Coming of Age
in American Film and Literature
English 3504-Spring, 2003
|Instructor: Tim Engles||Office: Coleman 3831|
|Phone: 581-6316||Office hours: 12:15-1:15, TR|
|E-dress: firstname.lastname@example.org||Course listserv: email@example.com|
Rise and Fall of the American Teenager,
Jungle (directed by Richard Brooks, 1955)
COURSE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
(read the following carefully; these words constitute our contract,
and I will request your written agreement to them)
COURSE DESCRIPTION: We will examine artistic impressions of teenage and other “coming of age” experiences as projected through the lenses of film and literature. We’ll also work to “read” film as closely as we’ve been trained to read literature, and we’ll consider such questions as these: why are there so many movies, novels, and short stories set in or around the high school years? Are they realistic? If not, what are they trying to tell us (or sell us)? Do literary and cinematic artists tend to highlight different features of the lives of teenagers? Does either do it better? What has the word “teenager” come to mean, and how did this relatively recent concept arise, and why? The usual suspects will certainly enter the room—race, class, gender, and sexuality—and some of the works we’ll study contain a good deal of “bad” language and strong sexual content. Class participation is required in this discussion-based course, and films will need to be seen during screenings that will take place outside of regularly scheduled class time (more about this last requirement below). You must be prepared for each class meeting by reading the material carefully beforehand in order to fully participate in our discussions.
|1st Formal essay (4-5 pages)||15%|
|2nd Formal essay (6-8 pages)||30%|
REGARDING READING: Since one skill you will be developing in this class is the art of textual analysis, you must give the readings more than a quick skimming over. Instead of wolfing them down right before class, set aside enough time to read carefully—take notes as you read, then decide for yourself, before coming to class, what each author is trying to describe and bring to light. Also, to ensure that your final grade reflects your reading efforts (and to facilitate class discussion), I will occasionally give “pop” quizzes at the beginning of class on required readings. These quizzes will be unannounced beforehand and they cannot be made up. I recognize that some students must be absent at times; accordingly, when I compile your quiz grades at the end of the semester into an average score, I will drop the lowest one—if you miss a quiz, that will be your one dropped quiz. If you don’t miss any quizzes, I will still drop your lowest score from your quiz average.
REGARDING WRITING: When the two formal essays are turned in, they MUST be accompanied in a folder by all notes and drafts written towards them, with the final copy of the essay on top of these materials. I will use these materials to gauge and offer comments on your writing process. I WILL NOT GRADE an essay that is not accompanied by material that clearly demonstrates several earlier stages leading up to the final draft, so be sure to save all such materials (if you do most or all of your writing on a computer, print out occasional drafts to include with your final copy). Essays unaccompanied by materials that clearly demonstrate several stages of development toward the final copy will receive an automatic ZERO.
All writing assignments are due at the beginning of the class period on their due date. Papers are due at the beginning of class on the due date whether the student is in class or not. Late papers will be penalized fifteen points each day they are late.
FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES: If you have a disability and wish to receive academic accommodations, let me know; also, if you haven’t contacted the Coordinator of Disability Services (581-6583), do so as soon as possible.
ATTENDANCE POLICY: I will take attendance, and I expect you to attend every scheduled class, on time, and prepared to discuss the material listed for that day on the “daily schedule.” Again, film-screenings are also mandatory. More than four missed classes and/or film screenings will lower your final grade by one letter grade for each subsequent absence. Missing class frequently will also harm your grade on the reading quizzes. In addition, note that coming to class “prepared” means coming to class with that day’s assigned reading—anyone who does not have the day’s assigned reading with them will be considered absent. Regarding tardiness: this is a small class, so late arrivals are disruptive—if for some bizarre reason you wish to get on my bad side, you can easily do so by developing the habit of arriving late for class. If you will not be able to arrive for this course on time because of other commitments, you’ll need to drop this course. Finally, you are responsible for all assignments, whether you attend class or not. Get the telephone number of one or two other students in class, or get a hold of me, so you can find out about missed assignments before you come to class.
MISSED QUIZZES AND EXAMS, AND LATE PAPERS: Because the answers to unannounced quizzes come up in class after they are taken, quizzes cannot be made up (even if you come to class late). These quizzes are one way to reward those who attend class regularly and on time. Regarding exams, there will be no make-up exams in this course. Students who miss either the midterm or final exam, for whatever reason, will be required to write a formal, six- to eight-page essay on a topic of the professor’s choice. Again, papers are due at the beginning of class on the due date whether the student is in class or not. Late papers will be penalized fifteen points each day they are late. You may turn in the two essays before their due dates if you know you must miss class that day.
FILM-SCREENINGS: In addition mandatory attendance for regular class meetings on Tuesdays and Thursdays, attendance is also mandatory for 6 film-screenings outside of our regularly scheduled class time. Any absence from these screenings will count as a regular absence from class. Our film-screenings will occur at 7 p.m. on 6 Tuesdays throughout the semester (1/28, 2/11, 2/25, 3/18, 3/25, and 4/22). If you have another class or activity that regularly conflicts with this screening time, you’ll need to drop either this “Film and Literature” class or the other class or activity.
E-MAIL ACTIVITY: Enrollment in this class requires an e-mail account, and you must check it frequently, preferably every day, for messages pertaining to this course. You already have a free EIU e-mail account, which I prefer that you use. You can use a commercial account for this course, but you MAY NOT use a free web-based account (such as Hotmail or Yahoo) because they often cause problems with listserv subscriptions. Our class discussions will carry over onto the e-mail listserv, and I will occasionally send informational messages to the entire class. E-mail is also the quickest, easiest way to reach me if I am not in my office; I welcome any and all questions and comments. Getting an e-mail account AND CHECKING IT REGULARLY is crucial for this course—if you do not send me an e-mail message at the above address by Friday, January 17 at 5:30 a.m. to confirm that you have established an account, I will assume that you have chosen against fully participating in the course, and I will therefore drop you. In your message, describe yourself in whatever way you choose (including your major), and also write a statement to the effect that you have read and agree with these course policies and procedures.
CLASSROOM ENVIRONMENT: In class, I expect all of you to participate in discussions (class participation will be figured into your final grade). The best way to demonstrate that you are an active, engaged, and interested reader is by contributing regularly to class discussions, and by paying close, respectful attention to what everyone else has to say. I do not plan to lecture in this class; I want us to contribute together to a positive, challenging, interesting learning environment. If you have questions, no matter how simple or complicated, go ahead and ask me, either in class or via e-mail—chances are that other people will have the same question.
ACADEMIC HONESTY: I expect you to act
honestly and do your own work in this class, and so does Eastern Illinois
University. It is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with
the English Department’s policy on plagiarism: “Any teacher who discovers
an act of plagiarism--‘The appropriation or imitation of the language,
ideas, and/or thoughts of another author, and representation of them as
one’s original work’ (Random House Dictionary of the English Language)--has
the right and the responsibility to impose upon the guilty student an appropriate
penalty, up to and including immediate assignment of a grade of F for the
course, and to report the incident to the Judicial Affairs Office.”
ENGLISH 3504: DAILY SCHEDULE
|Note: This schedule may change; any changes will be announced in advance. Reading and writing assignments are to be completed by the dates on which they appear on the syllabus. BE SURE to bring the appropriate book or books to class if a reading assignment is listed for that day; students who show up without a copy of the day’s reading assignment will be marked absent.|
T JAN 14 Introduction to the course
F JAN 17 Deadline for sending e-mail message to Dr. Engles—5 p.m.
R JAN 23 Salinger, Catcher in the Rye, 44-88
T JAN 28 Catcher in the Rye, 88-134
T FEB 4 Catcher in the Rye, 135-end
R FEB 6 Hine, The Rise and Fall, Chapter Two, “Only a Phase?” (25-42)
T FEB 11 Karr, Cherry: A Memoir, 15-46
T FEB 18 Kaysen, Girl, Interrupted (beginning to 73)
R FEB 20 No class (attend a lecture by one of two speakers invited to campus today by Dr. Engles: Ralph Bronner or Cameron McCarthy)
T FEB 25 Girl, Interrupted (73-end)
T MAR 4 Exam 1
R MAR 6 Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2-100) (official semester mid-term)
MAR 10 - MAR 14 No Classes—Spring Break!!
T MAR 18 The Perks of Being a Wallflower (100-end)
T MAR 25 Sapphire, Push
T APR 1 Push
R APR 3 Lois-Ann Yamanaka, "When Asian Eyes Are Smiling" (handout)
R APR 10 Stuck Rubber Baby
R APR 17 No Class--conferences on final paper draft
T APR 22 No Class--conferences on final paper draft
T APR 29 Continue discussion of Blue Velvet (Reading TBA)
R MAY 1 Hine, The Rise and Fall, Chapter Fifteen, “Life After Teenagers” (298-304); Final paper due at the beginning of class; tearful, heartfelt farewells
Final Exam: In our regular classroom; time
and date TBA