First Year Literature Seminar
FIRST YEAR LITERATURE SEMINAR strengthens students’ abilities to think critically and communicate clearly. Through engagement with a variety of complex texts in prose (fiction, nonfiction, drama) and verse (poetic genres), students have the opportunity to develop their rhetorical competencies in written and spoken discourse. The texts to be studied will be complemented by and coordinated with: 1) written responses and assignments; 2) historical contexts and information; 3) literary and textual conventions; 4) research in materials, sources, plagiarism, and documentation.
COURSE OBJECTIVES: Effective communication: clear, coherent writing and speech. Critical competency in analyzing a representative set of complex texts. Facility investing textual analysis with relevant historical subtexts and viewpoints. Research competency.
COURSE POLICIES: Students with special arrangements should see the instructor at the close of the first class. Those arrangements should be addressed the first week. With the exception of digital texts and specified classroom assignments, laptops and phones closed will be the regular procedure. Students should be prepared to take notes and have the text on hand for discussion. Attendance is required. Three excused absences are permissible. Excessive absences reduce the course grade. Late papers and work have no value (0%).
COURSE GRADES: Class activities and participation, 15%. Bibliographical work, 10%. Research paper, 20%. Short papers, 40%. Quizzes, 10%. Special Events and Outcomes Assignments, 5%. Grade definitions: A: Surpassing; rare qualities of excellence. A-/B+: Exceptionally good; some improvements desirable. B: Good. B-/C+: Above average; room for improvement. C: Average; adequate. C-/D+: Below average; improvements necessary. D: Unacceptable: severely flawed. D-/F: Of little or no value; complete revision necessary.
Jennine Capo’ Crucet. Make Your Home Among Strangers. Picador, 2015.
Zora Neale Hurston. Their Eyes Were Watching God. Amistad, 2006.
Toni Morrison. Sula. Vintage, 2004.
Adrienne Rich. Diving Into the Wreck. W. W. Norton & Company, 1973.
Leslie Marmon Silko. Storyteller. Penguin, 2012.
Tom Stoppard. Rock ‘N’ Roll. Faber and Faber, 2006.
Jean Toomer. Cane. Liveright, 1923.
SCHEDULE OF ASSIGNMENTS:
Sept. 7-9 Introduction. Rich. Diving Into the Wreck.
12-16 Diving Into the Wreck. Quiz #1.
19-23 Crucet. Make Your Home Among Strangers.
26-30 Make Your Home Among Strangers. Life Writing.
Oct. 3-5 Toomer. Cane. Snapshot Sketch.
11-14 Silko. Storyteller.
17-21 Storyteller. People’s History.
24-28 Hurston. Their Eyes Were Watching God.
Oct. 31- Nov. 4 Their Eyes Were Watching God. A Voice of One’s Own.
7-11 Stoppard. Rock ‘N’ Roll. Research Writing.
14-18 Rock ‘N’ Roll. Music and Revolution.
21-22 Morrison. Sula.
Nov. 28- Dec. 2 Sula.
5 Sula. Voices.
7 Liberal Arts Exam Day. Final Exam Assignment: Sula.