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English 298 (01)                                                                    Mary Anne Nunn (nunnm@ccsu.edu)

Introduction to Literary Studies                                             Office: FD 100  

Fall 2012                                                                               Office Phone: (860) 832-2778

M/W 12:15-1:30 HB 322                                                      Hours: M/W 2:00-4:00, T 12:00-2:00

website: http://www.ccsu.edu/page.cfm?p=8952                                R 8:00-10:00, and by appt.



     English 110 is a prerequisite for all literature courses. You must have passed Eng 110...



       English 298 DOES NOT fulfill the L (literature), Study Area I, or any other Gen. Ed. requirement.



           A Glossary of Literary Terms, 10th edition [GLT]

            Literary Theory: A Short Introduction [Culler]

            The World’s Greatest Short Stories [SS]

            The Madwoman of Chaillot [Madwoman]

            Poetry: A Pocket Anthology, 6th edition [Poetry]

            American Heritage Dictionary


Any English major MUST also have an up-to-date, complete COLLEGE-LEVEL HANDBOOK. I recommend

Diane Hacker’s A Writer’s Reference, but any current handbook will do. If you don’t have one, get one.



            Paper I                                     15%

            Skeleton Papers                        15%

            Paper II                                    20%

            Assignments/Quizzes                 20%

            Participation                            15%

            Final Exam                              15%

            Attendance at performance of The Madwoman of Chaillot, Sunday, 9/30, 2:00 pm. at HITW Theatre

            Participation in 298 conference, Friday, October 19—11:30-3:00, Connecticut Room, Memorial Hall



Attendance is required. The study of literature involves the examination and treatment of primary texts.

This is not a discipline that relies on textbooks that give you a disciplinary overview . The substance of the

course is what is done in class. If you are absent up to two times this semester (the equivalent of one week of

class) your grade will not suffer as a direct result of your absence. If, however, you are absent more than twice,

your final grade will be lowered one third of a letter grade for each class beyond the second that you miss.

 Note: Your "excused" absences are designed to cover illness and other obligations. Note: You are

responsible for what goes on in class, whether you are in class or not.



Classes will begin PROMPTLY at the posted times. Any announcements or other business conducted in the

first minutes of class (including quizzes...) will NOT be repeated for late comers, and chronic late arrivals will

be treated as absences in the ratio of two to one. Note: You are responsible for what goes on in class,

whether you are in class or not.


The grade of a critical paper will be reduced by 1/3 of a letter grade for every day past the due date it is late.

I will not accept class writing assignments after the class period in which they are due without prior

arrangement (granted only under extraordinary circumstances).

English 298

Nunn – Fall 2012




It has become very common to begin any student writing project by first surfing the web. This practice,

however, can very easily lead to plagiarism, intentional and unintentional. So that there will be no

misunderstandings, let me say a few words about using source material.


In general, IF YOU FEEL THE NEED TO CONSULT SOURCES (and this includes web sources), YOU MUST

 DOCUMENT THE SOURCES YOU CONSULT!! Most students know that one must indicate direct quotations

with quotation marks, parenthetical citations, and a list of Works Cited containing the full bibliographical

information about the source consulted. But often students believe that one may borrow language from a

source without citing it as long as one alters words here and there. THIS IS NOT TRUE!! If you borrow

sentence structures, even if you make changes to those sentence structures, and then fail to indicate that

borrowing, YOU ARE PLAGIARIZING. If you borrow IDEAS and do not credit those ideas to the original

source, even if you completely re-write those ideas into your own words, YOU ARE PLAGIARIZING. Even if

the ideas you use come from class notes taken in some other class at some other institution, you must indicate

your indebtedness with a note crediting the original teacher, the institution at which the class was presented,

and the year in which you took the notes. If the ideas arose in a conversation with a class member, friend, or


these ideas I am indebted to [NAME] in a conversation held on [DATE].” The grade I give you at the end of

the semester is designed to certify the level of YOUR competence in the discipline the course is designed to

teach. It is not merely a record that you handed in something for each assignment.


For any critical paper I am glad to review a draft ahead of the due date, but, IF YOU HAVE CONSULTED


IN THE DRAFT!! Lack of such citation IN A DRAFT will be grounds for the same penalties as any other

academic misconduct. Citation MUST be a part of your use of research material FROM THE VERY



Should you present some other author's work, words, or ideas as your own in ANY of these ways, you will

receive a failing grade on your paper, you will be liable to dismissal from the course, and I will, according to

CCSU policy, record an entry into your permanent student file documenting your academic misconduct. If you

have ANY doubts or concerns about the propriety of your writing approach, COME SEE ME IN MY OFFICE

HOURS TO DISCUSS YOUR PAPER. Do not risk permanently tarnishing your intellectual reputation by

cheating. You must understand that, once you do so, ALL other work you have ever done or will ever do will

be suspect.


For this course your documentation should conform to the Modern Language Association (MLA) guidelines.

There will always be a current edition of the MLA Handbook in the Reference Room at the Library. THE MLA


guidelines include the date on which you consulted the source. Be sure, therefore, that you keep careful records

of your research process to ensure that you have all the relevant information when it comes time to put your

Works Cited List together.


We will be going over MLA citation practices in class, but for your reference here is a site that outlines the

MLA basics for citing poetry:



English 298

Nunn – Fall 2012




English 298 is a course designed to give English majors in both the BA and BS programs a common, detailed

introduction to the methods, vocabularies, and practices that ground the academic study of literature at the

university level. For every class period you will have reading assigned (drawn from both primary and secondary

texts) and for most you will have some sort of writing assigned as well. Writing about literature forces a reader

to crystallize, refine, and express responses and observations that are otherwise all too liable to remain

amorphous and indeed even faulty if left unexamined. The discipline of writing about literature is the

indispensable counterpart to reading literature, and the habit of bringing your readings into this sharp focus will

also make you a better reader.


“Reading” is, in the academic study of literature, a very complicated gerund. Language is the medium of

literature, and literary authors use language with great skill and subtlety and in a hugely wide variety of ways.

This fineness and broad vocabulary of tactics produce dense texts that can be read in an equally wide variety of

ways. We speak, therefore, of a reading of a text—that is, a unified and carefully constructed treatment, but

not the reading. Meaning, in other words, is constructed just as literature is constructed. In this semester we will

not focus on developing readings of a group of texts that characterize a period or a genre (the usual

organization of a class in literature) but instead on the process of developing readings of literary texts. What

we read is of no great consequence; our attention will be on discovering, testing, and contesting multiple means

of reading. In this semester the occasions for our discussions about reading will include an array of short stories

and poetry drawn from various world literatures, and a mid-20th-century play originally written in French.

We will also be encountering and exploring the practice of a number of theories of literary criticism.


When there is an assignment to read texts for class, my expectation will be that any student I call on at the

start of the class will be ready to SAY SOMETHING about the reading. Even if that something is to report

frustration at not having been able to get a foothold in the assigned reading, ALWAYS come in READY to

DISCUSS what you have read.



PERFORMANCE OF The Madwoman of Chaillot


This semester all sections of Eng 298 are reading the common text of Jean Giraudoux’s The Madwoman of

Chaillot. The play will be performed at Hole in the Wall Theatre in New Britain this Fall. We have made

arrangements for a performance on Sunday, September 30, at 2:00. The cost of this performance will be $15

per student and $20 per non-student, if you wish to bring a non-student guest. I must have the money for

your ticket, and one for a guest if you so choose, NO LATER THAN Wednesday, September 12.






All sections of Eng 298 will meet for a plenary conference on Friday, October 19th from 11:30-3:00 p.m. in

the Connecticut Room in Memorial Hall. Attendance at this conference is NOT optional—with this advanced

notice you should have more than ample time to make arrangements to adjust any activities you normally

have scheduled on a Friday afternoon. LUNCH WILL BE PROVIDED!


English 298

Nunn – Fall 2012




In WRITING assignments related to the texts we will read, I will ask you to practice three particular exercises

throughout the course of the semester. All of these assignments must be TYPED and DOUBLE-SPACED

and ready to hand in at the start of the class in which they’re due.


1.   The principle means of arriving at a literary reading is to pose questions of the text. Learning what

questions to ask, and what an answer to a question actually yields, is essential. When Critical Questions

(CQ) are assigned you are to formulate 2-3 questions about the literature assigned for the day. On a day

for which there are multiple literary texts assigned, you may address all questions to one text, or address

separate texts for each of your questions. The mark of a successful CQ will be that the answer opens out

the text rather than shuts it down. The questions should not be matters of fact or answerable with a

declarative statement. The questions should get at the complex issues that make the text interesting.



2.   Quotation Exercises (QE) help you refine your use of quoted material in support of a critical

argument. When a QE is due, you will choose one of the works assigned for that class, make an

interpretive ASSERTION about that text (that is, your assertion will not address a simple matter of fact

or plot but the meaning the text creates), offer a QUOTE in support of that assertion, and EXPLICATE

the quote.



3.   Language Exercises (LE) are extensive investigations of words you choose from a literary text. For

each exercise, you will choose ONE words from the day’s reading. For each word provide the following:


--A quotation of the full sentence (whether poetry or prose) in which the word appears, with an MLA

   parenthetical citation in appropriate format.

--At least two relevant definitions of the word cut-and-pasted from the online OED.

--A one-paragraph explanation of why the variation in definition matters to the meaning of the larger

   work.  This is the crucial part of the assignment--your explanation of HOW these multiple

   meanings of the word BOTH function in significant ways within the text in which they


--A "Works Cited" list in proper MLA format containing the work or works you quote when presenting

   and discussing your words and the online OED.






I hope that it is unnecessary so to specify, but it is absolutely essential to maintain civility and courtesy in all

class discussions, both verbal and written. By civility I mean at the minimum refraining from ridiculing opinions

 with which or persons with whom you disagree and listening carefully to any offered perspectives before

making judgments about them. With the mention of courtesy I trust that a wide array of behaviors, both to

practice and to avoid, will come to mind—examples would clearly include refraining from any side

conversations, even if they address class material; arriving on time; being ready to start class with course text

already available for consultation; refraining from unwrapping and consuming food in class; taking care of

necessary rest room visits ahead of class. I sincerely hope it will not become necessary to assemble a more

exhaustive list of prescribed and proscribed behaviors, but if it does then consequences for their violation will

also quickly follow.



English 298

Nunn – Fall 2012



The one specific issue of courtesy I will name here is the proper management of cell phones in a classroom

setting. In this and every class..., turn them off (not to mute or vibrate) and put them away unless, in a genuine

emergency situation, you are expecting an absolutely crucial call. If you are expecting such a call, please let me

know and sit by the door to make it easy to step into the stairwell, thereby minimizing the disruption of this

class and other classes also in session.




If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, if you have emergency medical

information to share with me, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated,

please make an appointment to talk with me as soon as possible.


If you feel you may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability, please contact me privately to

discuss specific needs. I will need a copy of the accommodation letter from Student Disability Services in order t

o arrange your class accommodations. Contact Student Disability Services, on the first floor of Willard Hall

101-04, if you are not already registered with them. Student Disability Services maintains the confidential

documentation of your disability and assists you in coordinating reasonable accommodations with your faculty.




9/12                 TICKET MONEY DUE!


9/30                 SUNDAY—2:00 Matinee of The Madwoman of Chaillot


10/19               FRIDAY—ENG 298 CONFERENCE, 11:30-3:00


10/22-11/2       Pre-registration advising


11/5-11/16       Registration


11/20               Last day to DROP a class without permission



FINAL EXAM -- Monday, December 17, 11:00-1:00



English 298

Nunn – Fall 2012

Class Schedule



Aug. 29            —        Introduction—literature as LANGUAGE

                        Three repeating assignments: CQ, QE, LE

                        Assign: CQ Updike




Sept.   3 —       LABOR DAY—no class

Sept.  5 —       Due:    CQ Updike

                        Read:   Culler ch. 2—“What is Literature”

                                    GLT:    “Formalism,” “New Criticism”

                                    SS:       Updike, “A&P”

                        Hand out: Fiction introduction                                    

                        Assign: QE on Updike




Sept. 10 —       Due:    QE Updike

                        Read:   GLT:    “Persona, Tone, Voice”

                                    SS:       Mansfield, “The Garden Party”

                        Assign: Paper I—Worksheet due 9/17, Draft due 9/24 Final due10/8



Sept. 12 —       $$ Due for tickets

                        Due:    CQ

                        Read:   SS:      Woolf, “The Mark on the Wall”                                                                     



Sept. 17 —       Due:    Worksheet, Paper I

                        Read:   SS:       Achebe, “The Sacrificial Egg”

                                               Borges, “Borges and I”                                   


Sept. 19 —       Read:   Culler ch. 6—“Narrative”

                                    SS: Kawabata, “The Grasshopper and the Bell Cricket”

                                           Pirandello, “Mrs. Frola and Mr. Ponza, Her Son-in-Law”            


Sept. 24 —       Due:    Draft, Paper I



Sept. 26 —       QUIZ

                        Read:   GLT: “Author”           

                                    The Madwoman of Chaillot

                        Assign: CQ


Sunday, September 30, 2:00 PM The Madwoman of Chaillot at Hole in the Wall Theatre



Oct.   1—         Due:    CQ

                        Read:   The Madwoman of Chaillot

                                    Culler, ch. 4, “Language, Meaning, and Interpretation”


Oct.   3—         Read:   GLT: “Affective fallacy”                    

                                    Culler, ch. 5, “Rhetoric, Poetics, and Poetry”

                        Sonnet structure




Oct. 8—          Due:    Paper I           

                        In-class—Sonnet –Introduce LE’s

                        Assign: 3 Skeleton papers (10/17, 10/31. 11/14)


Oct. 10—        Read:   Poetry: “Introduction” pp. 11-41

                                    Drayton “Idea: Sonnet 61” (66)

                                    Shakespeare “Sonnet 73” (68)                                    



Oct. 15—         Read:   Culler, ch. 1, “What is Theory?”

                                    Poetry: Shelley “Ozymandias” (124)

                                                Frost “Design” (195)   


Oct. 17—         Due:    Skeleton Paper 1

                        Read:   Poetry: Jarman “After Disappointment” (402)

                                                Nemerov “A Primer of the Daily Round” (273)                                             

                        Assign: QE


Eng 298 Conference: Friday, October 19—11:30-3:00 Connecticut Room, Memorial Hall




OCTOBER 22-NOVEMBER 2: PRE-REGISTRATION ADVISING                                                                  

Oct. 22—        Due:    QE

                        Read:   GLT: “Marxist Criticism”

                                    Poetry: Hardy “The Ruined Maid” (176)

                                                Fenton “God, a Poem” (388)

                        Assign: LE

                                    Suggest two works we’ve read that encourage a Marxist critical reading

                                    with your explanation of why you choose these two (only a sentence or two)


Oct. 24—         Due:    LE

                                    Two Works—Marxist reading (only 1-2 sentences for each)

                        GLT: “Imagery,” “Rhetorical Figures”

                                    Poetry: Brooks “We Real Cool” 268

                                                Chappell “Narcissus and Echo” (336)

                        Assign: LE



Oct. 29—         Due:    LE

                        Read:   GLT: “Psychoanalytic Criticism”

                                    Poetry: Hall “Maybe Dats Your Pwoblem Too” (383)

                                                Kane “Alan Doll Rap” (403)


Oct. 31—         Due:    Skeleton Paper II

                        Read:   Poetry: cummings “r-p-o-p-h-e-s-s-a-g-r” (237)

                                                Murphy “Case Notes” (394)

                                                Stallings “First Love: A Quiz” (425)

                        Assign: Suggest two works we’ve read that encourage a Psychoanalytical reading with your

                                    explanation of why you choose these two (only a sentence or two)




NOVEMBER 5-16: REGISTRATION                                                                                 


Nov. 5—         QUIZ

                        Due:    Two works—Psychoanalytical

                        Read:   Poetry: Collins “Litany” (355)

                                                Mayers “All-American Sestina” (351)

                        Assign: QE


Nov. 7—          Due:    QE


                        Read:   GLT: “Poststructuralism”

                                    Poetry: Bishop “The Fish” (253)

                        Assign: LE




Nov. 12—        Due:    LE

                        Read:   Poetry: Davis “Monorhyme for the Shower” (375)

                                                Harrison “Air Larry” (416)S


Nov. 14—        Due:    Skeleton Paper III

                        Read:   Poetry: Shakespeare “Sonnet 130” (70)

                                                Mullen “Dim Lady” (409)

                        Assign: CQ (comparison)




Nov. 19—        Due:    CQ (comparison)

                        Read:   Poetry: Addonizio “Sonnenizio on a Line from Drayton” (410)

                                                Drayton “Idea: Sonnet 61” (66)




Nov. 21—        THANKSGIVING BREAK—no class                      




Nov. 26—        Read:   GLT: “Deconstruction”

                                    Poetry:             Williams “The Book” (324)

                                                Pastan “Ethics” (325)


Nov. 28—       Due:    PAPER II (if you wish the chance to revise)

                        Read:   Poetry: Raine “A Martian Sends a Postcard Home” (372)

                                                Wrigley “Thatcher Bitchboy” (398)

                        Assign: LE





Dec.   3—        Due:    LE

                        Read:   Poetry: Adcock “Voyages” (339)

                                                Salter “Welcome to Hiroshima” (412)



Dec. 5—         Due:    PAPER II

                        Read:   Poetry: Stevens “Anecdote of the Jar” (202)




FINAL EXAM:            Monday, December 17, 11:00-1:00


 Link to Mary Anne Nunn Homepage                      




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