Course Information: WRIT 8500
Section 001, Course # 92605
We meet from 2:00 p.m. - 3:50 p.m. in KPLz 385 on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The course home page can be found at: <http://www.d.umn.edu/~cstroupe/sp10/8500/>
Dr. Craig Stroupe, firstname.lastname@example.org, 218-726-6249, Humanities 425, Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:00 a.m. to noon or by appointment.
This seminar will consider authorship as a cultural institution. We will, first, approach authorship theoretically as a privileged social category, and explore critical debates it has raised about the nature of authority, language, subjectivity, and knowledge. We will also consider authorship historically, focusing specifically on the American nineteenth century as a context--a period of rapid technological and cultural development during which "American authorship" was transformed from an anomalous, isolated, derivative phenomenon to a recognizably modernist cultural formation at the center of a burgeoning literary marketplace. Finally, we will survey some of the critical methods by which scholarship on American authorship has been conducted over the last fifty years.
- Fanny Fern, Ruth Hall (Penguin Classics 1997)
- Andrew Bennett, The Author, (Routledge 2005)
- Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin (Broadview, ed. Diller)
- Kate Chopin, The Awakening (Bedford/St. Martin's Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism)
- Printouts of shorter texts available via the library's electronic reserve. I will make URLs available as soon as possible before the assignments.
Requirements and Expectations
In this seminar, you can expect to do the following:
- present two short (15 minute) oral reports on a topic related to one of the course texts,
- regularly formulate topics for the class to discuss,
- lead one class discussion, and
- write a paper proposal and substantial (20-25 page) research paper
Detailed instructions for each assignment will be distributed in class and posted online.
All students will be expected to participate in seminar discussions; your presence and active, informed participation are therefore essential to your success in the class and the success of the class itself as a shared scholarly endeavor. Please come to class prepared to engage with the texts, your colleagues, and me by reading the assigned works by the first date they are listed on the schedule and having questions and ideas to contribute to our discussion. I also encourage you to take reading notes on each text, and to mark passages we discuss in class. Please be sure to turn off all electronic devices, including cell phones, before class begins.
In a graduate seminar like this one, your regular attendance is absolutely necessary.
- Absences in excess of 2 will affect your overall grade, and an excess of three will be grounds for failure of the course.
- Absences short of these limits can be spent however you wish and so there are no excused or unexcused absences. Save your "free" absences for a rainy (or snowy) day.
- If you are absent, you are responsible for all material covered in class.
- In the case of absences or lateness, some requirements like leading discussion, presenting reports, etc. cannot be made up.
- In addition to your budget of allowed absences, you also have two instances of arriving late or leaving early to use (with or without an excuse) if necessary. Instances in excess of these will affect your overall grade. If during the semester you need to leave class early, even if it's one of your allowed instances, please arrange it with me in advance.
Your research essay will focus on a topic that we will agree upon in individual conference, should center on one of the assigned texts for the class, and be based on original ideas and research. Please arrange to meet with me about your seminar topic by the fourth week of class (2/10), and to consult with me regularly as you work on your essay. A 5-page prospectus, plan of research, and bibliography is due by March 26. The completed essay is due on May 5 and should be 20-25 pages long.
Formal writing (done outside of class) must use correct and current (7th ed.) MLA format, be word-processed, free from mechanical errors, double-spaced, and printed in "best quality" using a standard 12-point font and 1-inch margins. Students are encouraged to get (and give) feedback on the research essay with a classmate. Be sure to keep a copy of any work you hand in.
All assignments are due at the beginning of class on the due date (unless specified otherwise), and must be turned in on time to receive full credit. Papers left in the professor’s box, or dropped off by students who do not remain in class, will be considered late, and it is the student's responsibility to ensure that any work not directly submitted has actually reached the professor. Assignments may not be submitted via e-mail. I will not grant extensions on assignments unless merited by prior arrangement between us and documented proof of your inability to complete the assignment on time due to truly exceptional circumstances (a death in the immediate family, truly severe illness, etc.). Last minute computer and printer problems do not count as an emergency. Please back up your work and plan accordingly. Unless you have received an extension, late work will only be accepted up to five days after the due date, but a letter grade will be taken off for every day it is late.
Each presentation should present an overview of the topic as it relates to American authorship, along with some specific examples from and connections to the text(s) being discussed in class that day. In other words, each presentation should help the class look beyond as well as more deeply within the current reading. Each presentation should include relevant images and a handout. I will give you a separate handout describing this requirement more specifically.
In the first week of classes, I will provide a handout and a means for reserving dates to lead discussion.
If you have a disability, either permanent or temporary, which might affect your performance in this class, please notify me at the beginning of the semester. Methods, material, or testing will be adapted as required for equitable participation.
Incompletes for the semester will be given only in the following very limited circumstances:
- you must contact me in advance of the semester's end to make a request for an incomplete;
- no more than one or two weeks of class, or one or two assignments, can have been missed;
- you must be in good standing in the class (not already behind, in other words);
- you must have a documented family or medical emergency, as required by university policy;
- you must arrange a time table with me for completing the missed work that is acceptable for both of us.
- Informed participation in seminar discussions: 30%
- Research Proposal and Project: 40%
- Leading Class Discussion: 10%
- Seminar Reports: 20%