English 4188-02W  Faulkner
Spring 2012

MW 3:30-4:50, Pafford 308

Dr. Randy Hendricks

For appointments;
678-839-5450 or kgamble@westga.edu


Links to aids and assignments:
Midterm Prep. Sheet

Preparation for Final

 Grading Criteria

 Reseach Paper Assignment


William Faulkner on the Web

Learning Outcomes
These pertain to all sections of ENGL 4188:

• Students will become familiar with the career of a major figure in literature.
• Students will understand how that writer's work both embodies the literary tradition that precedes it and influences the literature that follows it.
• Students will appreciate the ways in which a writer's career and reputation are influenced by social, political, historical, and cultural forces.
• Students will gain an enhanced knowledge of how criticism shapes literary history.
• Students will demonstrate in both oral and written work a discipline-specific critical facility through convincing and well supported analysis of course-related material.
• Students will demonstrate their command of academic English and of the tenets of sound composition by means of thesis-driven analytical prose.

Relation to Program Goals:
This course directly supports the learning outcomes for the B.A. in English, specifically outcomes A-F as listed on the English Department web page.

Course Description:
Though the terms shift periodically (“overvalued” in one decade, damned in another), William Faulkner continues to be the focus of much critical inquiry and debate.  As part of this work, this course undertakes to ascertain the significance of Faulkner's fiction in terms of its aesthetic value, its relation to a cluster of American and modern themes, and its value as a cultural/historical seismograph. We will approach Faulkner through close readings of individual texts, through intertextual connections that define the fascinating body of his work.  We will give some consideration as well to the extent of his influence on later writers.  This course concentrates on revealing Faulkner's value as an artist whose aesthetic accomplishment is more fully discernible in the larger and sometimes complementary and sometimes contradictory contexts of American, modernist, and regionalist literary interests.  Consideration of the history of Faulkner criticism will ground students in their own reading.

WAC Elements: The W designation for this course indicates that it is a Writing Across the Curriculum Course. This means that undergraduates may take it to satisfy one of their W requirements. A W course incorporates both Writing to Learn and Writing to Communicate activities into its design.
 Specific Writing to Learn activities in this course will include:
1. Responding to warm-up questions at the beginning of class in writing
2. Summarizing class discussions at the end of class
One-page explications of assigned passages from texts
  At least one faux-Faulkner assignment in which students attempt to imitate Faulkner’s prose style.
The Writing to Communicate activities will include
1. two analytical papers, 3-4 typed pages (40%)
2. a mid-term (10%) and final exam (20%)
3. a research paper, 12-15 pages (30%)

Some Policies, Expectations, and Other Important Information


The professional relation between an instructor and a student is not that of vendor and consumer.  One does not buy learning the way one buys a car, a sound system, or a hamburger.  Tuition buys thorough direction to your own study in the discipline provided by a professional with knowledge of and devotion to the field.  It does not buy you the right to decide not to attend class, do assigned work, or practice a radical individualism that proves a distraction to the instructor and classmates. By agreeing to teach the class, I agree to certain obligations.  By enrolling in the class, you have created obligations for yourself.  If you do not meet them, you will not succeed.

My basic expectation is that students be adults seriously preparing to be professionals.  They should understand that the way they conduct business has a direct influence on their success in the class and other tangible if longer-term results (For example, you are not only completing the requirements for the courses you are currently taking, you are developing professional relationships with your instructors, who will in due course serve as your primary references as you seek admission to graduate schools, employment, or other professional opportunities).

To be more specific, I expect students to come to each class meeting on time, prepared and ready to concentrate on the tasks at hand.  I further expect students to prepare all assignments with scrupulous attention to detail and directions.  And I tolerate no unprofessional distractions such as gum chewing, sleeping in class, using beepers or cell phones (either for incoming or outgoing calls).  Students who create such distractions will leave the class.

Deadline for Withdrawal:  The deadline for withdrawing from any class with a grade of W is March 2.  Students may withdraw from a class after that date only in the case of hardship.  Hardship withdrawals are determined in the office of the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, not by instructors or department chairs.  Students who are granted hardship withdrawals must withdraw from all their classes.

Department of English and Philosophy Plagiarism Policy
The Department of English and Philosophy defines plagiarism as taking personal credit for the words and ideas of others as they are presented in electronic, print, and verbal sources.  The Department expects that students will accurately credit sources in all assignments.  Plagiarism is grounds for failing the course.

Jan      9     Course Overview
         11     Lecture:  Faulkner:  A Brief Biography and History of Criticism
         16   No Class  MLK Holiday The Unvanquished I-IV
         18   The Unvanquished (email meeting)
         23   The Sound and the Fury Part One
         25   The Sound and the Fury Parts Two 
         30   The Sound and the Fury Part Three
Feb     1     The Sound and the Fury Part Four
           6  The Sound and the Fury
Paper one due.
           8  As I Lay Dying through page 127
         13   As I Lay Dying through end
         15   As I Lay Dying
         20   Taking Stock of where we have been
         27   Light in August Chapters 1-7
         29   Light in August Chapters 8-14
Mar    5   Light in August Chapters 15-21
          7   Light in August
        12    Absalom, Absalom! I-II
        14    Absalom, Absalom! III-IV
        19    Spring Break
        21    Sping Break
        26    Absalom, Absalom! V-VI
        28    Absalom, Absalom! VII-IX
   2    The Hamlet Books I and II;
Paper two due
          4   The Hamlet Books III and IV
          9    The Hamlet
        11    Go Down, Moses through page 180
        16    Go Down, Moses through end
        18    Collected Stories ("Barn Burning," "Shingles for the Lord," "The Tall Men," "Two Soldiers," "A Rose for Emily," "Dry September," "Mule in the Yard," "That Evening Sun," "Red Leaves)

         20  Research Papers Due
         25   Final Exam, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Research Paper Options (Suggestions only)

1.  An interpretation of a novel by Faulkner not read in class, grounded in the criticism:
• Soldier’s Pay
• Mosquitos
• Sartoris
• Sanctuary
• Requium for a Nun
• The Town
• The Mansion
• The Wild Palms
• A Fable
• The Reviers

2. A reading of a text we’ve read from the perspective of a particular critical  approachformalistm historicist, structuralist, deconstructionist, feminist, etc.
3. An argument against a particular interpretation of a text we’ve studied in the class.
4. A comparison of Faulkner with another author.
5. Tracing the development of a motif or a theme through Faulkner’s work over his career.
6. Roll your own, after thorough discussion with me, of course.


Note: A passing grade on any assignment first assumes competence in the mechanics of standard written English.

C     To earn a “C,” a student must
• Respond to the constraints of the assignment.
• Focus on the topic.
• Provide a clear thesis.
• Maintain a tone appropriate for a scholarly audience.
• Order essay logically, from sentence to sentence, paragraph to paragraph, idea to idea.
• Provide sufficient evidence and detail throughout the essay.
• Have sufficient control of standard written English and MLA guidelines such that errors, including any in grammar, punctuation, spelling, and formatting, if present, do not cause serious confusion and/or distraction.
• Provide adequate, reliable, and relevant secondary documentation, where applicable.
• Demonstrate an understanding of context and purpose in relating secondary sources to paper’s claims/ideas.
• Exhibit nearly error-free incorporation of documentation into the body of the essay.

 B To earn a “B,” a student must meet the minimum requirements for a “C” essay plus
• Provide a well-framed and insightful thesis.
• Recognize complexities and show evidence of serious consideration of the topic.
• Support most points with appropriate, well-analyzed examples and intelligent arguments.
• Show logical development and organization throughout.
• Offer writing that is relatively free of grammatical and technical errors.
• Provide substantive and relevant documentation, where applicable, in support of most claims/ideas.
• Demonstrate a thorough understanding of context and purpose in relating secondary sources to paper’s claims/ideas where applicable.
• Exhibit error-free and varied incorporation of documentation into the body of the essay.
 A     To earn an “A,” a student must meet the minimum requirements for a “B” essay plus:
• Provide a sophisticated thesis that demonstrates independent thinking.
• Support all claims/ideas with appropriate, fully analyzed examples and compelling, insightful arguments.
• Show persuasive logical development and organization throughout.
• Maintain a distinctive voice and consistent viewpoint that incorporates interesting and varied style.
• Provide secondary sources, where applicable, that demonstrate independent research in the field.
• Enter into meaningful dialogue with secondary sources, such that the student is not just proving someone else’s point but developing original ideas in relation to research material.

 D A “D” grade results from
• Failing to respond clearly to the assignment, or
• A lack of qualities listed under the minimum requirements for a “C,” or
• Insufficient control of standard written English, resulting in substantial errors that cause confusion or incoherence.

 F          An “F” grade results from
• Two or more of the faults listed in “D” above.