engl 200C | literary analysis

Dr. Lisa Jadwin
110 Basil Hall
585.385.8192 (voice)
585.385.7311 (fax)
Office Hours: Tu/Th 9-9:30, Wed 12-2 (no appointment needed during office hours), by appointment at other times, and whenever my office door is open - feel free to drop by!

Download the current syllabus
View and download the class picture

Course Description & Goals

What are the best ways to understand a story, poem, or play? Why aren't all interpretations created equal? When reading literature, should we try to figure out what the author intended? English 200C is designed to help students learn to analyze literature creatively and systematically. Though you don't have to be an English major to succeed in this course, English 200C will be intellectually demanding and is specifically designed to hone the reading and writing skills of English majors. To succeed, you'll need to be hard-working, creative, open-minded, and an active learner. We'll spend the first few weeks mastering the basics of formalism - the art of analyzing how a work's form helps create its meaning. During this section of the course, the readings will be relatively short - a series of poems - but you'll be expected to delve very deeply into their form and meanings. Once students have mastered the basics of formalist analysis, we'll move on to study some key aspects of literary theory. Class will be collaborative and discussion-based, with lots of in- and out-of-class writing and group work.

Course Texts and Materials
Marc Polonsky, The Poetry Reader's Toolkit: A Guide to Reading and Understanding Poetry
Peter Barry, Beginning Theory: An Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory (second edition)
A pocket folder or loose-leaf lightweight binder (paper or plastic) to hold your notebook entries. Bring this to class every day!

Homework Notebook Writings (totaling 50% of your final grade. Prepare for class by writing responses to study questions on the day's readings. These writing assignments will help you better understand and internalize the readings so that you come to class well-prepared to learn and to contribute your own ideas. These writing assignments must be typed, double-spaced, at least 2 pages long, in a 10- or 12-point font, with 1-inch margins, double-spaced, titled, and carefully proofread. They will be evaluated on the basis of their completeness, originality, and presentation; assignments with more than one sentence-level error per page will be heavily penalized and may receive an "F," no feedback, or both.

Unfortunately, for security reasons (viruses/worms), it is impossible for me to accept e-mailed papers.

Exams (totaling 35% of your final grade). There will be two midterms (8% each of your final grade) and a final exam (19% of your final grade). See the calendar below for details.

Attendance and Participation (15% of your final grade). There is no substitute for showing up. Aim to miss no more than 2 classes. If you have a serious emergency, such as a death in the family, auto accident, hospitalization, etc., please contact me in advance or as soon as possible because it may be desirable for you to withdraw from the class rather than fail outright. More than 2 absences and more than two tardies will affect your final grade and may cause you to fail the course.

Participation. Students who participate constructively in class learn more, increase the quality of the class, and introduce important ideas and questions. If you participate regularly and constructively (listening attentively to everyone in the class and speaking often) you will receive a high grade, based on my estimate of the value of your contribution, in this category. Conversely, if your participation is negative - whispering with friends, passing notes, chowing down on a noisy meal, leaving litter behind, sleeping in class, etc. - you will receive a lower grade. If you miss class, have another student discuss his or her notes with you. Then, if you have further questions that they are unable to answer, contact me. You're responsible for finding out about any assignments, due dates, and announcements and for fulfilling them on time. Extra handouts and worksheets will be available after class on the front of my office door, and on the website, for pickup or download anytime.
Statement for Students with Diagnosed Disabilities
In compliance with St. John Fisher College policy and applicable laws, appropriate academic accommodations are available to you if you are a student with a disability. All requests for accommodations must be supported by appropriate documentation/diagnosis and determined reasonable by St. John Fisher College. Students with documented disabilities (physical, learning, psychological) who may need academic accommodations are advised to make an appointment with the Coordinator of Services for Students with Disabilities in the Student Development Center, Kearney 211. Late notification will delay requested accommodations.

To download the 2006 calendar in pdf format, click here.

st. john fisher college
rochester, NY 14618
©Lisa Jadwin, 1997-2008. All rights reserved.
Last updated Thursday, March 6, 2008.