Monday, September 11, 2006

Course Syllabus

This syllabus provides the reading schedule for English 327. If students are up-to-date with readings, they will be ahead of lecture. Note, however, that this schedule is not a Procrustean bed for lecture: week by week, lecture will follow the developing class interests and course dynamic; covering, na'theless, all material -- superbly, I might add -- by the conclusion of week thirteen.
Supplementary resources works are available on course reserve. A Virtual CoursePackage of background articles on Romanticism and Science will be read in support of the primary texts.

Week One: September 5th - September 7th
William Blake: Auguries of Innocence.
There is no Natural Religion /All Religions are One.
Week Two: September 12th - September 14th
William Blake: Marriage of Heaven & Hell.
Week Three: September 19th - September 21st
William Blake: Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience.
Goethe: On Science.
Week Four: September 26th - September 28th
William Blake: Jerusalem.
Week Five: October 3rd - October 5th
Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Apologia Pro Vita Sua; Lines Written at Shurton Bars; The Eolian Harp; Biographia Literaria.
Week Six: October 10th - October 12th
Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Duty Surviving Self-Love; Frost at Midnight; Dejection: an Ode.
Week Seven: October 17th - October 19th
Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Prose selections from The Major Works, pp. 543-603, 660-685; To William Wordsworth.
Week Eight: October 24th - October 26th
William Wordsworth: Preface to Lyrical Ballads (1802); The Tables Turned; To a Sky-Lark; Surprized by joy - impatient as the Wind; Ode ('There was a time'); Lines above Tintern Abbey; The Ruined Cottage.
Week Nine: October 31st - November 2nd
William Wordsworth: Ode to Duty; Michael; The Prelude.
Week Ten: November 14th - November 16th
William Wordsworth: The Prelude.
Week Eleven: November 14th - November 16th
Mary Shelley: Frankenstein.
Week Twelve: November 21st - November 23rd
Mary Shelley: Frankenstein.
Week Thirteen: November 28th - November 30th
Course summary and recapitulation.

Assignment Deadlines.
Nb: There is a three percent per day late penalty for assignments, documented medical or bereavement leave excepted. For medical exemptions, simply provide a letter from a physician on letterhead which declares his or her medical judgement that an illness prevented work on the essay over the assigned three week period.
All assignments are to be placed in the Instructor's mailbox outside the English Department Office.

1. Mid term paper, twenty-five hundred words: due midnight October 23rd. Assignment sheet with choice of topics will be blogged on October 5th. Criteria include literary analysis, engagement with course themes and writing mechanics. [Note that these dates afford you flexibility. If your mid-term schedule is crowded, you are free to submit your paper at the deadline, which is approximately three weeks after the assignment sheet is distributed. If you prefer to get a critical response to your paper earlier in the course, you can submit yours as soon as you like after the assignment is blogged.]

2. Group field school project: Essentially, your group of classfellows will spend some time looking at an application of modern science, defining how it operates on materialistic, mechanistic and atomistic principles, and then re-visioning the large-scale practice along Romanticist lines -- using the understanding of Romanticism that you gain from lecture and your readings. How you organise your project and present your conclusions is entirely free for you to decide: you may want to use a blog format, or construct a White Paper for example.
Here are some areas of focus for you to consider choosing from (You may want to add your own special interest:)

  • Darwinian evolution (the doctrine of natural selection.)
  • Industrialisation.
  • University Science practices: Physics, Chemistry Departments &c.
  • Animal use in science testing.
  • Nuclear development.
  • Urban planning and land development.
  • Modern psychology.
  • Modern Western medicine: surgery, drugs, &c.
  • "ADD" & "AD-HD" model of boyhood: ritalin & dextroamphetamine.
  • Human genome project.
  • Transgenic foodstuffs.
  • Cybercolonialism & virtual realities.

3. Individual class research presentation: sign-up schedule handed around in seminar. Prepare and deliver a five-minute-maximum oral presentation on a subject that helpfully elaborates some interesting background feature to the Romantic movement. Consider, for example, the social or geographical situation, the domestic & international political situation, the biographies of relevant public figures, or the work of major or minor Romantic writers or intellectual progenitors not on our reading list.
The criteria include research comprehensiveness, relevency and contribution to the class' understanding; with an emphasis on the cohesiveness, clarity, comprehensibility, organisation, timing and other acknowledged elements of effective oral delivery. Hand in a copy of your rough notes at the conclusion of the representation. You will receive a sheet with Instructor's analysis, comments, and your assignment grade, a week after your presentation.

4. Final Paper, thirty-five hundred words: due December 4th at midnight. Topic to be discused and approved in writing with the course instructor. There is also an available option for a Creative scholarly paper, provided that strict failure standards are detailed and approved by the Instructor in writing, in advance.

Course Approach
The course is designed to provide an experiential engagement with the themes and materials declared in the course outline. In addition to information and and analysis in lecture, a variety of opportunities for students to experience different informative facets of the outlined subject area will be presented.

Course requirement weighting:
10% Participation
10% Individual presentation
20% Group Field School Project
20% Mid-term essay (2500 words)
40% Final essay (3500 words)
Nb: “Participation" requires both contributions in seminar discussion and attendance and punctuality at lecture and seminar.

Instructor Contact:
[UPDATED] Office Hours: AQ 6094 -- Tuesday 10:30-11:30; Wednesday, 12:00-14:55; Thursday 10:30-11:30; Friday 12:00-12:55. Bring your coffee and discuss course matters freely. E-mail to Please only use your SFU account for email contact.
In urgencies, I may be reached on my cellular telephone at 604-250-9432.

No comments: