AJ44001 Introduction to Literary Studies

Faculty of Arts
Spring 2011
Extent and Intensity
0/0/0. 6 credit(s). Type of Completion: zk (examination).
Teacher(s)
Mgr. et Mgr. Kateřina Prajznerová, M.A., Ph.D. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
Jeffrey Alan Vanderziel, B.A.
Department of English and American Studies - Faculty of Arts
Contact Person: Tomáš Hanzálek
Timetable
each odd Friday 9:10–10:45 G24
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 selected works of African American literature that are representative of the five main genres and that will serve as the core case studies. These readings will be supplemented by scholarly essays on the African American literary tradition and by chapters from A Short Guide to Writing about Literature.
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.
Syllabus
  • Session 1, Mar. 4:
  • Introduction, course policies and assignments
  • Literatures in English: Gateways to Research
  • Reading and discussion:
  • Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God.
  • Gates, Henry Louis, Jr. “Writing ‘Race’ and the Difference It Makes.”
  • Morrison, Toni. “Rootedness: The Ancestor as Foundation.”
  • Snead, James A. “Repetition as a Figure of Black Culture.”
  • In-class response paper 1
  • Session 2, Mar. 18:
  • No class; Read on your own:
  • Walker, Alice. You Can’t Keep a Good Woman Down.
  • Henderson, Mae Gwendolyn. “Speaking in Tongues: Dialogics, Dialectics, and the Black Woman Writer’s Literary Tradition.”
  • Barnet et al., Chapter 10: “Writing About Fiction: The World of the Story” (pages 139-76)
  • Response paper 2: a fully developed paragraph, of about 300 words, due by noon Mar. 17 as an echo-assignment in ELF. Please note that this paper will be open-topic and that, in lieu of class discussion, you will be able to read everyone else’s work if you choose to do so.
  • RP Portfolio: Unit 1: Secondary Sources (Hurston and Walker: a list of 5 books, 5 book chapters, 5 journal articles, and 5 websites); due by noon Mar. 17 in ELF. Please note that, in lieu of peer-review in class, you will be able to read everyone else’s work if you choose to do so.
  • Session 3, Apr. 1:
  • Reading and discussion:
  • Hughes, Langston. Selected Poems.
  • Williams, Shirley A. “The Blues Roots of Contemporary Afro-American Poetry.”
  • Barnet et al., Chapter 12: “Writing About Poetry” (pages 205-41)
  • In-class response paper 3
  • RP Portfolio: Unit 2: Paper Proposal and Annotated Bibliography (8 key secondary sources); due by noon Mar. 31 in ELF and in hard copy in class.
  • Session 4, Apr. 15:
  • Reading and discussion:
  • Hansberry, Lorraine. A Raisin in the Sun.
  • Davis, Ossie. “The Significance of Lorraine Hansberry.”
  • Barnet et al., Chapter 11: “Writing About Drama” (pages 177-204)
  • In-class response paper 4
  • RP Portfolio: Unit 3: Research Paper: First Draft (1700-2000 words); due by noon Apr. 14 in ELF and in hard copy in class.
  • Session 5, May 13:
  • Conclusion and course evaluation
  • Reading and discussion:
  • Washington, Booker, T. Up from Slavery.
  • Du Bois, W. E. B. from The Souls of Black Folk: “Our Spiritual Strivings,”
  • “Of Mr. Booker T. Washington and Others”
  • Barnet et al., Chapter 9: “Writing About Essays” (pages 129-38)
  • In-class response paper 5
  • RP Portfolio: Unit 4: Research Paper: Final Draft (1700-2000 words) and the revised complete Research Project Portfolio; due by noon May 12 in ELF and in hard copy in class (1st re-sit: by noon May. 26, 2nd re-sit by noon June 16).
Literature
    required literature
  • MLA Handbook, 7th edition
  • Walker, Alice. You Can’t Keep a Good Woman Down.
  • Washington, Booker, T. Up from Slavery.
  • Barnet, Sylvan, Reid Gilbert, and William E. Cain, A Short Guide to Writing About Literature
  • Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God.
  • Hughes, Langston. Selected Poems.
  • Hansberry, Lorraine. A Raisin in the Sun.
    recommended literature
  • Morrison, Toni. “Rootedness: The Ancestor as Foundation.”
  • Henderson, Mae Gwendolyn. “Speaking in Tongues: Dialogics, Dialectics, and the Black Woman Writer’s Literary Tradition.”
  • Snead, James A. “Repetition as a Figure of Black Culture.”
  • Gates, Henry Louis, Jr. “Writing ‘Race’ and the Difference It Makes.”
  • Davis, Ossie. “The Significance of Lorraine Hansberry.”
  • Williams, Shirley A. “The Blues Roots of Contemporary Afro-American Poetry.”
Teaching methods
Lecture, discussion, audiovisual learning.
Assessment methods
Assessment:
In-class response papers: 30%
Research project portfolio: 70%
In-class response papers:
No make-ups are possible, if you must miss a class, the next paper counts double.
Content and form: a critical analysis of the primary readings; a fully developed paragraph; integrated examples; open book; about 20 minutes at the end of the class; a choice from 3 questions (first two will be given, the third one can be on a topic of your own)
Research Project Portfolio:
All units in the research project portfolio must follow the MLA style for documenting sources. The portfolio units will be due by noon on the Thursday before the Friday session in ELF and in hard copy at the beginning of class. Late assignments will be accepted only in cases of serious and documented emergencies. You will receive feedback on each unit and will have the option to revise it for the complete portfolio due by noon May 12 in ELF and in hard copy at the beginning of class on May 13. You must earn at least 60 percent on each of the portfolio units. (1st re-sit: May. 26, 2nd re-sit June 16).
Unit 1: Hurston and Walker: Secondary Sources (a list of 5 books, 5 book chapters, 5 journal articles, and 5 websites)
Unit 2: Paper Proposal and Annotated Bibliography (8 key secondary sources)
Unit 3: Reasearch Paper: First Draft (1700-2000 words)
Unit 4: Research Paper: Final Draft (1700-2000 words)
Language of instruction
English
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
http://www.phil.muni.cz/elf/course/category.php?id=4
The course is also listed under the following terms Spring 2005, Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019.
  • Enrolment Statistics (Spring 2011, recent)
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