|Class Meetings: MTWR
8:10-9:00 AM, Engineering West 238
Office Hours: TBA
Debora B. Schwartz
Main English Office: 756-2597
Assignments. PLEASE NOTE that
syllabus (not any print-out you may make) is
Assignments may be modified in the course of the
quarter. Check the
on-line syllabus regularly (before each class) to ensure
that you are completing
the correct assignment. It is accessible at http://cola.calpoly.edu/~dschwart/engl330/330syllw19.html
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PREREQUISITES: GE area A (esp. expository writing, e.g. ENGL 134, and reasoning, argumentation and writing, e.g. ENGL 145); AND GE area C1 (a 200-level literature class, e.g. ENGL 230 or 231or 251 or 252 or 253). Students enrolled in this class are assumed to have the basic writing, argumentation and analytic skills taught in the Prerequisite classes and to have prior experience in reading and analyzing literature at the 200-level.
A WRITING-INTENSIVE, G.E. AREA C4 CLASS. As a writing-intensive class, ENGL 330 requires a minimum of 3000 words of writing over the course of the quarter, and 50% of the course grade must be based on writing assignments. As a G.E. area C4 class, it provides historical perspective on a significant literary period; covers a range of literary genres and conventions; helps you understand both individual works and their relationship to the social, cultural, and historical context in which they were written, including attention to relevant issues of gender ande diversity; and aims to foster an appreciation of the connections between literary works and non-verbal forms such as the visual arts. Course readings, lectures and writing assignments aim to help you develop the skills necessary to read with insight, engagement, and detachment; to analyze and evaluate works from cultures which are unfamiliar to you; and to write clear, efffective textual analysis that is firmly grounded in close reading of literary texts.
GWR: As a C4 literature class, ENGL 330 may be taken by students wishing to fulfill the Graduate Writing Requirement (GWR). However, please be aware that successful completion of the course does not guarantee GWR certification. To achieve GWR certification, you must 1) have junior or senior standing; 2) pass the class with a grade of "C" or better (a C- is not adequate); and 3) WRITE A GWR-CERTIFIABLE ESSAY on the essay portion of either the midterm or the final exam. To achieve GWR certification, your exam essay must conform to the standards for formal analytic writing about literature: it must present a valid argument (appropiate and adequate content), be logically organized, illustrated with appropriate and adequate textual support, and written using correct mechanics (grammar, spelling, sentence structure, punctuation, etc.) and in the style appropriate to this kind of writing; see the Paper Writing Guidelines and Essay Evaluation Sheet if you are unsure about the conventions of formal analytic writing about literature. NOTE: Because the final course grade is based upon many factors, not just the exam essays, IT IS POSSIBLE TO ACHIEVE A HIGH GRADE IN THE CLASS BUT NOT EARN GWR CERTIFICATION. In other words, if GWR certification is your ONLY reason for enrolling in this class, you may wish to investigate other options.
COURSE DESCRIPTION AND OBJECTIVES:
330 introduces the vernacular-language literature of the British
Ages -- the foundation upon which modern English literature
addition to presenting a number of important medieval authors and
the course aims to familiarize you with medieval attitudes toward
and textuality, with medieval modes of textual production, and
textual practices relevant to the interpretation of medieval
By the end of the quarter, you will be familiar with the most
English-language authors and works of the 8th to 15th centuries
an understanding of the historical development of vernacular
during that period. You will be able to identify and distinguish
the most significant medieval literary genres. You will have
understanding of how medieval literature differs from modern
(and from modern notions of what literature is): e.g. the
between manuscript and print cultures; the tension between Latin
vernacular languages; the emphasis on literature as an on-going
rather than an end product, and thus the inappropriateness of
of "originality" or "intellectual property" in the medieval
Readings have been chosen as examples of the major literary genres practiced in the Middle Ages, to illustrate key themes, or to showcase individual authors. All readings except selected passages from the Canterbury Tales are read in modern translations.
Other goals of the course: to convince you that medieval literature is neither boring nor inaccessibly difficult; that it is not only interesting but fun to read; and that knowledge of medieval traditions provides a useful context for understanding the subsequent development of literature in English.
Much of what is presented will be new to most of you, and many of the readings reflect assumptions and ideas that appear strange to a 21st-century audience. For these reasons, several remarks are in order.
1) ENGL 330 is a READING-INTENSIVE COURSE. The material covered is unfamiliar, complex and challenging, the pace brisk. One week or another there will probably be a topic/author which you find difficult or simply do not enjoy. If and when this occurs, remember that we will soon move on to something else! Because ENGL 330 is a survey, you are not expected to master the material presented in the depth you would in a 400-level course with a narrower focus. So while you will need to keep up with the readings and should read carefully (using study guides), don't torture yourself if the details of a given text prove difficult to grasp. We are looking for the broad picture, not the close-up; the idea is to provide you with a sense of the way in which English literature -- and English perceptions of what literature is -- evolved during the course of the Middle Ages. Readings will be considered as contextual evidence reflecting the "world view" of the author and period when they were written.
2) Because literary production in the Middle Ages was largely controlled by the (Catholic) Church, many of the readings deal with Christian themes. We will approach these readings as cultural artifacts rather than as articles of faith, attempting to understand the society which produced them and the world view which they represent. While students familiar with portions of the Old and New Testaments may find this background useful, no prior knowledge of Judeo-Christian tradition is assumed or required. If something puzzles you, try the following (in this order!): a) check the footnotes and/or introduction to see if an explanation is provided; b) consult a dictionary or encyclopedia; and c) ask about it in class or office hours. (Chances are, someone else is just as puzzled as you are!)
3) Due to the time constraints
under which we will be working, classes will focus on
than description. Familiarity with the assigned readings (both
information and primary texts) will be assumed. Readings will NOT
for you in class (which ideally should involve discussion as well
For these reasons, the success of the course depends largely on
make a personal commitment to come to class regularly, punctually,
prepared. Without these preconditions, ENGL 330 will be of little
use to you -- and no fun for any of us! SO: be prepared for an
quarter. But also remember: ENGL 330 SHOULD be -- and usually is
-- a lot
TEXTBOOKS: Some required textbooks have been ordered and are available at the bookstore. If you choose to order them on-line, you MUST got THIS EDITION of the book; DO NOT substitute another edition or translation for these printed works. NOTE: Letters in [square brackets] indicate the abbreviation used to designate this textbook on Calendar of Assignments. D:
NOTE: The following recommended courseware is also available at El Corral (but is not required for this class):
CLASS EMAIL ALIAS: Important announcements concerning this class will be sent over the class email alias: email@example.com . The class email alias is automatically generated using the email address of each enrolled student found in the Cal Poly Directory server. If your Cal Poly email account is NOT your preferred email address, you must
ENGL 330 is designed to
encourage YOUR interaction with and enjoyment of the medieval
texts we are studying. Because familiarity with the historical
and cultural context is needed to understand and appreciate
medieval works, assigned background readings and class
lectures are an integral component of the class.
Readings on the Calendar of Assignments should be completed BEFORE coming to class on the date assigned. Ideally, introductions and background handouts should be read first; they are the context within which primary readings (i.e. the medieval texts) will be most meaningful. The Introduction and timeline in the Norton Anthology (NA pp. 3-28) provide an overview of historical developments. The NA also has good headnotes to individual authors and works as well as a useful appendix on Literary Terminology (NA pp. A10-A30). Specific introductory pages from other textbooks are assigned on the Calendar of Assignments. Other background information is provided in online readings and study guides. Please note that this background material is an integral part of the course and will be covered on exams. When reading primary texts, refer conscientiously to the critical apparatus (footnotes, glossary, etc.).
A Study Guide will be provided to guide your reading. USE IT!! As a rule, guides will contain a number of general questions based on background information, followed by questions concerning the primary readings. Familiarize yourself with the study questions BEFORE you begin to read, and refer to guide frequently AS you read, jotting down notes as you go along. Upon completing your readings, it's helpful to reread the questions and write up a summary of your ideas. This summary will NOT be collected or graded, but will be helpful in preparing for papers and exams--and class discussion!
Be prepared to DISCUSS readings in
that length and difficulty of assignments vary, so look ahead in
list when you are planning your time. You are responsible for ALL
readings, whether fully discussed in class or not, and for
in lectures and discussions.
Schwartz's Online Readings:
ENGAGEMENT, AND COLLABORATION: ENGL
330 is designed to encourage YOUR interaction with and enjoyment
of the medieval texts we are studying. Because familiarity
with the historical and cultural context is needed to
understand medieval works, assigned background readings
and lectures are an integral component of the class.
While ENGL 330 is lecture-based, your regular presence will make a
real difference in both your enjoyment of the material and the
success of the class. You are expected to interact with
classmates both during in-class group discussion activities
and through participation in a PolyLearn Discussion Group.
YOUR active participation is essential to the
success of ENGL 330!
For these reasons . . .
REGULAR ATTENDANCE AND PARTICIPATION
IN YOUR POLYLEARN DISCUSSION GROUP ARE REQUIRED. Due
to the fast pace, any absence causes you to miss a substantial
chunk of material.
Please note that EVERY absence will affect the 25% of
your course grade that is based on Participation,
Intellectual Engagement, and Collaboration. Additionally, each missing
ungraded assignment (e.g. Discussion Group postings and
peer-editing assignments) will be treated like an unexcused
Absence, and will affect the Participation, Intellectual
Engagement and Collaboration component of your final
grade, reducing it from a base of 4.0.
If you have a valid reason for missing class (illness, family crisis, other unavoidable conflict), TELL ME IN WRITING. A written explanation, either in an email or a hard copy note signed by you, is required for an absence to count as excused; be sure to include your full name, the class number, the date(s) missed, and the reason(s) for the absence(s). Any absence for which you do not provide a written explanation will be recorded as unexcused.
PARTICIPATION, INTELLECTUAL ENGAGEMENT AND COLLABORATION GRADE CALCULATION:
Each student starts out with a
4.0 (A) for Participation, Intellectual Engagement and
Collaboration. This component of your final grade
drops by .05 each for the first and second EXCUSED
absences (4.0 to 3.95 to 3.9) and .1 for the third
and fourth EXCUSED absences
(3.9 to 3.8 to 3.7). This means that if you have only EXCUSED
absences, you can miss four class meetings -- a full week, over
10% of the class content -- and still receive an A- (3.7) for
Additionally, this component of your course grade drops .3 for the first UNEXCUSED absence; the Unexcused Absence penalty increases by .1 for each subsequent unexcused absence (from .3 to .4 to .5, etc.). Please note that after four excused absences, any additional absences will be counted as unexcused.
Please note that only
absences due to illness, family crisis, or circumstances which
are truly beyond your control
count as excused.
Deadlines for other courses, work conflicts, and job interviews
are NOT valid reasons for missing class; you are responsible for
keeping work commitments from conflicting with academic
ones. Exception: if you are a graduating senior and
must travel out of town for a final interview, ONE such absence
will count as excused. Please do not schedule local
interviews or other appointments during class meetings.
FOR AN ABSENCE TO BE EXCUSED, YOU MUST NOTIFY ME IN WRITING
(email preferred). On the subject
line, put your class
(ENGL 330), the
and the day and date when you missed class (for example, "ENGL
330 absence W 1/9/19"). Please repeat that information in
the body of your email and provide a full explanation of the
circumstances leading to your absence. (I must understand
why you needed to miss class in order to evaluate whether your
absence qualifies as excused.)
Engagement with the Texts and with Each Other.
Attendance is not the sole measure of your
participation; I am also interested in your intellectual
engagement with the material and your willingness to collaborate
with your peers as demonstrated by regular participation in an
online PolyLearn Discussion Group and through peer-editing
of written assignments.
While I notice and appreciate active participation
in class discussions, I don't like to penalize students who are
less comfortable speaking up in class. The most important measure
of your Intellectual Engagement and Collaboration is your
out-of-class participation in your assigned Polylearn
Discussion Group Forum, to which you will submit 4
(ungraded) Mini-Essays (MEs) and 8 (ungraded) Classmate
Responses (CRs). While these assignments are not graded
as Written Work, each ungraded assignment that is not submitted
to the Discussion Group Forum counts as an Unexcused Absence and
will negatively impact the 25% of your course grade that is based
on Participation, Intellectual Engagement, and Collaboration.
330 is a writing-intensive
GE class, at least 50% of your course grade must be
based on written work. The out-of-class writing assignments will
be of two sorts:
SPECIFICS: These short assignments are designed to make you
attentive to details in the works under discussion. They
should be narrowly
focused on topics that can be covered within the
target length. The two-page target length
will also oblige you to get
to the point (lead with your conclusion; articulate
your claims fully and explicitly; avoid broad statements and
generalities; no "hook!"); to cut out unnecessary wordiness ("dead
wood"); and to express your ideas clearly and
MEs may be a response to a study question. They should
focus on analyzing how a specific aspect of a medieval work helps
communicate an author's message or intentions. Regardless of
the topic you choose, mini-essays MUST include analysis
and interpretation of carefully chosen citations from
the text. An effective ME uses close reading
chosen textual evidence to support an interpretive
claim about the text or film. You will need a narrow
focus so that you can really "unpack" the language and/or
images in the scenes and passages you discuss without
exceeding the two-page target length. Careful
analysis of a single character, a specific relationship, a key
image, or an important scene or speech may be enough to fill two
MEs should present a logically
organized argument to demonstrate the validity
of an explicitly stated interpretive claim; don't
simply describe characters or relationships or summarize
the plot. HINT: It is often fruitful to analyze
how a key image or theme is presented in a
limited number of passages or scenes. Close attention
to specific imagery, word choice, etc. in a single
descriptive passage or significant scene may be enough to fill
your two-page target length! Whatever you decide, your MEs must
be grounded in close reading: interpretive
analysis of specific passages and scenes.
For fuller details, see the Mini-Essay Assignment
Guidelines and the Essay
Evaluation Checklist. NOTE: You should familiarize
yourself with this checklist before you start to write, and take
care to avoid the issues and errors that are included on the Checklist
and in the Grading
POSTING GUIDELINES: Mini-Essays are due no later than midnight on the Fridays indicated on the Calendar of Assignments. The text of your Mini-Essays must be pasted into the message field of your Discussion Group posting so that classmates can respond to it in a Discussion thread. Additionally, you must attach your ME as a .docx file so that I can easily access the first draft of the MEs submitted for a grade and evaluate the changes made during the revision process.
in order to receive credit for each ME, you must post at least two
short (but thoughtful) Classmate
responses [= "CRs"] to MEs posted by two
members of your Polylearn Discussion Group (with whom you may
agree or disagree, as long as you do so respectfully and back up
your response with your own textual support). CRs
must including at least one ADDITIONAL quotation from the text
(i.e. a quotation that was not included in the ME to which you are
responding) in support of your observations. CRs are due no
later than midnight on the Sundays indicated on the
Calendar of Assignments.
Your eight CRs submitted over the course of the quarter will not be graded as Written Work, but they are required to get credit for your four ungraded ME postings AND for the graded paper; additionally, CRs, like MEs, factor into the Participation, Intellectual Engagement and Collaboration component of your final course grade. You must post two CRs to receive credit for each of your MEs. Each missing ME and each missing CR counts as an Unexcused Absence.
GRADED WRITING ASSIGNMENT:
Because effective writing is the result of an ongoing process of revision, the three-page Paper you submit for a grade should be a carefully edited revision/expansion of an ME submitted to your PolyLearn discussion group; it must cover substantial new ground and should be 50% longer (three pages) than your initial 2-page ME posting. (Even the strongest writing can be improved through the revision process.)
Although most students choose to wait until the end of the
quarter to submit their 3-page paper for grading, you may turn it
in earlier in the quarter. To allow time for thoughtful
revision and careful editing, hard copy of an ME submitted for a
grade will not be accepted earlier than a
week after CRs have been posted. Students are
encouraged to discuss their ideas with Dr. Schwartz during an
office hour, take a draft of their ME to the University Writing
Center, and/or get additional feedback from a friend or classmate
who is familiar with the conventions of writing about literature
(or who has read and understands those conventions, as articulated
in the ME Guidelines,
the Paper Guidelines formerly
used for the final paper in ENGL 380, and the Essay
Evaluation Checklist) prior to submitting the revised
ME for grading.
-- ONE of your two-page Mini-Essays will be revised and expanded
to a three-page graded paper which must be turned in in
hard copy, along with a hard-copy print-out of the original
ME that has been peer-edited by another
member of your Discussion Group. This carefully
edited revision/expansion is worth 25% of your course
grade. To allow time for careful revision and editing,
the revised/expanded ME submitted for grading must be submitted at
least one week after Classmate responses have been posted. The
header for the revision should begin "Revised ME #: Title."
-- IMPORTANT: in order to
receive credit for your Mini-Essays, you must post at least two
short (but thoughtful) Classmate Responses [= "CR"] to the
MEs posted by two other members of your Polylearn Discussion Group
(with whom you may agree or disagree, as long as you do so
respectfully and back up your response with your own textual
support from the play). CRs must including at least
one ADDITIONAL quotation from the work under discussion (a
quotation that was not included in the ME to which you are
responding) in support of your observations. Classmate
responses are due no later than midnight on the the dates
indicated on the Calendar of Assignments
(generally, 2 days after Mini-Essays are due).
Your eight classmate responses will not be graded as Written Work, but they are required to get credit for your Graded Paper and they factor into the Participation, Intellectual Engagement, and Collaboration component of your final course grade: each missing Classmate Response counts as an Unexcused Absence. Additionally, your peer-editing of the first draft of the essay revised and submitted for credit by another member of your Discussion Group is REQUIRED; failure to peer-edit the ME of ONE member of your Discussion Group WILL COUNT AS AN UNEXCUSED ABSENCE.
There are two Peer-Editing
assignments (which each student must complete for ONE other
member of her/his Discussion Group). The first is
"dry-run" peer edit of ME 1 which ALL students will complete and
turn in to Dr. Schwartz. The second, "official" Peer Edit
will be completed for a classmate as part of her/his revision
process prior to submitting her/his expanded/revised paper for a
grade. Both Peer Edits require the Peer Editor to fill out a
hard copy print-out of the Essay Evaluation Checklist
available as a printer-friendly document on Polylearn (a
print-out of the Essay
Evaluation Checklist webpage will not be accepted); to write
corrections and editing suggestions on the first draft of
the ME under revision using the Error Codes at the bottom
of the Essay Evaluation Checklist; to CIRCLE on that checklist
ALL error codes used in peer-editing the first draft ME; and
to write an end comment that points to strengths
and/or weaknesses of the ME and provides at least one
suggestion for what new material to include while expanding the
paper to three pages.
On the front of the hard-copy check-list, the Peer Editor's name
must be clearly indicated ("Feedback by NAME") along with the name
of the person whose ME is being responded to ("Feedback to NAME");
also indicate your Discussion Group number. If the names are
not included, the Peer Editor will not receive credit for this
On the front of the hard-copy check-list, the Peer Editor's name must be clearly indicated ("Feedback by NAME") along with the name of the person whose ME is being responded to ("Feeback to NAME"); also indicate your Discussion Group number. If the names are not included, the Peer Editor will not receive credit for this required assignment.
Your Graded paper counts for 25% of your final course grade.
The final paper submitted for grading must be submitted in hard copy AND in an electronic copy (.docx file) that I can submit, if necessary, to a Plagiarism checker. The electronic copy submitted by email MUST:
FINAL COURSE GRADE CALCULATION:
25%: Participation, Intellectual Engagement, and Collaboration (based on attendance and ungraded written work);OH MY GOSH . . . CAN I HANDLE THIS CLASS??
25%: Graded Paper
50%: Exams (midterm = 20%; final = 30%; equal weight to essay and objective components on each exam).
Sure you can -- if you keep up with the readings!
assume that the class will "take care of itself." If you
have a heavy
course- and/or work-load, you will need to budget time for
Finally. . . remember that
I LOVE teaching this stuff, and I'm told that my enthusiasm makes
Welcome . . . and Enjoy!
Contents of this and all linked pages Copyright Debora B. Schwartz, 1999-2019