English 303 Course Guide

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Oakland University
College of Arts and Sciences
Department of English
English 303: Fiction, Section 42646
Fall 2009 Syllabus
Name: Dr. Amy Spearman
Office Address: O'Dowd 143
Email Address: [email protected]
Phone: (248) 370-2738
Office Hours: M,W,F 10:30-11:45am, and by appointment
Class Time: M,W, F 2:40-3:47pm
Class Location: SFH 272

This course satisfies the University General Education requirement in the Literature Knowledge Exploration Area.

Course Description: In this course we will explore the evolution of narrative fiction from the late 19th century to the late 20th century. The short story and novella forms will constitute much of the course, including works by authors such as Ernest Hemingway, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Ursula LeGuin, and Ray Bradbury. In addition we will read several novels in their entirety such as Lolita, The Color Purple, or Midnight's Children. Through these works we will be exposed to the many ways in which fiction can be used to tell stories ranging from the painfully realistic to the sublimely fantastic. To fully understand our stories, we will break down the relationship between narrative voice (our storyteller's persona) and framework (our story's structure). This course will consist of a great deal of reading, as well as regular reading quizzes, weekly short writing assignments, essays, and exams.

General Education Learning Outcomes: The student will develop the skills to read, comprehend, and evaluate works of literature as an art form as well as learn to understand and recognize the variety of literary devices and conventions. The student will discuss and express, in oral and written form, ideas, images, themes, motifs, techniques, and issues as presented by writers deeply rooted in their own culture. In addition, the student will develop and improve critical thinking and writing skills through interpretation and comparative analysis, as well as one's imagination and sensitivity.

General Education Cross-Cutting Capacities:
Critical Thinking

Required texts and supporting materials (available at the OU Bookstore):
Norton Anthology of Short Fiction (7th edition)
ISBN# 0-393-92611-7

Quizzes and Response Papers:
Quizzes will be given at every class meeting. They will typically be completed in the first five minutes of class and CANNOT be made up. The quizzes will cover reading material assigned for that day. One quiz will be dropped at the end of the semester. Responses will be assigned on a weekly basis. The goal of the response is simply to get students writing on a regular basis. The writing does not need to be technically perfect, but it should not be illegible either. Students will respond to a provided prompt with a brief, handwritten response (1-2 pages). Please write the responses on loose paper and collect each response in a folder as it is returned to you. Late responses may be turned in for half credit within a week of the original due date.

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