Policies E222-R American Lit. since 1865, CSU Fullerton Fall 2006
POLICIES E222-R AMERICAN LITERATURE SINCE 1865, CSU FULLERTON FALL 2006 (UPDATED 8/23)


Catalog Information. "This course meets a GE Disciplinary Learning requirement in Category III.B.2, Introduction to the Humanities. Learning goals for that category: a. To understand the distinctive characteristics of the humanistic perspective. b. To understand the historical and cultural factors, in a global context, that led to the development of the humanistic perspective. c. To understand the differences between the humanistic and other perspectives, as well as the differences among the humanistic disciplines. d. To understand and appreciate the contributions of the humanities to the development of the political and cultural institutions of contemporary society. e. To be familiar with and understand major texts (both written and oral), key figures, significant traditions, and important themes in the humanities. f. To analyze the meaning of major texts (both written and oral) from both Western and non-Western cultures, either in English or, if appropriate, in the language of the texts being analyzed. g. To apply the humanistic perspective to values, experiences, and meanings in one's own life, and demonstrate how understanding the humanities can shed light on what it means to be human today."

Course Objectives. A survey should help you build your knowledge of the periods, authors, and movements studied. My comments will provide historical and thematic background, and the course will center on discussion of assigned texts.

Major Study Units. The course will follow a roughly chronological order and will cover authors from Walt Whitman's poetry (1850's-60's) to the Twentieth Century.

Classroom Activities. Discussion, short presentations. I encourage participation. My tasks are to listen, to ask good questions, and to help you find out more about the periods and authors we study. Your task is to develop your own ideas. In humanities study, there are few worthwhile "facts"; the emphasis is on insight and interpretation.

Evaluation Methods. A term paper; a journal requirement; one in-class presentation based on prior discussion with me, an in-class final exam. YOU CANNOT PASS THIS CLASS WITHOUT SUBSTANTIALLY COMPLETING ALL FOUR REQUIREMENTS. I will use +/- grading.

Attendance. Students should attend regularly. Missing an inordinate number of meetings (i.e. more than 20%) may become a factor in the final grade. Students are responsible for keeping up with missed sessions by listening to the audio files that become available within a day or two of each session.

Exam, Alternate Scheduling. If you run into a scheduling problem, taking the final a day or two before its set date might be possible at our mutual convenience. Please inquire about this well before you make such a request.

Paper Rough Drafts. Not required, but it would be a good idea to submit a rough draft or at least a thesis paragraph or description of your topic so I can offer suggestions on how to improve the paper. Please read the term paper instructions carefully; in that file you will find the prompt and advance draft comments to help you develop and edit your paper.

Paper Final Drafts. The default due date for final papers is the day of the final exam, although if possible (based on my schedule and when I must turn in grades) I will try to extend that deadline several days. Please send papers by email attachment; if you do so and do not receive confirmation within 48 hours, it is your responsibility to email me or telephone 714-434-1612 for confirmation. IF YOU DON'T RECEIVE CONFIRMATION, I DID NOT RECEIVE YOUR WORK!

Presentations. Presentations are informal, but students should approach them with a sense of intellectual responsibility. Presentations are as much for others as for oneself. I will not grade presentations formally, but I will judge them informally on the following grounds: did the student 1) consult with me beforehand to discuss ideas, to ask what others might find valuable, etc? 2) seem to have put genuine effort into preparing? 3) speak clearly and audibly?

Journals. I will not grade journal sets closely and will not mark them down unless they are late, incomplete, or so brief as to suggest evasion of intellectual labor. They should consist of honest responses to the assigned readings.

Plagiarism. Cheating on papers and tests will result in an "F" for the course. In severe or repeated cases, plagiarism can lead to suspension or even expulsion. Many problems are caused not so much by dishonesty as by a lack of experience in consulting and incorporating sources, so please read the writing guides (see "Resources" in your course menu, and click on "Guides") on citing texts and "Plagiphrasing."

Source Work. It is acceptable to consult legitimate sources (scholarly articles and books) while developing your paper, and if you are a graduate student you should engage with some secondary material. But if you are an undergraduate, the most important thing is to study your chosen primary texts patiently. Relying heavily on commercial notes (even good ones) may hinder this process. Check your school library's online portal for article databases. Project Muse and JSTOR are among the best for humanities work. They not only list scholarly essays but, most often, even allow you to download them as HTML or PDF files. Chapman's portal is Chapman Library, and CSU Fullerton's (unless you use "My Fullerton") is CSUF Library.