English 4180-01W
Southern Literature
Fall 2008
TR 2:00-3:15,   Humanities 206

Dr. Randy Hendricks
TLC 2237
678-839-6512
rhendric@westga.edu

Meetings by appointment.

Contact Jonette Larrew
jlarrew@westga.edu
678-839-6512

 General course description, learning outcomes,  and links to program goals for all sections of 4180
 

Course Description
Organizing texts in pairs or clusters, we’ll examine the literary side of the long and contentious debate over Southern history and culture in the wake of the American Civil War. For example, largely through lectures during our first class meetings, we’ll contrast the Old Dominion romance of Thomas Nelson Page’s “Marse Chan” with the stories of African-American writer Charles Chesnutt for the issues they raise about the ownership and authorship of Southern history (as well as the diversity of tone and genre they provide as we move from romance to folk material). We’ll follow the twisting extension of this debate through such framing concepts as The New South, The New Negro, Progressivism, and Agrarian conservatism, reading and/or referring to works by Sidney Lanier, H. L. Menken, John Crowe Ransom, Allen Tate, Alain Locke, and Richard Wright.

For the era of desegregation and the Civil Rights Movement, we will pair the writing of two major social and literary figures of the twentieth century--Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert Penn Warren—using selected writings by King, an interview Warren conducted with King for his book Who Speaks for the Negro? and Warren’s 1964 novel, Flood: A Romance of Our Time.

We'll examine literary representations of the rural south through fiction by Erskine Caldwell, Lee Smith, and Alice Walker.  In our final cluster, we'll study issues of Southern family and community through Tennessee William’s play The Glass Menagerie, Eudora Welty’s novel The Optimist’s Daughter, and Gail Godwin’s novel Father Melancholy’s Daughter.  The pairings and clusters will provide focus and, one trusts, coherence to the course, but they are not finally to be taken as solid divisions of knowledge. Lectures and discussions will range over the entire scope of our subject throughout the semester. In fact, we’ll use another pair of texts to bookend the course, beginning with Margaret Mitchell’s 1936 romance, Gone with the Wind, and ending with William Faulkner’s 1936 romance of a different color, Absalom, Absalom!

Texts: Mitchell, Gone with the Wind; Welty, The Optimist’s Daughter; Godwin, Father Melancholy’s Daughter; Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!; Caldwell, Tobacco Road; Smith, Oral History; Warren, Flood: A Romance of Our Time; Christian/Walker “Everyday Use” (Note: Students must have this edition).  A copy of Tennessee William's The Glass Menagerie, not ordered through the book store, may be obtained easily online or at any chain book store.

Requirements: Rigorous preparation for class and participation in discussions (including preparation of short discussion points 10%) , two analytical papers of 3-4 typed pages (30%), a midterm (10%); a research paper of 10-12 pages (30%); final exam (20%).
 
 

Some useful online resources:
 Robert Penn Warren Web Site
 William Faulkner on the Web
 
 
 First Essay Assignment  Second Essay Assignment
  Research Paper Assignment 
Discussion Points:  Students will lead discussion by preparing brief informal responses to assignments to present to the class.  The responses may take the
form of questions or observations.  You'll present them orally and turn in a written version, which might be a short paragraph and should not exceed a half page in length. In fact, two or three sentences will usually be adequate.  Each student will present a point for discussion at every third  meeting.   I'll divide you into groups for these assignment, but note that these are individual, not group/collaborative assignments.

When we have multiple texts, choose to comment on what interests you most.   Those who are not presenting will have the primary responsibility for responding to presenters.  10% of grade 
Discussion Point Groups:
Group 1
Angela Baldwin
Jessica Barrett
Shelly Bressner
Philip Brewer
Fontez Brooks
Matthew Bryant
Morgan Crook
Group 2
Angela Fox
Whitney Gentry
Jordan Hall
Irina Neufeld
Marshall Nolan
Tunde Okunola
Denise Reid
Group 3
Haley Roach
Olivia Sheridan
Amanda Shoemake
Stavroula Tosiou
Amanda Tucker
Danielle Turbyfield
Elizabeth Wood

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
3. Discussion points prepared before class.

The Writing to Communicate activities will include

<>1. a take-home mid-term
2. a final exam
3.  two shorter essays
4. the longer term paper

Some Policies, Expectations, and Other Important Information

Expectations:  The professional relationship 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 professional direction and assistance to your own study as well as a fair and careful assessment of
your progress.  It never buys the right not to attend class, to fail to complete assigned work, or to practice a radical individualism that distracts the instructor
and classmates with impunity.  By agreeing to teach the class, I agree to provide the direction, assistance, and assessment.  By enrolling in the class, you have
created obligations for yourself.  If you do not meet them, you will not succeed.

My basic assumption is that students are adults 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 types of professional or educational 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 by the stipulated deadlines.  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 October 6.  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.

Compliance with Act regarding disabilities:
The instructor will make accommodations to meet special needs of students with documented disabilities.  It is the responsibility of the student to inform the
instructor of any such need and to provide the appropriate documentation.
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.

Other Policies
    * Campus e-mail (myUWG) will be the official method for all communication by e-mail
    * No extra credit will be allowed in this course
    * Work done for another course may be accepted to satisfy requirements in this course, provided both instructors agree to accept such work.  Students
should keep in mind, however, that the same work might be evaluated according to different criteria, given the different outcomes.
 

Exams: The midterm exam will be a take-home exam.  The final exam will be a timed exam. The final will be comprehensive. The topics for exam essays will grow directly out of our class meetings, making attendance and participation all the more important. In-class or out-of-class response writings will often be warm ups for exam questions. All students will take the midterm. Only undergraduates will take the final.

Papers: Undergraduates will write a 10-12 page documented paper on one of the works studied in class or on another approved topic appropriate for the course topic. Be sure to get my approval for papers on topics others than texts we are reading.  A minimum of three secondary critical sources should be cited in the paper. Use MLA style documentation. Graduate students will write a 12-15  page paper, citing 5-7 secondary critical sources.

Click below for a link to criteria for all graded writing assignments.
 Grading Criteria

Letter grades will be assigned to each graded assignment.  The numerical equivalents below will be used to determine the final average.
A+ 100
A 95
A- 92
A/B 90
B+ 88
B 85
B- 82
B/C 80
C+ 78
C 75
C- 72
C/D 70
D+ 68
D 65
D- 62
D/F 60
F 55

Schedule

<>August    13        Introductions
               18       Lecture   
               20       Lecture
               25       Lecture      A Brief History of Atlanta During Reconstruction
               27      Mitchell's Gone with the Wind, Parts 1 and 2, through page 287; 
Sept.        1      Gone with the Wind, Part 3, through page 516;
                3    Gone with the Wind, Parts 4 and 5, through the end; Group 1
                8    Caldwell's Tobacco Road Group 2
               10     Tobacco Road  Group 3<>
               15     NO CLASS.     I'm out of town for a symposium. 
               17    Walker's "Everyday Use"; Davis, "Alice Walker's Celebration of Self in Southern Traditions."  Baker and Baker, "Patches:  Quilts and Community in Alice Walker's
                         'Everyday Use'"; Showalter, "Common Threads"  Group 1
               
Friday, September 18, Essay 1 Due by 5:00 pm.  Send as Word document email attachment to rhendric@westga.edu

                22    Smith's Oral History Group 2  
               29   Oral History Group 3
Oct.          1   Oral History;

Friday, October 2,  Midterm due by 5:00 p.m.  Send as e-mail attachment to rhendric@westga.edu

                  6    View and discuss Songcatcher
                  8    View and discuss Songcatcher
                13   King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail"  Link to text  Group 1   Civil Rights Timeline 
                       "I Have a Dream"  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbUtL_0vAJk

                15    Fall Break
                20    Warren's Flood:  A Romance of Our Time  Group 2
                22    Warren's Flood:  A Romance of Our Time Group 3
                27    Warren's Flood:  A Romance of Our Time
                29   Williams's The Glass Menagerie
Nov.          3    Welty's The Optimist's Daughter; Essay 2 Due
                  5    The Optimist's Daughter Group 1
                10    Godwin's Father Melancholy's Daughter Group 2
                12    Father Melancholy's Daughter Group 3
                17    Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom! Group 1
                19    Absalom, Absalom! Group 2
                24    Absalom, Absalom! Group 3
                26   Thanksgiving
 Dec.          1   Final class meeting.  Research Papers Due
                  8   Final Exam, 2:00-4:00 pm