AJ44001 Introduction to Literary Studies

Faculty of Arts
Spring 2012
Extent and Intensity
0/0/0. 4 credit(s) (plus 2 credits for an exam). Type of Completion: zk (examination).
Mgr. Martina Bilá, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Mgr. Martina Horáková, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
Jeffrey Alan Vanderziel, B.A.
Department of English and American Studies - Faculty of Arts
Contact Person: Tomáš Hanzálek
Supplier department: Department of English and American Studies - Faculty of Arts
Timetable of Seminar Groups
AJ44001/A: each odd Friday 14:10–15:45 G22, M. Horáková
AJ44001/B: each odd Friday 10:50–12:25 G32, M. Horáková
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is only offered to the students of the study fields the course is directly associated with.
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
Course objectives
Course description:
This course consists of seminars that encourage students to engage in literary research and analysis. We will focus on two major literary works (F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and Margaret Atwood’s Surfacing) that will serve as the core case studies for a semester-long research project. In addition, we will read and analyze selections of poetry, short fiction and drama in order to demonstrate a variety of genres and literary approaches. These readings will be supplemented by chapters from A Short Guide to Writing about Literature and selections from literary theories that will provide further material for in-class discussions.
Course objectives:
1. To learn the methods of conducting library research and working with primary and secondary sources.
2. To acquire the techniques needed for literary analysis and writing academic essays.
3. To refine critical thinking about literature and achieve a deeper understanding of how literature affects us and how it enriches our perception of the world.
  • Week 1:Reading and discussion: The Great Gatsby Barnet et al.: chapters 1 and 2: “The Writer As Reader: Reading and Responding” and “The Reader as Writer: Drafting and Writing” response paper 1 due (submit in the ELF)
  • Week 2: Reading and Discussion: Surfacing Barnet et al., chapter 8: “Writing About Literature: An Overview” Portfolio: Unit 1: Secondary Sources: Surfacing and/or Gatsby (a list of 3 books, 3 book chapters, 3 journal articles, and 3 online sources; documentation style conforming to MLA; submit in the ELF) response paper 2 due
  • Week 3: Reading and discussion: selection of poetry Barnet et al., chapter 12: “Writing About Poetry” Portfolio: Unit 2: Paper Proposal and Annotated Bibliography (of three key secondary sources) response paper 3 due
  • Week 4: Reading and discussion: selection of short fiction Barnet et al., chapter 10: “Writing About Fiction: The World of the Story”; Portfolio: Unit 3: First Draft of the Research Paper (1700-2000 words, double-spaced, 12point font) response paper 4 due
  • Week 5: Reading and discussion: selection of drama Barnet et al., chapter 11: “Writing About Drama” Portfolio: Unit 4: Final Draft of the Research Paper (deadline May 21); response paper 5 due
    required literature
  • MLA Handbook 7th edition
  • Barnet, Sylvan, et al. A Short Guide to Writing About Literature. 2nd ed. Toronto: Pearson Education, 2004.
  • ATWOOD, Margaret. Surfacing. First Anchor Books Edition. New York: Anchor Book, a division of Random House, Inc., 1998. 199 stran. ISBN 9780385491051. info
  • FITZGERALD, Francis Scott. The great Gatsby. New York: Charles Scribner's sons, 1925. 182 s. ISBN 0684164981. info
    recommended literature
  • Culler, Jonathan, Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2000.
  • WELLEK, René and Austin WARREN. Theory of literature. 3rd ed. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1963. 374 s. ISBN 014017219X. info
Teaching methods
group and class dicussion, independent study, short lectures
Assessment methods
I. Research project portfolio: 4 units (3 assignments plus 1 final draft of the research paper), 60%
II. Participation: 5 response papers and class participation, 40%
Note: In order to pass the course, you must complete all the assignments.
Language of instruction
Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
Study Materials
The course is taught annually.
Information on the extent and intensity of the course: 5x2.
Teacher's information
The course is also listed under the following terms Spring 2005, Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019.
  • Enrolment Statistics (Spring 2012, recent)
  • Permalink: https://is.muni.cz/course/phil/spring2012/AJ44001