Dr. Joanne E. Gates:
EH 403 Shakespeare: the early plays
Jacksonville State University
Syllabus for EH 403, Dr. Gates, Spring 2010
EH 403 Section 001 [Call # 21993] Meets in Stone Center Room 233, TTh, 12:45 to 2:15 p.m.
To reach Dr. Gates: 206 Stone Center, 782-5548. Office Hours 10:45-12:45 TTh, and on MWF, tba. (My MW classes are over at 3:15; my Friday classes end at 1L30. On Thursday, the 11:30 to 12:30 hour will be in the Writing Clinic, Room 230.)
COURSE DESCRIPTION [JSU Catalog]: "403. Shakespeare: (3) [credits]. HAMLET, OTHELLO, and selections from early comedies and history plays."
PREREQUISITES: Successful completion of EH 102. Strongly recommended: completion of literature survey sequence.
Disability Accommodations Statement: Any individual who qualifies for reasonable accommodation under The Americans With Disabilities Act or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 should contact the instructor immediately.
Standard Civility Statement: All students are expected to attend class fully prepared with appropriate materials and all devices which make noise turned to the off position (e.g., cellular phones, pagers, personal stereos, etc.). Any student behavior deemed disruptive by the professor will result in expulsion of the student from the classroom, with an absence for the day and possible disciplinary action.
The Professor Expects that you follow standard protocols of classroom behavior, abide by the JSU Student Handbook, and conform to particular requirements of assignments and class discussion as announced.
To study the plays of Shakespeare in their critical and historical contexts; to understand the ways that changing cultural contexts affect the production and interpretation of Shakespeare.
To understand the background for Shakespeare's plays, including, where appropriate, the study of Shakespeare's sources.
To understand the literary and dramatic aspects of the plays.
To study the dramatic aspects of the plays with attention to what is learned from comparative production analysis, especially through films, published reviews, and creative approaches to the staging of Shakespeare.
To develop critical skills in responding to literature, to be able to write critically and personally about the literature (and the different genres of literature) in ways that demonstrate understanding and appreciation for the variety of interpretations that literature invites.
To exercise students' techniques of critical thinking, questioning, and problem solving.
ATTENDANCE POLICY. Cutting class is strongly discouraged. Because discussions, writing exercises, quizzes, and in-class assignments are graded or prepare you for graded work, cuts will likely affect your grade. The departmental attendance policy for this course mandates that you attend at least 75% of classes to receive a passing grade. Unlike composition courses, there is no difference between excused and unexcused absences; but if you miss two or more classes in a row, I consider it courteous and part of your responsibility as a student to speak to me about what you have missed and whether there is a need to make up work. There is no "Withdraw Passing" from the course allowed after you have exceeded your limit of 7 cuts (For classes meeting twice a week, 8 cuts = automatic F). Even though tardiness and leaving early are not officially counted as a partial absence, understand that it is extremely discourteous and rude. When you have unavoidable reasons for arriving late, leaving early, or otherwise attending the class sporadically, please inform the instructor ahead of time. Whenever in doubt, make sure to verify your record of attendance. Midterm and major assignments can be made up only at the discretion of the instructor (have a legitimate excuse for failure to attend on days when a major assignment is scheduled). I always drop the lowest quiz grade, and may offer an occasion at the last class to do a makeup quiz (a different assignment) to improve your quiz average. Otherwise, quizzes and class work for quiz grades cannot be made up. Exceptions made only in unusual circumstances.
REQUIREMENTS. To receive a passing grade of 60, you must complete all units of the course (midterm, final, quiz grade and reports grade) with an average of sixty or above.
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Ed. G. Blakemore Evans and J.J.M. Tobin. Boston and N.Y.: Houghton Mifflin, 1997. [ISBN: 0-395-75490-9.]
Occasional critical reading or source material, placed on reserve (or handouts and Internet access). Depending on the focus for the critical paper, there may be additional texts or critical works you are expected to consult.
Midterm, with prepared essay on 2 or 3 plays and short answer on 4 or 5 plays = 25%
Quiz and class grade, the average of graded class work, including short written responses (some prepared reports, some on-the-spot). The short factual quizzes that test basic play knowledge cannot be made up nor taken at alternate times, even with legitimate and school-related excuses. You will be allowed to drop one of these quiz grades (either the lowest or one you missed). In addition to these play or weekly quizzes, there will likely be quiz grades assigned to short essays and reports, including reports on films viewed. More details will be forthcoming. If you have scored poorly in two quizzes at Midterm time, you should speak to me. An alternative assignment might be substituted for one of the non-factual, report-based quizzes, at the discretion of the instructor. The average of all but lowest quiz = 25% of Course Grade. Group report on the early comedy or tragedy will function as a double quiz.
Major Critical Report (for the primary grade, a carefully prepared essay (due Friday April 16, but a progress draft encouraged earlier) with two class presentations, one on April 6 where you present the thesis of your paper's argument, the second on April 13 or 15, when you illustrate a passage from Riverside text with a specific claim you are making about a play. All specific topics for the major report must be pre-approved. Two copies of the finished paper must be turned in by 4:00 Friday Appril 16. 25% of Course Grade.
FINAL Exam (see below for schedule), 25% In both Midterm and Final, ample options in selections for essays and formal graded work allow students to focus and plan personal approaches to questions. Short answers test basic knowledge.
Notice: Please be aware that the Department of English has access to powerful software that scans and detects unauthorized documents that are submitted to your instructor. Use of such documents constitutes an admission of academic dishonesty. About electronic cheating: All forms of personal electronic communication devices must be out of sight and in the power off mode for class and testing periods. During a testing period in class, any use of a personal electronic communication device, without the prior consent of the instructor, constitutes prima facie evidence of academic dishonesty with no right of grade appeal. If the instructor observes the device, the presumption is that cheating has occurred and a grade of F (zero) will be assigned to that exam, quiz, etc. .
Keep these dates that are on the Academic Calendar in mind:
January 12: Last day to register or add a course
January 19: Last day to withdraw/drop and receive 80% refund on tuition
February 2: Last day to withdraw/drop and receive 50% refund on tuition
March 3: Date by which professor files Midterm Grades
March 12: Last day to drop/ withdraw (no signature required)
April 9: Last day to withdraw passing or drop without academic penalty
(You must have a signed-by-the-professor drop slip: you can find me in Stone Center JSU campus on this day)
SYLLABUS. Unless otherwise announced, it is best to have the entire play read on the day it is first due on the syllabus. I will have sometimes very brief remarks on the next play as part of my leadup to where it is placed on the syllabus. Please note that there will be specific assignments connected to the plays as quizzes. Most will be announced and you are expected to know what is announced, even if you miss class.
Week 1 Thursday, January 7. Intro to course. Assign review of literary and dramatic terms and Intro to Shakespearean language and stagecraft. Begin The Taming of the Shrew.
Week 2 Tuesday, January 12 Complete The Taming of the Shrew.
Thursday, September 6. Intro to Othello
Week 3 Tuesday, January 19 Othello. and Cinthio source for Othello. Intro Hamlet.
Week 4 Tuesday, January 26.
Work on Hamlet, Acts 1-4 for Tues. The concluding action of Hamlet will be the focus Thursday.
Week 5 Tuesday, February 2 A Midsummer Night's Dream. Preview the assignment (for end of semester) of working in groups on a non-sllabus early comedy, history, or tragedy.
Week 6 Tuesday, February 9 and Thursday, Revisit Hamlet. Review for Midterm.
Week 7 Tuesday, February 16 Midterm Short answer, and go over handout for midterm essay options. Thursday, February 18: Write Midterm essay in class.
[Midterm grades filed March 3]
Week 8 Tuesday, February 23 Titus Andronicus
Week 9 Tuesday, March 2 Richard III
Week 10 Tuesday, March 9 Continue Richard III. Preview critical paper options.
Begin forming groups for a reports on a non syllabus play; either a second History play; Henry V or 3 Henry VI, an additional tragedy (Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet), or an early comedy not on the syllabus (titles to be cleared by me).
Spring Break: No Classes the week of March 15-19
Week 11 Tuesday, March 23 As You Like It. Revise critical paper options.
Week 12 Tuesday, March 30 Twlefth Night Finalize critical paper topics.
Week 13 Tuesday, April 6. Revisit Hamlet. How is Hamlet a different tragedy?
First round of oral reports on assigned critical paper. Thesis statements of papers due We will present these and workshop the paper's outline, if time. MLA bibliography review. Bring a full draft if you expect professor's comments on a preliminary draft, to be returned before 13 April.
Week 14. Tuesday, April 13. In groups, according to assigned play, present a short segment of your class paper. (Aim to lead us to a passage in your play as illustration of one of the points in the paper.) Due in printed form by the end of the day, Friday April 16. Thursday: Revisit all plays as review for final.
Exam week: Office hours may be announced for return of papers.
Final Exam is Tuesday, April 20, 10:30-12:30, in the classroom.
GENERAL GUIDELINES: I participate in a Teaching Inquiry Community at JSU. Its purpose is to share teaching strategies and generate communication to other teachers from classroom-based research. For this reason, I may retain selected written work in order to quote from it. Before doing so, I will first request permission from any students whose work I anticipate using. Assume that all anonymously collected evaluations might also be quoted.
My quizzes tend to vary a great deal in format. You should always be prepared for a rigorous quiz that tests the basic content of the play--keeping characters straight, knowing the plot--on the first day the play is listed on the syllabus. Depending on your schedule, some of you may be invited to do viewing of a film not covered in class or background reading, with a report to the class averaged as an additional quiz. Occasionally, there may be unannounced quizzes, which may take the form of open-book exercises, short essays, discussions, or reports on group work. I drop the lowest quiz, then average the remaining grades for 15 % of your grade for the course.
All formal written work, including the critical paper and test essays for the course should conform to the standard MLA format. Remember that when quoting from verse plays, it is necessary to list Act, Scene, and line numbers. There are two acceptable ways to do this. Whenever you use a quotation for class purposes, especially on the Midterm, Class Paper, and Final, get into the habit of proper citation form. Chose one or the other style and be consistent: Arabic numbers with periods (no spaces) separating the numbers: 4.3.115-7. Roman numerals with commas and spaces: IV, iii, 115-7. (Beware of secondary sources which include quotes which do not contain these references. Electronic editions of the plays may also contain unnumbered lines. Riverside uses IV.iii.115-7, so I will allow that format as well.)
Information that comes from a CRITICAL source must always be properly introduced and identified. This includes Monarch Notes, Cliff Notes, electronic resources, and all other guides to the plays. It is academic dishonesty not to give complete credit to your source, whether or not the idea is directly quoted. This course is not designed to require a great deal of critical scholarship, but I expect that those who do want to make use of, refute, or expand on interpretations of the play by previous scholars will check with me to make sure that they are using proper methodology. NOTE WELL: The instructor respects student individuality and innovative interpretive strategies. Group work and class discussions aim for the most populist/democratic discussion: all students encouraged to contribute; those monopolizing discussion time will be asked privately to moderate their vocal responses. You are expected to maintain academic standards, to turn in only original work, and to properly credit all sources not your own. This class is designed to properly train and assist you in doing so. You are expected to comply with the JSU Student Handbook with reference to all issues including code of conduct and academic dishonesty. While Web resources on Shakespeare are in abundance, you must be aware of disinformation sites, weigh the quality of the material, and accord proper credit, even for play and character summary sites. The professor may recommend supplemental reading on the web, to which links or printout will be supplied; and she will assist in proper documentation of web sites that are relevant for class study. (A review of MLA citation syle is built into the course. When in doubt, ASK.) She will not tolerate abuses of copied or altered information presented as the student's own work. Whenever a grade dispute, an attendance record dispute, or other issues of decorum arise, your FIRST responsibility is to arrange conference with the instructor.
I will distribute detailed guidelines for the paper at a later date. All topics must be approved. Note well: I will explain my philosophy and policies on the use of film to study Shakespeare in the near future. I am working to incorporate electronic literature into all my courses. I will speak more about possible projects for this course than include work with electronic texts of Shakespeare and Internet sites. Those of you who are interested in the Internet or use of Computer technology with study of Humanities should strongly consider for your critical paper a project which makes use of these interests. ALL PAPER AND PROJECT TOPICS and all make-up assignments MUST BE APPROVED.
Some useful links:
http://www.jsu.edu/depart/english/gates/shtragcv.htm ("Shakespeare and the Tragic Virtue" by James P. Hammersmith)
http://www.jsu.edu/depart/english/gates/shtragln.htm Other links to Shakespeare and Tragedy
http://www.jsu.edu/depart/english/engother.htm#Shakes My Departmental list of Shakespeare links; Shakespeare's Sources separated at the bottom.
To e-mail Dr. Gates: firstname.lastname@example.org.
TERMS THAT YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO WORK WITH
[Some of these are less relevant to Shakespeare studies, but this list is a good review of terms you mastered in EH 102.]