 2009 MLA update.
Our syllabus is highly subject to change, as we will gage our progress on the results of quizzes. These quizzes—unannounced and not make-upable—will not count toward your final grade, but will give you solid guidance of where you need to spend more study time working. The “graded” parts of the class consist of your score in the grammar exam (November 21st and 23rd and the make-up/retry on December 14th) and your Main Project, which is your creation of a personal book of grammatical rules, examples, and stylistics. This book (we will talk about it a lot during the semester) will include an index, glossary, table of contents, forward, and bibliography. Although the instructor will appreciate a slick, glossy rendition, the key to a successful Personal Handbook will be its correctness, thoroughness, and thoughtful construction.
Our class is a community, in the way you heard about on Sunday at Orientation. As such, each of us is required to be prepared and on time for all class meetings. Students who miss more than three classes will have their final grades lowered, usually by one decrement per absence beyond three. I encourage everyone to speak with me outside of the classroom with ANY concerns you may have about the class or your semester, or college in general. My office is OM 312B. Hours are MWF, 10-12; TR 8:30-9:30 & 11-1 (Although I sometimes have meetings 11-12). My phone is 438-4336, email is smead@stmartin.edu. My blog at http://stephenxmead.blogspot.com/ has syllabi, handouts, and useful links.
The main thing is that everyone in the class needs to be open, hard-working, participatory, and in reasonably good humor. Grammar isn’t inherently fun, but it CAN be, and I aim to make it so, with your help.
Attendance is required at all classes. Students who miss more than three classes will have their final grades lowered.
Exam: 40%
Book: 40%
Participation: 20%
Students will special needs should see me as soon as possible, and I will make all reasonable accommodations.

What to Do With a Poem (Stolen from Jamie Olson)

What to Do with a Poem

Helen Vendler explains in her book Poems, Poets, Poetry that the reader’s first task when responding to a poem – and especially when writing about a poem – is to recognize that it is more than simply a “message.” Rather, “it is a thing imagined,” she writes, “an artwork like a piece of music or a painting or a dance” (323). You must discover “how the theme of the work is being imagined: how the literal statement of the poet’s feeling has been transformed.” To help you move from the ‘what’ of the poem to the ‘how’ of the poem, Vendler suggests working through the following categories.

Which words in the poem stand out? Why? Perhaps you can make connections between some of the poem’s key words. Are there any words that you don’t know? Look them up in a dictionary. Pay attention to the way that the poet uses even the smallest words, such as conjunctions and pronouns. Look for patterns among them.

Notice the length of each sentence in the poem. Are some shorter than others? Why? How is the logic of the poem embodied by its syntax? Determine whether the ends of clauses and sentences correspond to the ends of lines or stanzas. Why might the poet have created a particular relation of sentence grammar and poetic form?

What is it about the sound of the poem that catches your ear? And what strikes you about its appearance on the page? How is it shaped? Does the poem rhyme? Does it have regular meter? Are its lines short or long? Does the form of the poem shift as it proceeds? Perhaps it reminds you of other poems that you have read. What is the cumulative effect of the poem’s sound?

What changes happen to the poem as it moves from beginning to end? That is, what is the “plot” of the poem? Imagine that the poem begins at A and moves to Z. What happens at the various points that lie in between—for example, at B, G, J, and Q? What emotions does the poem move through?

After you have read through the poem, how do you visualize it in your mind’s eye? Think of the poem as a map, viewed from above. As you look down on it, what do you see? What parts does it fall into? How do those parts relate to one another? Perhaps some parts of the poem seem more significant than others. Why? What images stand out? You might even try sketching the poem on a piece of paper.

Literary Terms (Stolen from Denise L. Despres)

ENG202 Intro to Poetry
(Adapted from The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms, ed. R. Murfin and S.M. Ray (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2003).

Please bring this glossary to every class meeting. Students are responsible for knowing these terms. I also encourage students to use the Literary Vocabulary website in preparation for class discussion and in-class essay exams: http://web.cn.edu/kwheeler/lit_terms.html

Aesthetics: The study of beauty and nature in the arts. Aesthetics concerns the nature and definition of beauty, as well as the relationship between beauty and truth. Aesthetics also involves inquiry into the nature of artistic creation and audience appreciation.

Allegory: The presentation of an abstract idea through an extended metaphor (an image or figure of speech).

Allusion: An indirect reference to a person, event, statement, or theme in the arts. Authors who use this device presuppose that select readers will recognize the allusion and thus have access to a richer interpretation than uninformed readers.

Ambiguity: In literary works, in contrast to direct speech, authors create multiple meanings or interpretive possibilities through the use of words with several connotations (associations evoked by a word beyond its denotations, or literal meaning). Deliberate ambiguity contributes to the richness and complexity of literature.

Anachrony: The literary technique of presenting material out of chronological order. Analepsis is the insertion of a past scene into the present time; prolepsis is the insertion of scenes the preview future events or developments; ellipsis is a chronological gap. We are familiar with anachrony in film as flashbacks or flashforwards.

Anagnorisis: A term from Aristotle’s Poetics (c. 330 B.C.) referring to the moment in drama when the protagonist discovers or gains crucial knowledge the leads to or explains a reversal in fortune.

Antagonist: The character pitted against the protagonist—the main character. The antagonist may be, but need not be, a villain.

Antihero: A protagonist in a modern work who does not display the characteristics of a traditional hero.

Apocalypse: The term apocalyptic stems from the word apocalypse, of Greek origins, meaning, “to uncover.” Literature is apocalyptic when it purports to uncover, reveal, or prophesy the future. The Biblical Apocalypse is the book of Revelation, whose complex symbolism depicts the catastrophic end of the world and subsequent Day of Judgment.

Close Reading: The thorough and nuanced analysis of a literary text, with close attention to the author’s use of allusion, imagery, plot, setting, characterization, etc.

Closure: The process by which a literary work is brought to a coherent conclusion, providing a sense of wholeness, integrity, and finality to the narrative.

Convention: A literary device, usage, style, situation or form so widely employed that readers and audiences expect it. For example, a central convention of chivalric romance is the knight’s quest.

Figurative language, Figure of speech: A literary device involving unusual use of language to create an image in the reader’s mind. Although figurative language can be used for decorative or purely aesthetic purposes, it is used primarily to attain some specific effect on the reader.

Foil: a character that, by his/her contrast with the main character accentuates the protagonist’s distinctive qualities.

Genre: From the French genre, meaning “kind” or “type,” the classification of literary works on the basis of their content, form, or technique (e.g. prose, poem, fiction, drama, novel, short story). The traditional classical divisions are: comedy, tragedy, lyric, pastoral, epic and satire.

Grotesque: Artistic representations involving bizarre or unnatural combinations of characteristics or images. The grotesque is an aesthetic category that evokes both fear and laughter.

Hermeneutics: A theory of interpretation or strategy to determine textual meaning.

Imagery: Imagery is the central element of all imaginative literature. Imagery is the language a writer employs to convey a visual picture, either literal or figurative (figurative language calls to mind an abstract idea through tangible elements). Artists create symbols through image patterns that work together to convey major themes or arguments in literature. A symbol cannot be an isolated object or image but must be part of pattern integral to meaning.

Intertextuality: The condition of interconnectedness among texts due to influence, allusion, quotation, genre, or style.

Metafiction: Literary works that self-consciously examine the nature and status of fiction, posing questions about the relationship between art and reality.

Metaphor: A figure of speech that associates two distinct things; an image used to create a nuanced representation, e.g. “That child is quiet as a mouse.”

Medieval Romance (Chivalric Romance): An episodic narrative, written in prose or verse, concerned with adventure, courtly love, and chivalry. Medieval romances reflect the religious and chivalric ideals of their noble audiences, such as courage, gentility, piety, loyalty, magnanimity, and fidelity (rather than social or historical realities). The symbols of medieval romance are rooted in courtly and religious culture. The chief motive of the knightly protagonist is self-discovery and maturation, thus the integration of the public persona with private desire. The storyline is typically a quest that tests the knight’s integrity, the events taking place in psychological landscape.

Novel: A lengthy fictional prose narrative; the length permits the author to develop characters with complex motivation and to construct an intricate plot. Novels developed from ancient epics and medieval romances. Literary historians tend to distinguish the realistic novel from the romance novel. Realistic novels seek to attain verisimilitude in their depictions of ordinary characters, situations, and settings; romance novelists, in contrast, focus on adventure and often feature improbable developments that draw attention to the power of the imagination and fictionality.

Setting: The combination of place, historical time, and social milieu that provides the general background for the characters and plot of a literary work. Setting often plays a crucial role in determining the atmosphere of a work.

Short Story: A brief fictional prose narrative distinguished by its meticulous and deliberate craftsmanship, specifically of plot, character, and point of view. Unlike novels, the short story usually has a single focus and produces a specific dramatic revelation or effect (often the result of opposing motivations or forces) toward which the story builds and to which everything else in the story is subordinate.

Style: The devices an author uses to convey a work’s subject matter, including diction, syntax, and figurative language. Through these formal elements, authors present the content of work in ways that affect its aesthetic quality and influence the reader’s emotional response.

Theme: Not simply the subject of a literary work, but rather a statement that the text seems to be making about that subject. A motif usually refers to a unifying element in an artistic work, such as a recurrent image, symbol, character type, or narrative detail that supports a theme.

Tone: The attitude of the author toward the reader or the subject matter of a literary work. Tone functions with mood to create in the reader a general feeling.

Renaissance Studies 2011 Fall

Renaissance Studies Autumn 2011
ENG351 Professor Mead
Class Schedule (Subject to Change)
30 T Introduction
1 R Sir Thomas Wyatt, pp. 107-113
6 T Sir Thomas Wyatt, pp. 107-113
8 R Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, pp. 116-120.
13 T Samuel Daniel & Michael Drayton, pp. 126-7.
15 R Lady Jane Grey pp. 130-137
20 T The Fairie Queene, Book 1. pp. 137-225. Canto 1
22 R Cantos 2 & 3 Analysis of Sonnet 4-5pp.
27 T Cantos 4 & 5
29 R Cantos 6 & 7
4 T Cantos 8 & 9
6 R Cantos 10 & 11
11 T Canto 12
18 T Dr. Faustus Analysis of a Canto 8-10 pp.
20 R Dr. Faustus
25 T Dr. Faustus
27 R Volpone
1 T Volpone
3 R Volpone
8 T The Duchess of Malfi
10 R The Duchess of Malfi
15 T The Duchess of Malfi
17 R John Donne, pp. 662-688
22 T John Donne, pp. 662-688 Toward a New Definition of Heroism 10 pp.
29 T Robert Herrick
1 R George Herbert
6 T John Milton, “Lycidas” and sonnets.
8 R Evaluations. Imitation of Renaissance Sonnet.
Required Text: The Broadview Anthology of British Literature: The Renaissance and the Seventeenth
Century, (Vol. 2) Second Edition. Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview P, 2010.

Because this class is so small, much of our information will be exchanged in the classroom, but in brief:
Attendance: Required. More than two absences will lower your final grade.
Text: Required, bring to every class.
Notes: I will ask to check your notebooks once or twice a semester, to be sure you are learning.
Classes: Students are as responsible for planning each class as the instructor is.
Time will be evenly divided among each student and the instructor.
Papers: MLA format, submitted with two earlier drafts. I’m looking for provocative theses,
close readings, thorough analysis, strong paragraphing, and adequate library research.
Grades: Participation: 25%. Sonnet Paper: 10%. Canto Paper: 25%. Hero Paper 25%.
Sonnet Imitation 15%.
Office Hours: 312B. tel. 438-4336. smead@stmartin.edu
MWF: 10-12, TR: 8:30-9:30, (11-1)*
*( I sometimes have meetings during these two hours)
Visit http://stephenxmead.blogspot.com/ for handouts, syllabi, etc.

Intro to Poetry 2011 Fall

Introduction to Poetry Autumn 2011
ENG203 Professor Mead
Class Schedule (Subject to Change)
31 W Introduction
2 F Poems Poets Poetry: An Introduction and Anthology, xxxix-26
7 W PPP, 27-76
9 F PPP, 26-76
12 M PPP, 77-110
14 W PPP, 77-110
16 F Exam I
19 M PPP, 111-152
21 W PPP, 153-177
23 F PPP, 153-177
26 M PPP, 179-212
28 W PPP, 179-212
30 F PPP, 213-238
3 M PPP, 213-238
5 W PPP, 239-280
7 F Exam II
10 M PPP, 281-305
12 W PPP, 281-305
17 M PPP, 307-320
19 W PPP, 323-340
21 F PPP, 323-340
24 M PPP, 341-368
26 W PPP, 341-368
28 F Exam III
31 M Students’ Choice: Poems from Anthology
2 W Students’ Choice: Poems from Anthology
4 F Students’ Choice: Poems from Anthology
7 M Students’ Choice: Poems from Anthology
9 W Students’ Choice: Poems from Anthology
14 M Students’ Choice: Poems from Anthology
16 W Students’ Recitation of Poem and Impersonation of Poet w/Q & A
18 F Students’ Recitation of Poem and Impersonation of Poet w/Q & A
21 M Students’ Recitation of Poem and Impersonation of Poet w/Q & A
23 W Students’ Recitation of Poem and Impersonation of Poet w/Q & A
28 M Students’ Recitation of Poem and Impersonation of Poet w/Q & A
30 W Students’ Recitation of Poem and Impersonation of Poet w/Q & A
2 F Poetry Writing Workshop
5 M Poetry Writing Workshop
7 W Evaluations. Recitations of Original Poems.
Ask me about the optional 10-page critical paper.
Required Text: Poems, Poets, Poetry: And Introduction & Anthology, ed. Helen Vendler.
Third Edition, Bedford/St. Martin, 2010. Bring this book to every class.

08 March 2011

Success Demystified

How to Get A Good Grade In Your Lit Class

1) Keep up with the reading.

2) Take notes during reading and class discussions.

3) Keep a journal.

4) Begin reading scholarship the first week of class.

5) Participate fully in all class meetings.

6) Talk to people about the texts and your ideas.

7) Re-read. Rethink.

8) Visit the Writing Center three times in the first
six weeks of the class.

9) Listen to other students’ ideas.

10) Change your mind.

07 January 2011

Shakespeare Spring 2011

Shakespeare Professor Mead
ENG341 Spring 2011
11 T Introduction
13 R A Midnight Night’s Dream
18 T A Midnight Night’s Dream
20 R A Midnight Night’s Dream
25 T Romeo & Juliet
27 R Romeo & Juliet
1 T Romeo & Juliet. Close Reading Paper Due.
3 R Richard III
8 T Richard III
10 R Richard III
15 T Othello
17 R Othello
22 T Othello
24 R Twelfth Night
1 T Twelfth Night
3 R Twelfth Night
8 T All’s Well That Ends Well
10 R All’s Well That Ends Well. How does this play fight its genre?
22 T All’s Well That Ends Well
24 R Macbeth
29 T Macbeth
31 R Macbeth
5 T Antony & Cleopatra. Research Paper Due.
7 R Antony & Cleopatra
12 T Antony & Cleopatra
14 R Cymbeline
19 T Cymbeline
21 R The Winter’s Tale
26 T The Winter’s Tale
28 R Evaluations/Speeches
3 T 8:00AM Final Exam (all passage identification)

Close Reading. I’ll give you a choice of two or three passages, and you’ll squeeze every last bit of meaning from the word choice, alliteration, consonance, imagery, diction, syntax, tone, sound effects, repetition, meter, rhythm, rhyme, line breaks, caesuras, and enjambments. No outside sources. 15%
Genre Paper. First identify the characteristics of a given genre, then write an exploratory essay on how the play you choose tends to work against those very conventions. What do we learn about the play from this cross-genre perspective? Minimum of five sources from juried articles or university presses. 15%
Research paper. Think “term paper” in that it should demonstrate a full term’s worth of thought, research, and polishing. 8-10 pages. Ten secondary sources. Strong interpretive, provocative thesis connected by means of topic sentences to every paragraph in the paper. 30%
Final Exam. 20-30 passages from the plays we’ve studied. Provide play, speaker, characters spoken to (if appropriate), dramatic context, thematic importance. 20%
Participation. 20%
Speeches. Students who recite 20+ lines from a play we’ve studied with fewer than six errors (and I do count) will have their final grades raised by one increment (e.g., B to B+).
Students who have special needs must contact the professor as soon as possible, and he will make all reasonable accommodations.
Please remember that you must complete all assignments on time to pass the course.
Keep copies of your drafts and your final papers for security.
Office: OM312B MWF 10-11, TR 8:30-9:30, 11-1* AND BY APPOINTMENT
tel. 438-4336 smead@stmartin.edu You may leave me a voice- or email message, but I cannot promise to respond before the next class meeting.
*I sometimes have meetings during part of these hours.
PLEASE CHECK YOUR CAMPUS EMAIL REGULARLY FOR IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS. This is the only way I have to get in touch with you outside of class, and I need to be reasonably sure you are getting the messages.
I have order The Norton Shakespeare because it was the cheapest, but you may also use The Pelican, The Bevington, or The Riverside.

02 January 2011

Introduction to Drama Spring 2011

Introduction to Drama Professor Mead
ENG203 Spring 2011
11 T Introduction
13 R Trifles, 1916
18 T Trifles
20 R Rachel, 1920
25 T Rachel
27 R In-Class Essay Exam
1 T The Hairy Ape, 1922
3 R The Hairy Ape
8 T Student Presentations
10 R Holiday, 1928
15 T Holiday
17 R Student Presentations
22 T Street Scene, 1928
24 R Street Scene
1 T Student Presentations
3 R Waiting for Lefty, 1935
8 T Waiting for Lefty
10 R In-Class Essay Exam
22 T Student Presentations
24 R Our Town, 1937
29 T Our Town
31 R You Can’t Take it With You, 1937
5 T You Can’t Take it With You
7 R Student Presentations
12 T The Little Foxes, 1939
14 R The Little Foxes
19 T Student Presentations
21 R The Time of Your Life, 1939
26 T The Time of Your Life
28 R Evaluations/Speeches
3 T Final Research Paper Due by Noon at my office.
Research Paper: Worth 25% of your final grade. This paper is to be an interpretive and provocative essay, offering the reader a new understanding (one that challenges conventional interpretations) of the artistic meaning in one or more of the plays we have studied this semester. The paper may be connected with your class presentation, but that is not a requirement. This essay must make good use of at least seven scholarly sources (i. e., articles from juried journals or books from university presses). These may in part come from the “student presentation” list of sources. Two thousand words recommended. The final paper must be submitted in a cardboard folder with at least two earlier drafts that illustrate the PROCESS of the paper’s construction. Proper MLA format for citations, notes, and works cited is required. See “Shame the Devil,” “The Writing Process in the College Classroom,” “Provocative and Interpretive Tests,” “The Meaning of Letter Grades,” and “How to Use Quotations in Literary Papers” on my blog for further information and guidance. The checklist may also be helpful.
Student Presentation: Worth 25% of your final grade. This is a major presentation, geared for thirty minutes of class time. You will be judged on depth, preparedness, efforts to foster class participation, speaking skills, appropriate use of technology, appearance, your ability to fill a half hour with meaningful material, the quality of your sources, and presentation. Topics (first come, first serve) include the following:
The Rise of Fascism, Aftermath of World War I, The Roaring Twenties, The Great Depression, Prohibition, The Federal Theater Project, The American Communist Party, Broadway in the 20s and 30s, Hollywood in the 20s and 30s, the Harlem Renaissance, The Dust Bowl, The New Deal, The Jazz Age., Women’s Rights, Expressionism, Modernism.

The idea here is to give your fellow students an historical context with which to study the dramas in the class; do not merely report facts. Please include a handout with your presentation that lists your sources.
In-Class Essays: Worth 25% of your final grade. You will be given a question to respond to in a blue book. Assessment will depend on demonstrated familiarity with the dramatic texts, evidence of having thought about ideas and issues outside of class, and originality with detail.
Participation: Worth—guess what?—25% of your final grade. Please see my blog post “Participation, Attendance and All That,” “Course Participation Self-evaluation,” and “Goofus and Gallant in College Writing Class” for details.
Speeches: Student who recite 20+ lines from one of the plays studied in class with fewer than five errors will have their FINAL grade elevated one increment (i.e., B to B+).
Please visit my blog http://stephenxmead.blogspot.com for relevant handouts, links, syllabi, and texts.
Office hours: MWF 10-11, TR 8:30-9:30, 11-1 and by appointment.
tel. 438-4336; smead@stmartin.edu

How to Receive a Paper Back from your Professor

How to Receive a Paper Back from Assessment One of the most important and, alas, overlooked aspects of learning in college is the approp...