English 202 Introduction to English Studies (Revised 11/05)

Fall Term 2013
Professor Kenneth  McNeil 
Office phone: 5-4578 
e-mail: mcneilk@easternct.edu
Office: Webb Hall  23


Office Hours: 
Tuesday, Thursday 1
Wednesday 10:00-12:00

And by appointment


English 202 Intern:

Alexis Ballirano
Writing Center Hours: Sunday, Monday, Friday 3-5 pm, and by appointment

Required Materials
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre (Broadview)
Mary Prince, History of Mary Prince (Michigan)
Copy packet

Course Description
Introduction to English Studies is designed to do two things.

First and foremost it is designed to help you make sense of the field of college English study (and Eastern's English major) in the 21st century.  Though English may seem like a field of study that's been around since time immemorial (everybody has had to read Shakespeare in college since the seventeenth century, right?) this is not the case.  English Study has a relatively short and contested history; and its rationale,  purpose, and content has changed quite dramatically during its lifetime.  English Study continues to be built on a foundation of (mostly polite) debate, argument, and controversy, and this course will allow you to "peel back the curtain" and join the conversation in English Studies, at Eastern and beyond.

Second, the course is designed to introduce you to the particular specialties and approaches of the English Department at Eastern, and you will have a chance to learn about your professors, their approaches to English, and their teaching specialties.

This course is required of all English majors, but not limited to them.  If you are are just thinking about being an English major, this course might be of interest.

Course Requirements
Reading Response papers 40%
Short Response 5%
Research paper 15%
Participation 10%
Oral Research presentation  13%
Colloquium project 5%
Final exam 12%

Reading Response Papers 40%
Response One
Response Two
Response Three
Response Four

There are four response papers, one due about every three weeks.  You are to respond to any one day's questions from the list. Response questions must be typed, double-spaced and turned in on the day that you have selected.  For example, answers to questions from October 18th's reading must be turned in class on that day. There is also one Short Response paper, due September 25th. (See the Short Response assignment for more details.)

Reading Response Examples (Do's and Don't's)

There are also a short Research Paper (4-6 pages). This also must be typed, double-spaced and turned in on the due date. In addition, in order to receive credit you will have to pay a visit to the Writing Center or meet with the class intern. For this meeting, I would like you to bring a written draft. I myself will plan on being available at the Writing Center to help you with written drafts before the due date. I would also encourage (but not require) you to visit the Writing Center before you have a written draft as the tutors there can help you brainstorm ideas. It's best for the brainstorm meeting to have at least a basic outline of you paper , with a clear indication of your topic and some indication of your thesis and research materials you have consulted up to that point.

I provide a selection of useful or interesting scholarly works that will hopefully help to get you started on your search for information. (Many times you can also find a useful bibliography of secondary material in the back of your edition.) It might be best, though, first to reflect and brainstorm on the topics and works that might interest you before embarking on your research.

Papers are due in class on the assigned date. Late papers will be subject to a reduction in gradeIf you feel you have a good reason for requiring an extension, please come talk to me about it beforehand. However, after-due date extensions, except in the case of emergencies, will be difficult to obtain.

Oral Research Presentation
At some point early in the semester I will divide the class into groups. Each group will then be given the task of putting together an oral presentation. There are several throughout the semester. Each presentation will be devoted to a specific topic. (See the Calendar for specific topics.) Each presentation should be at least 15 minutes (and last no more than 20 minutes) and must include at least one handout to be given to the class as a whole. In addition you must provide me with a bibliography of your research materials in MLA format. Beyond the handout and the bibliography, the materials and format of the presentations are only limited by the group's imagination and may include use of a variety of media.

There will be a cumulative final exam

Regular attendance of classes is absolutely expected for this course. Three or more unexcused absences will lower your participation grade significantly.

Avoid plagiarism (stealing the words or ideas of another) like the plague. In this class acts of plagiarism incur a zero and could also result in course failure or even dismissal from the university.

Disclaimer:  I reserve the right to change the syllabus and assigned readings (with plenty of advanced warning)

Week 1
August 29: Introduction

Week 2
September 3: Introduction: copy packet, The English Major, then and now


September 5: Copy packet, George Orwell, "Politics and the English Language"

Week 3
September 10: Copy packet, Amy Tan, "Mother Tongue"

September 12: Copy packet,  Richard Rodriguez, "Speaking a Public Language"

Week 4
September 17: oral presentation do's and don't's (bring suggestions)


September 19: Copy packet, Leslie Marmon Silko, "Language and Literature from a Pueblo Indian Perspective"


Week 5
September 24: Copy packet, Short Response Paper due: Reading the Victorian Age

September 26: Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre; (Read to Chapter 8)

Week 6
October 1: Oral Presentation: Biographical Background on Charlotte Brontë

Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre (Read to Chapter 20)

October 3: Copy packet, Carol Senf, "The Prison House of Victorian Marriage"

Week 7
8: Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre (read to Chapter 30) ; Copy packet, Eric Solomon, "Jane Eyre, Fire and Water"

Student Response: Vanessa Jones "Jane Eyre and Bertha Mason"

Student Response: Catherine Allegretti "Jane Eyre and Bertha Mason"

October 10: Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre (read to end)

Student Response: Meaghan McFall-Gorman "Jane Eyre: Marriage choice"


Week 8
October 15: Mary Prince, History of Mary Prince (read to end)

October 17: Oral Presentation: The Literary Canon

Copy packet, "To: the English Department at Eastern Connecticut State University"; Harold Bloom, "Elegiac Conclusion"

Student Response: Jane Eyre Vs. Mary Prince

Week 9
October 22: Mary Prince, History of Mary Prince Colloquium question day


October 24: Deconstruction Criticism: An Introduction; Copy packet, Mike Rose, "The Politics of Remediation"

Student Response: Jason Custer "The Politics of Remediation"

Week 10
October 29: Copy packet, Peter Elbow, "Being a Writer Vs. Being an Academic"


October 31: Faculty Colloquium

Week 11
November 5: Copy packet, Donald M. Murray, "Teaching Writing as a Process Not a Product"

November 7: Oral Presentation: The Writing Program at Eastern

Copy packet, Haswell and Haswell, "Gendership and the Miswriting of Students"

Week 12
November 12: Research Methods and Materials

November 14: Oral Presentation: Composition Studies in America, a background

Copy packet, John C. Brereton, Introduction to The Origins of Compostion Studies in the American College

(skip this reading)

Week 13
November 19: Copy packet, Joseph M. Williams, "The Phenomenology of Error"

Student Response: "The Phenomenology of Error"

November 21: Intern workshop

Week 14
November 26: Research Paper Due; Colloquium question day

November 28: Thanksgiving Break: No class!

Week 15
December 3: Faculty Colloquium

December 5: Oral Presentation: What Can I Do with an English Degree?

Final Exam Week
Final exam: Thursday, December 12, 11:00 am-1:00 pm (Correct date and time!)

"If you are a student with a disability and believe you will need accommodations for this class, it is your responsibility to contact the Office of AccessAbility Services at (860) 465-0189. To avoid any delay in the receipt of accommodations, you should contact the Office of AccessAbility Services as soon as possible. Please note that accommodations are not retroactive, and that I cannot provide accommodations based upon disability until I have received an accommodation letter from the Office of AccessAbility Services. Your cooperation is appreciated."

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