You are on page 1of 7

Engl 447 Fall 2013 Syllabus Page 1 of 7

ENGL 447 Crosscurrents of English and European Literature: THE LITERATURE OF METAMORPHOSIS
Fall 2013, TuTh 1:05-2:25 (Education Building 629)

Professor Jamie Fumo Office Hours: Wednesdays 9:30-11:30 (or by appointment) Office Location: Arts 250 Email: jamie.fumo@mcgill.ca Office Phone: 514-398-4400 Ext 094741

Course Description This course explores the phenomenon of metamorphosis, or radical transformation, in a variety of imaginative discourses. A favorite literary topic in classical antiquity, metamorphosis was moralized by medieval Christian writers and later reconceived in light of modern theories of psychology and evolution. The historical attraction of shapeshifters, monsters, hybrids, grotesques, and werewolves remains alive and well in contemporary literature and cinema. In this course, we will approach metamorphosis as a cultural, artistic, and philosophical issue. What is the relationship between identity and change? Why has the notion of the selfs fluidity its inclination to cross the permeable boundaries of bestiality, sexuality, and spiritualityproven such an enduring fascination and anxiety? Our approach will be broadly historical, aiming to explore how notions of change themselves change over time and across cultures. Though our primary interest will be in representations of metamorphosis in literature (English and European), we will also consider the relevance of other cultural forms, including visual art, medical science, documentary records, and biological theory. Required Texts (available at Paragraphe Bookstore, 2220 McGill College Ave., except for the coursepack, which is available only at McGill Bookstore) 1. Ovid, Metamorphoses, trans. and ed. Charles Martin (Norton Critical Edition) 2. Apuleius, The Golden Ass, trans. P. G. Walsh (Oxford Worlds Classics) 3. Petrarch, Canzoniere, trans. Anthony Mortimer (Penguin Classics) 4. William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Nights Dream (Signet Classics) 5. Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis, trans. Stanley Corngold (Bantam Edition) 6. Italo Calvino, Cosmicomics, trans. William Weaver (Harvest/Harcourt Brace) 7. Coursepack* (required; contains required primary and secondary texts); available only at McGill Bookstore

Engl 447 Fall 2013 Syllabus Page 2 of 7 Evaluation 20% shorter essay (4-6 pages), 40% longer essay (10-12 pages), 30% take-home final exam, 10% class participation. Academic Honesty McGill University values academic integrity. Therefore all students must understand the meaning and consequences of cheating, plagiarism and other academic offences under the Code of Student Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures (see www.mcgill.ca/students/srr/honest/ for more information). All written work for this class (exams and essays) must be entirely your own. All secondary sources used for your essays must be clearly and fully cited according to the guidelines in the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, several copies of which are in the permanent Reference Collection of McLennan Library. Citation is essential both when you quote directly from the sources (using quotation marks) and when you paraphrase/assimilate their ideas. (See web link above for detailed guidelines and links.) If you consult websites in the course of your research, you MUST cite these in your papers just as you would printed books or articles; see the MLA Handbook for the correct format of citation. Essays bought or otherwise lifted from websites are absolutely unacceptable; be aware that I conduct random checks on essays to test for web-based plagiarism. Plagiarism will be disciplined in full accordance with University guidelines on academic offenses. Attendance Policy Attendance in class is required and will be recorded. You are responsible for keeping up with assignments and other work if you miss a class: be sure to catch up on class notes and acquire copies of handouts if you have been absent. You are allowed THREE free absences over the course of the semester; use themif you mustfor whatever you want. Beyond these three absences, however, additional UNEXCUSED absences will lower your final mark. Absences will be EXCUSED for the following reasons: illness (a verifiable doctors note is required), observance of a religious holiday, or serious personal emergency. Written Work Policy Written work is due at the beginning of class on the days specified on the syllabus. All written work should be typed in a standard font (no larger than 12 point) and double-spaced, with oneinch margins all around. Late papers (unless accompanied by a doctors note) will be downgraded. In most cases, penalty-free extensions will not be granted; if you anticipate having trouble meeting a deadline well ahead of time, let me know so we can make other arrangements (eleventh-hour emails do not count). Note: The due dates of the essays are provisional and may be changed (with the classs consent).

Engl 447 Fall 2013 Syllabus Page 3 of 7 Exam Policy This course will have a take-home final exam, scheduled during exam period (date TBA). Supplemental and deferred exams will be weighted just like regular final exams (i.e., 30% of your grade). Class Participation Class participation counts for 10% of your final grade. Class time will typically consist of a mix of structured lecture and more open discussion; your participation will count toward your final grade. Class participation is defined as meaningful verbal contribution to discussion during class time. Note that class attendance is evaluated on a separate basis (see above) and does not equal participation; full attendance without any oral participation equals a 0 mark for the participation component of your grade. Attendance, simply put, is a requirement of the course; participation is a measure of your performance and comprehension (like essays, exams, etc.) that is not tantamount simply to showing up. You are expected to come to each class having completed the reading carefully, thought about it critically, and noted points or questions about it that you would like to raise if given the opportunity. I will sometimes announce a couple questions in advance to guide your reading, and I especially expect you to come to class prepared to engage with those points. Your ideas, questions, and comments about our readings will be considered with a mind to quality more than quantity. Your participation grade will also be determined on the basis of your willingness to listen and respond to others in a supportive and respectful fashion. Note on in-class cell phone/smartphone use: This hardly needs stating, but I promise NEVER to talk on the phone or send text messages while Im lecturing, not even if communicating with long-dead poets. It is common courtesy for you to follow the same protocol while class is in session. myCourses (WebCT) This course has a myCourses (WebCT) site on which will be posted official assignment information and essential course resources (but generally not xeroxed readings distributed in class). This material will duplicate handouts distributed in hard copy during lectures. If you lose or miss official course materials, be sure to print out a copy from the myCourses site. The site will also have an open discussion board, which is yours to use as a convenience in any way you wish (i.e., to set up study groups, exchange notes with classmates if you miss a lecture, or discuss course material with classmates informally). Use of the open discussion board is entirely optional and will not be factored in to your class participation grade (exception: see assignment for final day of the semester). Check the myCourses site often, as I will sometimes use it to announce important information regarding the course or upcoming events. You will also be able to privately check your grades on assignments throughout the semester in the Grades part of the site.

Engl 447 Fall 2013 Syllabus Page 4 of 7

SCHEDULE (like all sublunary things, subject to change) Note: Readings are due on the date next to which they are listed. Readings in the Coursepack are designated CP. The table of contents at the beginning of the Coursepack provides the page numbers for individual readings, which should be in the same order that they appear on the syllabus.

ANCIENT (with a few postmodern ricochets) TUES Sept. 3: Introduction to the Course THURS Sept. 5: Lecture: Ovid the Poet Readings due: 1. Sara Mack, Ovid Today (CP) 2. Peter White, Ovid and the Augustan Milieu (CP) TUES Sept. 10: Ovid, Metamorphoses, pp. 5-46 (Proem through The Suns Complaint) THURS Sept. 12: Ovid, Metamorphoses, pp. 46-50, 60-110 (Jove, Callisto, and Arcas; Jove and Europa through Cadmus and Harmonia)

TUES Sept. 17: Ovid, Metamorphoses, pp. 127-66; 203-38 (Minerva Visits the Muses through Tereus, Procne, and Philomela; Nisus and Scylla through Achelous and Hercules) THURS Sept. 19: Ovid, Metamorphoses, pp. 250-315, 400-05 (Byblis and Caunas through Aesacus; Pomona and Vertumnus (1) Pomona and Vertumnus (2))

TUES Sept. 24: 1. Ovid, Metamorphoses, pp. 413-37 (The Teachings of Pythagoras through The Poet of the Future 2. Ovid, Tristia 1.1, 1.7 (CP read both Wheelers and Slavitts translations, provided sequentially) 3. 3. Joseph Farrell, The Ovidian Corpus: Poetic Body and Poetic Text (CP) 4. 4. Elena Theodorakopoulos, Closure and Transformation in Ovids Metamorphoses (CP)

Engl 447 Fall 2013 Syllabus Page 5 of 7 THURS Sept. 26: 1. Roger Moss, Hick, Hack, Hock (CP) 2. Rainer Maria Rilke, Orpheus. Eurydice. Hermes (CP) 3. Denise Levertov, A Tree Telling of Orpheus (CP)

TUES Oct. 1: Apuleius, The Golden Ass, Books 1-3 THURS Oct. 3: Apuleius, The Golden Ass, Books 4-6

TUES Oct. 8: Apuleius, The Golden Ass, Books 7-11. THURS Oct. 10: Apuleius, The Golden Ass (continued discussion). ESSAY #1 DUE (4-6pp.) MEDIEVAL AND EARLY MODERN TUES Oct. 15: Metamorphosis Christianized Readings due: 1. Anon., Ovide Moralis, excerpt (xerox) 2. Leonard Barkan, Metamorphosis in the Middle Ages (CP) 3. Aquinas on the Eucharist (CP) 4. Aquinas on the Incarnation (CP) THURS Oct. 17: The Beast Within Readings due: 1. Homer, Odyssey excerpt (CP) 2. Boethius, Consolation of Philosophy excerpt (CP) 3. Dante, Inferno cantos 24-25 (CP)

TUES Oct. 22: Petrarch, Canzoniere, poems 1-106 (in Mortimer ed.) + poems 6, 17, 18, 19, 23, 30, 45, 51, 60 (CP) THURS Oct. 24: Petrarch, Canzoniere, poems 122-250 (in Mortimer ed.) + poems 142, 179, 195, 197, 213, 239 (CP)

TUES Oct. 29: 1. Petrarch, Canzoniere, poems 264-365 (in Mortimer ed.) + poems 270, 323, 332, 366 (CP) 2. Philip Hardie, Ovid into Laura (CP) THURS Oct. 31: Medieval Werewolf Literature (I) (Yes! On Halloween!) 1. Marie de France, Bisclavret (CP)

Engl 447 Fall 2013 Syllabus Page 6 of 7 2. Rosenstock and Vincent, A Case of Lycanthropy (CP)

TUES Nov. 5: Medieval Werewolf Literature (II) 1. Anon., Arthur and Gorlagon (CP) 2. Anon., Sir Gowther (CP) 3. Trial Transcript of A True Discourse Declaring the Damnable Life and Death of One Stubbe Peeter (CP) THURS Nov. 7: Renaissance Witchcraft Tracts 1. Kramer and Sprenger, excerpt from Malleus Maleficarum (CP) 2. Reginald Scot, excerpt from Discoverie of Witchcraft (CP) 3. Deacon and Walker, Spirits and Devils (CP) 4. Stephen Freygood, The Beast Within (CP) TUES Nov. 12: Shakespeare, A Midsummer Nights Dream; reread Ovids Pyramus and Thisbe episode (Met. pp. 93-96) MODERN THURS Nov. 14: Evolution and Devolution (I) 1. Darwin, Descent of Man, excerpts (CP) 2. Gould, The Human Difference (CP) 3. Begin Kafka, The Metamorphosis

TUES Nov. 19: Evolution and Devolution (II) 1. Finish Kafka, The Metamorphosis 2. Nabokov, From Nabokovs Cornell Lectures (CP) 3. Read at least two of the critical essays (your choice) in the Criticism section of the Norton Critical Edition of Kafka (pp. 79-210) THURS Nov. 21: Postgalactic Ovidianism 1. Calvino, Cosmicomics (first 4 stories) 2. Calvino, Ovid and Universal Contiguity (CP) TUES Nov. 26: Calvino, Cosmicomics (next 4 stories) Note that because Nov. 28s class will be replaced by an online component (see below), today is the last physical meeting we will have as a class. THURS Nov. 28: CLASS CANCELLED. A virtual lecture and discussion on MyCourses will substitute for this days class on Calvino, Cosmicomics (last 4 stories). This required

Engl 447 Fall 2013 Syllabus Page 7 of 7 online course component can be viewed and contributed to anytime between Thurs., Nov. 28 and Tues., Dec. 3. ESSAY #2 (10-12 pp.) DUE Tuesday, Dec. 3 by 5:00. Delivery method and format TBA. DUE DATE OF TAKE-HOME FINAL EXAM TBA.