KINGSBOROUGH COMMUNITY COLLEGE/CUNY

Department of English, C-309

 

ENGLISH 66: FALL, 2003

DR. LORETTA KASPER

Mon., Tues., Thurs. B hour (9:10 -10:10 am) C321, C321, D214

Office: C-219--Messages: C-309 or 368-5373--E-mail: eng66kcc@yahoo.com

NOTE: The easiest way to reach me is by email.

 

Required Readings: (books may be purchased at the KCC Book Store or at Barnes and Noble.com or Amazon.com) PLEASE BRING YOUR BOOK(S) TO CLASS EVERYDAY.

 

            Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl (Publ. Washington

Square)

            The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (Publ. Penguin)

            Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie (Publ. Anchor)

            Bel Canto by Anne Patchett (Publ. Perennial)

            The Bondwoman’s Narrative by Hannah Crafts (Publ. Warner Books)

            Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi (Publ. Scribner)

            The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison (Publ. Plume/Penguin)—order this book through either amazon.com or bn.com

            She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb (Publ. Washington Square)

            The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (Publ. Fawcett)

             

Class Handouts and Readings on Course Web Site: http://lfkkb.tripod.com/eng66/index.html

 

Course Overview

 

            English 66, "Literature and Human Behavior", is a course that examines the complexities of human behavior as they are presented in literature. We will analyze various literary themes and genres in the context of their behavioral implications, and will explore cross-cultural similarities and differences.

 

            This course will be taught in an interactive style. While I will lecture on the material, you will also be expected to take an active role in class and to share your ideas about the works read. Please note that participation, along with attendance and preparation, counts for 20% of your grade.

 

            We will be exploring some of the following questions through the works of literature we read this semester:

 

            1. How do people define their identity?

            2. What do people do to discover/create their identity?

            3. What, if any, cross-cultural differences exist in the ways people approach/view/define their identity?

            4. What, if any gender differences exist in the ways people approach/view/define their identity?

5. What are the characteristics of an "ideal", or utopic, world?

            6. What are some of the factors that characterize a dystopic world?

            7. What are some of the internal/external factors that influence peoples' decision making?

 

Method of evaluation:

 

            You will be evaluated on the basis of a midterm exam, a final exam, a research paper, and the quality of your class participation and preparation.  Your grade will be calculated as follows:

 

            Midterm exam: 20%

            Final exam: 20%

            Research paper: 20%

            Quizzes: 20%

            Attendance, Class Participation and Preparation: 20%

 

You are allowed a MAXIMUM of six hours of absence in this course. Please be sure that you attend all classes unless you are ill or have an emergency. If you are absent, please email me so that I can send you the day’s assignment. You will receive a failing grade if you are excessively absent from class.

 

The midterm and final exam will ask questions that require you to write thoughtful analyses of the books read.

 

The research paper will require you to read and interpret the book, Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi.

 

Class Participation and Preparation is key to your success in the course.  To be prepared you must finish reading each of the books by the FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK in which we discuss them. You will be required to produce an in-class written response to the book on that day.  This response will be graded as a QUIZ.

 

Course outline: Timeframes and dates proposed are estimates and will be adjusted as necessary. Dates listed in boldface type are quiz dates.

 

                        Weeks 1 and 2 (September 8, 9, 11, 15, 16): Introduction to literature and human behavior: Viktor Frankl and Carol Gilligan; psychological theories-Stanley Milgram. Website on Gilligan versus Kohlberg.

QUIZ ON TUESDAY, SEPT. 16.

 

                        SEPTEMBER 18—DISCUSS TERM PAPER REQUIREMENTS/FORMAT

 

Week 3 (September 22, 23, 25): Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie (Frankl, Gilligan, Milgram) QUIZ ON MONDAY, SEPT. 22.

 

Week 4 (September 29, 30, October 2): The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (Gilligan/Frankl) QUIZ ON MONDAY, SEPT. 29.

 

Week 5 (October 7, 9, 14, 15): The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison (Gilligan/Frankl) QUIZ ON TUESDAY, OCT. 7.

 

Week 6: Midterm exam and review

                        Review: October 16  (Tentative dates for Midterm Exam: October 20 and 21)

 

Week 7 (October 23, 27, 28, 30): Discussion/Questions on Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi and The Bondwoman’s Narrative by Hannah Crafts (Gilligan, Frankl, Milgram, Freud)

 

Week 8 (November 3, 4, 6): She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb (Gilligan/Frankl) QUIZ ON MONDAY, NOVEMBER 3.

 

Week 9 (November 10, 11, 13) The Poetry of Sylvia Plath

 

Week 10 (November 17, 18, 20): Bel Canto by Anne Patchett (Frankl, Gilligan, Milgram) QUIZ ON MONDAY, NOVEMBER 17.

 

Week 11 (November 24, 25, December 1): The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (Frankl, Gilligan) QUIZ ON MONDAY, NOVEMBER 24.

 

Week 12 (December 4): Overall review of themes and issues discussed

                       

                                                  Term paper is due on Monday. December 1

 

                        Finals Week: Final exam