Fall 2013 Courses and Books

In Fall 2013, I’ll be teaching ENGL 1113: Honors Freshman Composition; ENGL 1102: Freshman Composition II; and ENGL 3120: Southern Literature (cross-listed at the graduate level as ENGL 6440: Studies in Southern Literature). The book lists for these courses should be available at the Jagstore very soon, but in the meantime, here’s what you’ll need:

ENGL 3120: Southern Literature
Literature of the American South (ISBN: 978-0-393316-71-1): this is our anthology
Absalom, Absalom (ISBN: 978-0-679732-18-1)
Native Guard (ISBN: 978-0-618872-65-7)
Oral History (ISBN: 978-0-345410-28-3)

ENGL 1113: Honors Freshman Composition I
Rules for Writers (ISBN: 978-0-312647-36-0)

ENGL 1102: Freshman Composition II
Rules for Writers (ISBN: 978-0-312647-36-0) (or the handbook you used in ENGL 1101)
Prodigal Summer (ISBN: 978-0-060959-03-6): this is our novel
Reading and Writing about Literature (ISBN: 978-1-457606-49-6)

If you have any questions about my Fall classes, stop by the office or send me an e-mail.

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Willa Cather Letters

The archives at the University of Nebraska libraries are posting a video series on the letters of Willa Cather. The overview video is here.

Cather’s letters have long been accessible to scholars, but her will prevented anyone from publishing or even quoting from them. So while nothing there is much of a surprise, very few readers have had access to her private words. For years, most readers believed that Cather had burned her letters before her death and asked her correspondents to do the same. While that isn’t the case, there are a few notable omissions: almost no letters to Cather’s longtime companion Edith Lewis survive. Another video reads from the one letter to Lewis.

The letters were edited and published for the first time this month in The Selected Letters of Willa Cather, which includes 566 of about 3000 letters in the archive. The collection is edited by Andrew Jewell and Janice Stout.

Of particular interest to students in ENGL 3102 might be Cather’s 1925 letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald, in reply to a letter he wrote to her admitting his concern that his new novel, The Great Gatsby, borrowed too heavily from Cather’s A Lost Lady. She reassures him that she does not think the similarities are excessive, but it’s another reminder of what a huge influence she was on Fitzgerald.

To see more videos, just search YouTube for “Willa Cather Letters.” There’s a whole series.

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Summerville campus histories

I have started posting projects from my Fall 2012 ENGL 1113 class at this page. These Honors First Year Composition students researched and wrote exposition papers on different features of ASU’s (now GRU’s) campus. I am posting them as students e-mail me electronic copies, so I hope to add another dozen or so papers over the next couple of weeks. I’m very proud of the work these students have done, digging through the archives to find information and sort out inconsistencies.

My goal in assigning these projects was to get the students really thinking about their research. This was their first semester, most of them, and it was the first paper I assigned. Usually, I assign something that requires little if any research for that first essay, and what research students do is typically limited to the Internet or maybe a book. In changing the assignment, I hoped to encourage students to develop a strong research question first and then think through how they might answer that question, rather than finding a few easily available sources and then reporting what those sources said.

The assignment definitely worked in that respect, although some of the questions ended up being far more difficult to answer than I or the student had anticipated. They persevered, though, and unearthed some information that neither they, I, nor the archivists had seen anywhere else. I don’t know that such an assignment would work with another group of students, but this class exceeded my expectations.

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Calendar ===>

My calendar is now available for making appointments; the link is in the right sidebar and on your Desire2Learn course home page.

As we enter research paper writing season (i.e., March and April), I will add more time slots to accommodate draft meetings; for now, the times you see are the times I am available.

If you have any problems making an appointment, please let me know.

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Course pages on Desire2Learn

Course web pages on Desire2Learn will go live January 9. You can find your syllabus, assignment guidelines, supplementary materials, and links to useful resources for the entire semester posted there.

If you have any difficulties logging in to D2L, contact IT immediately (stop by University Hall 130 or call the help line at 706-737-1676). You will need to log in to D2L to access course materials, as I will not be printing materials for you.

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Spring 2013

Two quick reminders:

  • If one of my classes is full, I cannot give you permission to register. You can contact the department office at (706) 737 1500 or stop by Allgood Hall E227 to be added to the waitlist, if there is one. This is true of all your English classes.
  • You can access the book lists for all of your classes at the campus bookstore web site. Search by course number and professor to find titles, ISBNs, bookstore prices, and availability of new and used copies on campus.
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