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Course Syllabus 1

LIT 3327: Mid-Twentieth Century American Literature


First 5-Week Summer Session 2009

Course Information

LIT 3327.05A
JO 4.102 TR 1:00 – 5:30

Professor Contact Information

Dr. Ingrao
Office: JO 5.306
Office Hours: TR 11:30 – 12:30 and by appointment
Office Phone: 883 – 6089
Email: jingrao@utdallas.edu

Course Pre-requisites, Co-requisites, and/or Other Restrictions

HUMA 1301, LIT 2331, LIT 2332, or LIT 2341.

Course Description

LIT 3327 (3 semester hours) surveys American literature from about 1945 to about 1980. The
course examines literary trends by sampling such writers as the Beats, the confessional poets,
Pynchon, Capote, and Morrison, and considers such topics as metafiction, feminism, the black
arts movement, and the new journalism.

Student Learning Objectives/Outcomes

This course seeks to offer students the potential to: 1) Sample literary trends and movements in
American literature from about 1945 to about 1980 as expressions of particular ideological
viewpoints; 2) Sample key American writers from about 1945 to about 1980; 3) Consider the
manner in which this specific literary period fits into the larger scope of American literature;
4) Read texts assigned in the course as responses both to other assigned texts and the time of their
production.
Course Syllabus 2

Required Textbooks and Materials

Textbooks are available at the UTD Bookstore, Off Campus Books, and commercially. Use only
the following editions:

Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman (Penguin)


Truman Capote, In Cold Blood (Vintage)
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye (Vintage)
Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Vintage)
Barry Hannah, Ray (Grove)

Handouts, such as Ginsberg’s “Howl,” will be available through e-reserve.

How to Access E-Reserve Materials

Many of the readings for this course will be accessed through e-reserve. These readings are
marked as e-reserve on the syllabus. A syllabus is also available as a Word document through
e-reserve should a printed copy be misplaced. To access e-reserve:

1. Go to the following URL:

http://utdallas.docutek.com/eres/coursepage.aspx?cid=633

2. Next, you will be asked for a password. The password is “gonzo.” After you enter the
password, click “Accept.”

A list of e-reserve materials should appear. Click on the needed reading for a PDF version or
web link.

Please contact the instructor at jingrao@utdallas.edu if you experience problems opening


materials placed on e-reserve.

Assignments & Academic Calendar

May 26:

• Introduction: Discuss syllabus, exams, and collaborative learning project


• Conformity and a National Literature
• Introduction to Death of a Salesman
• Begin collaborative learning project
• Begin reading In Cold Blood
Course Syllabus 3

May 28:

• Discuss Death of a Salesman, pages 1-112


• Film: excerpts from Death of a Salesman
• The Beats
• Ginsberg, “Howl” (e-reserve)
• Review collaborative learning project requirements and criteria

June 2:

• Kerouac, excerpts from Big Sur (e-reserve)


• The Beats and Environmentalism
• First collaborative learning group presents: excerpt from Carson’s Silent Spring and
Snyder's "Smokey the Bear Sutra" (e-reserve)
• Confessional Poetry
• Second collaborative learning group presents: Lowell’s “Memories of West Street
and Lepke” and “For the Union Dead” (e-reserve)
• Confessional Poetry and Feminism
• Friedan, excerpt from The Feminine Mystique (e-reserve)

June 4:

• Third collaborative learning group presents: Plath’s “Daddy” and “Lady Lazarus”
(e-reserve)
• Deconstruction and Metafiction
• Barthelme, “The Balloon” (e-reserve)
• Cheever, “The Swimmer” (e-reserve)
• Pynchon, “Entropy” (e-reserve)
• The New Journalism
• Discuss In Cold Blood, pages 3-57
• Review for first exam

June 9:

• Discuss In Cold Blood, pages 58-288


• Films: excerpts from Capote and Infamous
• First exam

June 11:

• Discuss In Cold Blood, pages 288-343


• Walker, “The Civil Rights Movement: What Good was It?” (e-reserve)
• The Black Arts Movement
• Malcolm X, "The Ballot or the Bullet" (e-reserve)
• Fourth collaborative learning group presents: Baraka’s “An Agony. As Now,”
Brooks’s “To the Diaspora,” and Lorde’s “Black Mother Woman” (e-reserve)
Course Syllabus 4

June 16:

• Fifth collaborative learning group presents: Baldwin’s “Going to Meet the Man”
(e-reserve)
• Sixth collaborative learning group presents: Hayden’s “Middle Passage”
(e-reserve)
• Walker, “Everyday Use” (e-reserve)
• Discuss The Bluest Eye, pages 3-93

June 18:

• Discuss The Bluest Eye, pages 97-206


• America in Vietnam and the Reevaluation of the Past
• Sontag, “What’s Happening in America (1966)” (e-reserve)
• Film: excerpts from Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson
• Discuss Fear and Loathing, pages 3-96

June 23:

• Discuss Fear and Loathing, pages 99-204


• Film: excerpts from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
• Charters, “How to Maintain a Peaceful Demonstration” (e-reserve)
• Mailer, excerpt from The Armies of the Night: "A Confrontation by the River" (e-reserve)
• Seventh collaborative learning group presents: O’Brien’s “The Man I Killed”
(e-reserve)
• Review for second exam

June 25:

• Ray, pages 3-113


• Final exam essay prompt assigned
• Second exam
• Discuss MLA
• Answer questions concerning final exam prompt

July 2:

• Final exam due between 1:00 and 2:00 in JO 5.306

Grading Policy

Semester grades will be calculated in accordance with the following percentages:

Collaborative learning project 25%


First exam 25%
Second exam 25%
Final exam 25%
Course Syllabus 5

Letter grades correspond to the following numerical values in calculating a student’s semester
grade:

A+ 4.00 C+ 2.33 F 0.00


A 4.00 C 2.00
A- 3.67 C- 1.67

B+ 3.33 D+ 1.33
B 3.00 D 1.00
B- 2.67 D- 0.67

In general, letter grades are determined by the following criteria:

A--represents outstanding participation in all course activities; all assigned work completed on
time, with very high quality and original thought in all work produced for the course.

B--represents excellent participation in all course activities; all assigned work completed on time,
with consistently high quality in course work.

C--represents good to average participation in course activities; all assigned work completed,
with generally good overall quality in course work.

D--represents uneven participation in course activities; some gaps in assigned work completed,
with inconsistent quality in course work.

F--represents minimal participation in course activities; serious gaps in assigned work completed,
or very low quality in course work.

Course & Instructor Policies

In addition to regular attendance, this course requires four major assignments that will be used in
determining a semester grade:

1. Collaborative Learning Project—Student groups will make a sixty-minute (this


includes time for peer questions and commentary; the presentation itself should run
approximately forty to forty-five minutes) presentation to the class on assigned
material. Presentations should include the following information:

A) Context: Discuss the work’s place in the particular time that it was
produced, as well as its place in the broader scope of an author’s
corpus. In terms of biography, take care. Mention only cogent
biographical fact.
B) Literature Review: How have critics responded to the particular
work or works assigned over time? In some cases where critical
response to a particular work is scarce, students might focus on how
critics have responded to the author’s larger body of works. At least
Course Syllabus 6

six critical sources should be utilized in relation to the assignment.


Only two of these sources may be culled from a general Internet
search. Do not use Wikipedia. Each group should submit a Works
Cited list of critical sources to the instructor on the day of its
assigned presentation.
C) Analysis: Present a reading of the work or works that involves and
engages the class. Where more than one work has been assigned, a
compare and contrast approach might be helpful.

Tips for group presentations:

 Share the work.


 Everyone should speak approximately an equal amount of time. Practice
and time the group prior to the assigned presentation date. Utilize any
multimedia during practice. Practicing ahead of time will also alleviate
anxiety associated with speaking to the class.
 Do not constantly look at notes.
 Speak slowly.
 Speak clearly.
 Speak with confidence.
 Be prepared to answer questions.
 Be prepared to give further explanation.
 Make sure each person introduces the next and what he/she will present
to aid the flow of the presentation.
 Consider the use of multimedia beyond, or in addition to, PowerPoint.
 Take care that the use of multimedia adds to the presentation without
overwhelming content or analysis.
 Groups presenting a poet might find the following website to be an
excellent resource: http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/
 Have fun and be creative.

Though students will present in groups, grades will be individual and based upon
performance during the presentation. “Performance,” in this context, will be defined
by the combined total of four categories evaluated by the instructor:

A) Clear spoken delivery of material (the student does not stammer or hesitate in
presenting the information, the student can be heard, and so on).
B) Clear organization of ideas presented.
C) Content.
D) Response to questions (every student will receive at least one from the
instructor if not from peers).

Each category will receive a letter grade worth 25% of the final assignment grade.
The final assignment grade, before any potential deductions, will be the average of
these four letter grades (see “Grading Policy” above for the numerical value of letter
grades used in calculation).

Moreover . . . to encourage participation, each student will submit a one-page, typed,


double-spaced evaluation of his or her group members on the day of the presentation.
This evaluation should assess the contribution of members to the group. Please be
specific concerning the role and participation of each group member.
Course Syllabus 7

If a majority of peer evaluations within a particular group note a lack of participation


in preparation for the project, a student's presentation grade will be penalized. For
example, a student receives a C on the assignment but evaluations note a lack of
participation. The grade will drop to a C-.

Failure to submit an evaluation on time (at the beginning of the class period on the
date that the student has been scheduled to present with his or her classmates) will
also result in a deduction from the student’s presentation grade. For example, a
student receives a B+ on the assignment but fails to turn in an evaluation at the
beginning of class. The grade will drop to a B.

Presentations cannot be made up. Failure on behalf of a student to be present


on the day that he or she has been scheduled to present will result in a F for the
assignment. Please plan ahead.

2. First exam (not comprehensive)—Consists of a series of short answer questions.


Students will need to provide a bluebook for the exam.

3. Second exam (not comprehensive)—Consists of a series of short answer questions.


Students will need to provide a bluebook for the exam.

4. Final exam (comprehensive)—A take-home, formal essay question. Response to the


question requires argument/thesis, organization, effective incorporation of primary
sources considered in class, correct grammar, and correct MLA documentation and
format.

Be sure to note all due dates on the daily academic calendar. The instructor reserves the right
to refuse make-up assignments or exams without a valid excuse. Inform the instructor—in
advance if possible—if a valid reason for being absent exists, and be prepared to document all
legitimate excuses. Legitimate excuses for missing class include only the following:

1) Religiously observant students wishing to be absent on holidays that require missing


class should notify their instructor in writing during the first week of the semester and
should discuss with him, in advance, acceptable ways of making up any work missed
because of the absence.

2) Students participating in an officially sanctioned, scheduled University extracurricular


activity will be given the opportunity to make up class assignments or other graded
assignments missed as a result of their participation. It is the responsibility of the student
to make arrangements with the instructor prior to any missed assignment for making up
the work. Students who must travel in association with a University athletic function
should plan on completing any work prior to travel.

3) A documented illness. Documentation should include physician contact information,


and clearly state the date missed and that the student could not attend class. Non-
documented illness will not constitute a valid excuse for missing class.

Vacation plans, travel plans, work-related absences, and so on do not constitute excused absences
under this policy.
Course Syllabus 8

Students seeking to make up an exam must first present documentation of a valid excuse before
the make-up exam can be scheduled. Students will have one week (seven days; this does include
weekends) from the original exam date to take the make-up exam. Students should be aware that
the make-up exam will differ from the in-class exam in content. Though the format of the exam
will be the same, students seeking to make up the first exam, for example, should expect to be
asked different short answer questions than those presented on the in-class exam.
Due to the fast pace of this course and the amount of material that will be covered during each
class period, a student will be allowed one unexcused absence for the five weeks. Students with
one or no unexcused absences for the semester will receive five points of extra credit towards
their lowest assignment grade.

Attendance will be taken at the beginning of each class period. Students who are not present at
this time will be counted absent unless a documented valid excuse is presented. Two fifteen
minutes breaks are possible each class. Leaving during a class break will also constitute an
absence for the day unless a documented valid excuse is presented.

This course is conducted according to strict codes of academic honesty. All cases of cheating
will be fully investigated. Penalties for cheating may include failing an exam, failing the course,
or suspension and expulsion from the University. Students are expected to know the University’s
policies and procedures on such matters, as well as those governing student services, conduct, and
obligations.

Please contact the instructor with any questions concerning these polices.

______________________________________________________________________________

Technical Support

If students experience any problems with their UTD accounts they may send an email to:
assist@utdallas.edu or call the UTD Computer Helpdesk at 972-883-2911.

Field Trip Policies


Off-Campus Instruction and Course Activities

Off-campus, out-of-state, and foreign instruction and activities are subject to state law and
University policies and procedures regarding travel and risk-related activities. Information
regarding these rules and regulations may be found at the website address
http://www.utdallas.edu/BusinessAffairs/Travel_Risk_Activities.htm. Additional information is
available from the office of the school dean. Below is a description of any travel and/or risk-
related activity associated with this course.

N/A

Student Conduct & Discipline


Course Syllabus 9

The University of Texas System and The University of Texas at Dallas have rules and
regulations for the orderly and efficient conduct of their business. It is the responsibility
of each student and each student organization to be knowledgeable about the rules and
regulations which govern student conduct and activities. General information on student
conduct and discipline is contained in the UTD printed publication, A to Z Guide, which
is provided to all registered students each academic year.

The University of Texas at Dallas administers student discipline within the procedures of
recognized and established due process. Procedures are defined and described in the
Rules and Regulations, Series 50000, Board of Regents, The University of Texas System,
and in Title V, Rules on Student Services and Activities of the University’s Handbook of
Operating Procedures. Copies of these rules and regulations are available to students in
the Office of the Dean of Students, where staff members are available to assist students in
interpreting the rules and regulations (SU 1.602, 972/883-6391) and online at
http://www.utdallas.edu/judicialaffairs/UTDJudicialAffairs-HOPV.html

A student at the University neither loses the rights nor escapes the responsibilities of
citizenship. He or she is expected to obey federal, state, and local laws as well as the
Regents’ Rules, University regulations, and administrative rules. Students are subject to
discipline for violating the standards of conduct whether such conduct takes place on or
off campus, or whether civil or criminal penalties are also imposed for such conduct.

Academic Integrity

The faculty expects from its students a high level of responsibility and academic honesty.
Because the value of an academic degree depends upon the absolute integrity of the work
done by the student for that degree, it is imperative that a student demonstrate a high
standard of individual honor in his or her scholastic work.

Any student who commits an act of scholastic dishonesty is subject to discipline.


Scholastic dishonesty includes but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, collusion, the
submission for credit of any work or materials that are attributable in whole or in part to
another person, taking an examination for another person, any act designed to give unfair
advantage to a student, or the attempt to commit such acts.

Plagiarism, especially from the web, from portions of papers for other classes, and from
any other source is unacceptable and will be dealt with under the University’s policy on
plagiarism (see general catalog for details).

Copyright Notice

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making
of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted materials, including music and
software. Copying, displaying, reproducing, or distributing copyrighted works may
infringe the copyright owner’s rights and such infringement is subject to appropriate
disciplinary action as well as criminal penalties provided by federal law. Usage of such
material is only appropriate when that usage constitutes “fair use” under the Copyright
Act. U.T. Dallas students are required to follow the institution’s copyright policy (Policy
Memorandum 84-I.3-46). For more information about the fair use exemption, see
http://www.utsystem.edu/ogc/intellectualproperty/copypol2.htm
Course Syllabus 10

Email Use

The University of Texas at Dallas recognizes the value and efficiency of communication
between faculty/staff and students through electronic mail. At the same time, email raises
some issues concerning security and the identity of each individual in an email exchange.
The University encourages all official student email correspondence be sent only to a
student’s U.T. Dallas email address and that faculty and staff consider email from
students official only if it originates from a UTD student account. This allows the
University to maintain a high degree of confidence in the identity of all individuals
corresponding and the security of the transmitted information. UTD furnishes each
student with a free email account that is to be used in all communication with University
personnel. The Department of Information Resources at U.T. Dallas provides a method
for students to have their U.T. Dallas mail forwarded to other accounts.

Withdrawal from Class

The administration of this institution has set deadlines for withdrawal of any college-level
courses. These dates and times are published in that semester's course catalog.
Administration procedures must be followed. It is the student's responsibility to handle
withdrawal requirements from any class. In other words, the professor cannot drop or
withdraw any student. Students must do the proper paperwork to ensure that they will not
receive a final grade of "F" in a course if they choose not to attend the class once they are
enrolled.

NOTE: May 29th is the last day to drop this course without incurring a W.

Student Grievance Procedures

Procedures for student grievances are found in Title V, Rules on Student Services and
Activities, of the University’s Handbook of Operating Procedures.

In attempting to resolve any student grievance regarding grades, evaluations, or other


fulfillments of academic responsibility, it is the obligation of the student first to make a
serious effort to resolve the matter with the instructor, supervisor, administrator, or
committee with whom the grievance originates (hereafter called “the respondent”).
Individual faculty members retain primary responsibility for assigning grades and
evaluations. If the matter cannot be resolved at that level, the grievance must be
submitted in writing to the respondent with a copy of the respondent’s School Dean. If
the matter is not resolved by the written response provided by the respondent, the student
may submit a written appeal to the School Dean. If the grievance is not resolved by the
School Dean’s decision, the student may make a written appeal to the Dean of Graduate
or Undergraduate Education, and the Dean will appoint and convene an Academic
Appeals Panel. The decision of the Academic Appeals Panel is final. The results of the
academic appeals process will be distributed to all involved parties.

Copies of these rules and regulations are available to students in the Office of the Dean of
Students, where staff members are available to assist students in interpreting the rules and
regulations.
Course Syllabus 11

Incomplete Grade Policy

As per University policy, incomplete grades will be granted only for work unavoidably
missed at the semester’s end and only if 70% of the course work has been completed. An
incomplete grade must be resolved within eight (8) weeks from the first day of the
subsequent long semester. If the required work to complete the course and to remove the
incomplete grade is not submitted by the specified deadline, the incomplete grade is
changed automatically to a grade of F.
Disability Services

The goal of Disability Services is to provide students with disabilities educational


opportunities equal to those of their non-disabled peers. Disability Services is located in
room 1.610 of the Student Union. Office hours are Monday and Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to
6:30 p.m.; Tuesday and Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; and Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30
p.m.

The contact information for the Office of Disability Services is:

The University of Texas at Dallas, SU 22


PO Box 830688
Richardson, Texas 75083-0688
(972) 883-2098 (voice or TTY)
disabilityservice@utdallas.edu

If a student anticipates issues related to the format or requirements of this course, please
meet with the Coordinator of Disability Services. The Coordinator is available to discuss
ways to ensure full participation in the course. If a student determines that formal,
disability-related accommodations are necessary, it is very important that he or she be
registered with Disability Services to notify them of eligibility for reasonable
accommodations. Disability Services can then plan how best to coordinate
accommodations.

It is the student’s responsibility to notify his or her professors of the need for such an
accommodation. Disability Services provides students with letters to present to faculty
members to verify that the student has a disability and needs accommodations.
Individuals requiring special accommodation should contact the professor after class or
during office hours.

Religious Holy Days

The University of Texas at Dallas will excuse a student from class or other required
activities for the travel to and observance of a religious holy day for a religion whose
places of worship are exempt from property tax under Section 11.20, Tax Code, Texas
Code Annotated.

The student is encouraged to notify the instructor or activity sponsor as soon as possible
regarding the absence, preferably in advance of the assignment. The student, so excused,
will be allowed to take the exam or complete the assignment within a reasonable time
after the absence: a period equal to the length of the absence, up to a maximum of one
week. A student who notifies the instructor and completes any missed exam or
assignment may not be penalized for the absence. A student who fails to complete the
Course Syllabus 12

exam or assignment within the prescribed period may receive a failing grade for that
exam or assignment.

If a student or an instructor disagrees about the nature of the absence [i.e., for the purpose
of observing a religious holy day], or if there is similar disagreement about whether the
student has been given a reasonable time to complete any missed assignments or
examinations, either the student or the instructor may request a ruling from the chief
executive officer of the institution, or his or her designee. The chief executive officer or
designee must take into account the legislative intent of TEC 51.911(b), and the student
and instructor will abide by the decision of the chief executive officer or designee.

These descriptions and timelines are subject to change at the discretion of


the Professor.
Course Syllabus 13