ENGL 200 E: Reading Literary Forms

The Foreigner IS Home: Narratives of Home and Displacement

Meeting Time: 
MW 1:30pm - 3:20pm
Location: 
DEM 002
SLN: 
13897
Instructor:
Irena Percinkova-Patton

Syllabus Description:

ENGL 200 E - “The Foreigner’s Home: Narratives of Home and Displacement”

Spring 2016

Instructor: Irena Percinkova-Patton
Class location/time: Dempsey Hall, room #002, MW 1:30-3:20
Office: Padelford B433
Office hours: MW 12:30-1:30 & by appointment
Email: ipatper@uw.edu

“I haven’t escaped my past or my circumstances: they constrain me like a corset…”
- Eva Hoffman, Lost in Translation.

Course Description
This course focuses on Anglophone literature that is being created by a growing transcultural group of writers who explore the intersections of migration and mobility with identity formation. In the light of such cultural trends, this course proposes a flexible interpretative framework for examining the treatment of home and the quest for cultural/national belonging by several contemporary writers. We will use as a starting point Toni Morrison’s ideas from her 2006 Louvre lecture, where as a curator of the multidisciplinary program "The Foreigner's Home"—an artistic exploration of the pain as well as the rewards of displacement, immigration and exile-- Morrison examines Géricault's painting "The Raft of the Medusa” as a fitting metaphor for the millions of displaced and exiled people in the world today. Through our discussions we will also take on the question of the immigrant experience as a “condition of terminal loss” (as Said defines it) and consider the possibilities of geographical/transnational mobility as a culturally productive state.

Some of our guiding questions in discussion will include the following: What are the traits of transcultural identity in contemporary literature? What role do translation, bilungalism and memory play in the transfer of narratives between cultures? How can different cultural contexts and local histories of experience be negotiated through writing? Are the affective dimensions of the immigrant experience— such as memory, nostalgia, melancholy, language loss— always byproducts of ruptures caused by locational shifts and detachment from the original home or are they testaments to the tenacity of the human sense of place and time?

Course Objectives
In this course you’ll be required to perform lots of analysis and close reading of texts In other words, you’ll be doing more than simply restating “WHAT” the text says. Your analysis and close readings will help you to understand and explain the more complicated interwoven meanings that lie beneath the surface. You’ll also be required to place texts into dialog with one another, and to begin to make connections between abstract ideas and their literary representation. In addition, we will use the close readings and class discussion for the purpose of identifying and extending our responses to literary texts and learning how to read them critically. Also, we will not only read and write about the texts, but will also try to identify what sort of different approaches one can take when reading/discussing literature.

Required texts/ materials:

o Home, Toni Morrison;
o Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie;
o Lost in Translation, Eva Hoffman;
o Course Packet - Available at the RAM Copy Center, 4144 University Way.

Course Requirements and Grading
• Preparation and Participation (15%) This class will be centered on discussion of texts by students, and as such it necessitates that all students participate on a regular basis. For the purpose of having productive and fun classes, I will expect you to show up for class fully prepared, having read the assigned texts, willing to share your ideas, participate actively in discussions and respond to your classmates’ group presentations. This category makes up 10% of your final grade, based upon your contributions to class discussions, group work and other in-class activities.
• Keeping a Reading Journal. While reading the assigned texts for this class, you should keep a reading journal. In this journal, you should write down: 1) the page numbers of important thematic passages, with some commentary as to why these passages are important; 2) interesting stylistic techniques the writers use; 3) questions you had while reading the book, as well as questions for class discussion; 4) ideas about how this book connects to others we've read; 5) any other useful information that occurs to you while you are reading. Taking notes while you read will help you remember the books better for class discussion, and also encourage you to read more actively and think critically while reading. I will be checking whether you are keeping the journals at random unstated intervals; therefore, you should always bring them to class with you, and you should always have notes about the current reading assignment. I know that this part of the class-work is time-consuming, but keeping up with your journal ensures that you are prepared for class discussion and that our conversations will be lively and informed.
• Response Paper and Presentation (15%): Over the next ten weeks, you will submit one 3-page (double-spaced) response paper (you will be given the option to develop this paper into a longer midterm OR final paper). On a day when you have a response paper due, you will give a brief (5-10 minutes) presentation of your response, summarizing your main ideas and generating a class discussion. I will hand out a signup sheet during the first week so that you can pick the texts and days when you will like to prepare your responses. (NB: For extra credit, you can sign up to function as a discussion moderator on the days other students are presenting response papers. Your duty as a moderator will be to prepare additional questions for the presenters and help guide the in-class discussions – I will be distributing a sign up sheet for moderator dates as well).
• Quizzes (10%). If I do not feel that people are keeping up with the reading, I will conduct unannounced or announced reading quizzes. The quizzes may cover the novel we are reading in that unit, our class discussions and other additional materials we will be examining. The quiz scores will count towards your final grade.
• Mid-Term Paper (30%) and Final Paper (30%): As your mid-term and final project, you will submit TWO 5-6 (double-spaced) argumentative papers related to the themes/ideas we have explored during the quarter. For the final paper, I will ask for preliminary drafts during weeks 8-9 which we will work shop in class before you turn in your final version at the end of the quarter.

Grade Summary:

Preparation and participation 15%
Presentation of a response paper 15%
Quizzes 10%
Mid-term paper 30%
Final paper 30%

Course Policies

• Ground Rules: In our class we will be engaging topics and themes that are often difficult or painful to discuss. There will undoubtedly be differences in opinions, beliefs, and interpretations. While it is important that you challenge each other as well as the readings, it is equally important that you treat your peers with respect and consideration. Use of racist, sexist, or homophobic language will not be tolerated.
• Communication: In this class we will be using Canvas for coursework, grading, posting assignments, and general class communication. I can reach all of you quickly this way, and you can also share information with everyone in class, particularly if you have questions, concerns, recommended readings, etc.
• Attendance: While I am happy to answer more specific questions about an assignment via e-mail or during office hours, if you miss a class for any reason it is your responsibility to find out what was covered --I will most likely not respond to emails that inquire what was covered that day. Best way to stay on track is via Canvas--the Discussion Board is an excellent feature for that--as well checking the Canvas Calendar to retrieve any handouts or assignments and turn in the day’s homework assignment. You should keep in mind that I will assign participation points for in class discussion and group work. Therefore, if you miss a class you will not receive the participation points for the days you were absent.
• E-mail/Canvas policy: Having outlined our communication policy, I would also like to stress that I will not be available to respond to emails 24/7. You should expect me to reply to your e-mail/Canvas message within 24 to 48 hours during the week, and less routinely during the weekend. I will most likely not respond to e-mails sent right before we meet for class. Please consider also the type of questions you want me to answer—most of the time the answer is already there in the syllabus or assignment prompt. Also, use the Discussion Board on Canvas to ask your peers if you’re not sure about an assignment prompt. I will check the discussions regularly and if there’s an apparent uncertainty about an assignment or writing task, I will answer questions there.
• Laptop and other electronics use in class: Since this is not an online or hybrid course, laptops are not required in the classroom. You may bring your laptop if typing is your preferred way of taking notes in class, but make sure you use it for that purpose only. Internet browsing is not allowed during class time (no checking your Facebook page or any other social media). If you receive three reprimands during the quarter about your abuse of the right to have laptop in class you will be banned from using it during class time.
• Cell phones, headphones and other gadgets: These should remain SILENT and OFF during class time.
• Tardiness: Please come to class on time. It is very disruptive and disrespectful for everyone else in your class if you are late. Repeated lateness will not be tolerated and will affect your participation grade.
• Paper format: Please submit all papers in 12-pt. Times New Roman font, double-spaced, with one-inch margins. Include your name, the date, and a title at the top of the first page: you don’t need a title page.
• Deadlines/late papers: All assignments must be typed and due at the beginning of class or at the designated time and date if it is a Canvas submission.

Academic dishonesty (plagiarism)

Plagiarism or academic dishonesty is the representation of another’s ideas or words as one’s own. This can range from paraphrasing an author’s idea without giving proper credit to buying a paper and turning it in as your own. I want you to be aware that I will investigate any suspicious papers thoroughly and follow with disciplinary measures in accordance with university policy. Plagiarism constitutes grounds for failure of the assignment in question, possible failure of the course, or even suspension from the university. Save all drafts of papers, homework, and notes: I may ask to see evidence of your writing process at any time. If you are having so much difficulty writing that you are tempted to use someone else’s work, you should come and talk to me—we can work together to overcome any writing difficulty you are experiencing.

UW Resources

Accommodations: Please let me know if you need accommodation of any sort. I am happy to work with the UW Disability Resources for Students Office (DRS) to provide what you require, and I am very willing to take suggestions specific to this class to meet your needs. This syllabus is available in large print, as are other class materials—just ask. More information on support at UW may be found on the DRS web site at http://www.washington.edu/students/drs/
Writing Centers
Expectations for English majors’ quality of writing are high. Wherever you fall on the spectrum of writing in this course— whether you are struggling with a writing assignment or seeking to “reach the next level”— take advantage of the UW’s writing centers. You will receive feedback and guidance on your writing from me and from your classmates, but it’s also valuable to get the perspective of someone outside the course (especially someone with expertise in producing academic writing!). These centers will support you as you undertake increasingly complex inquiry in English studies (and in other academic disciplines). UW’s writing centers are free for students and provide individual attention from trained readers and writing coaches.

The Odegaard Writing and Research Center (OWRC) offers free, one-on-one help with all aspects of writing at any stage in the writing process. You can consult with a writing tutor at any stage of the writing process, from the very beginning (when you are planning a paper) to near the end (when you are thinking about how to revise a draft to submit to your instructor). To make the best use of your time there, please bring a copy of your assignment with you and double-space any drafts you want to bring in. While OWRC writing consultants are eager to help you improve your writing, they will not proofread your paper. Available spots are limited, so book your appointments early! Reserve appointments online at http://depts.washington.edu/owrc/ .
You can also try out the CLUE Writing Center, open 7 pm until midnight, Sunday through Thursday. CLUE is a first-come, first-served writing center located in the Gateway Center at the south end of the Mary Gates Hall Commons. To learn more, visit http://depts.washington.edu/clue/dropintutor_writing.php

Confidentiality: Barring an imminent threat, I will not discuss you or your performance in this class with third parties outside the University of Washington unless you instruct me to do so and sign a consent form. FERPA (the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act) prevents me from legally disclosing student information to third parties without a release signed by you. And even if a third party (a potential employer, a government agency, etc.) contacts me for information about you and has a consent form that you have signed, I will still refrain from providing information unless you have given me a written request (email is fine). So: if you would like me to respond to queries about you from a potential employer or anyone else, you should do two things: 1) fill out and sign a release form (one the third party provides or the UW's own, found at http://www.washington.edu/students/reg/ferpafac.html); and 2) email me a request to talk with this third party, giving me a sense of the context (recommendation? background check?) and of any information I should be sure to reveal or not reveal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

COURSE CALENDAR

This is a very general guideline of our class activities and due dates. Plan your time accordingly so that you can meet the reading/writing requirements of this course. Please note that this calendar is subject to change and that I will updating you on any changes regularly through Canvas – so if you miss class, make sure you check with your classmates what reading and writing assignments are due and when.  

*CP= Course Packet

 

DATE

IN CLASS WORK

ASSIGNED READING FOR

THAT DAY

 

HOMEWORK DUE

THAT DAY

Week 1

Mon 3/28

 

 

Introduction &

Syllabus Overview

 

 

 

Wed 3/30

 

 

TONI MORRISON -HOME

“Foreigner’s Home”– Morrison at the Louvre

 

 

 

 

 

Week 2

Mon 4/4

 

 

Morrison - Home

 

 

Morrison – Home (Part 1-8)

 

 

 

Wed 4/6

Morrison -Home

 

Morrison – Home (Part 8-17)

 

 

Week 3

Mon 4/11

 

Morrison –Home

Presentation (Group 1)

 

Morrison - Home

 

 Response Paper (Group 1)

Wed 4/13

 

CHIMAMNDA NGOZI ADICHIE -Americanah

 

 Americanah - Chapter 1- Chapter 17

 

Week 4

Mon 4/18

 

Adiche-Americanah

 

 

Americanah- Chapter 17 - Chapter 38

 

 

Wed 4/20

 

Adiche-Americanah

 

 

Americanah- Chapter 38 - the end

 

 

Week 5

Mon 4/25

 

Adiche-Americanah

Presentation (Group 2)

 

 

 

Adiche-Americanah

 

 

 

Response Paper (Group 2)

Wed 4/27

 

EVA HOFFMAN – Lost in Translation

 

 

Hoffman – Lost in Translation

 

 

Week 6

Mon 5/2

 

 

 

Hoffman – Lost in Translation

 

 

 

 

Hoffman – Lost in Translation

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wed 5/4

 

Hoffman – Lost in Translation

 

 

Hoffman – Lost in Translation

 

Midterm Paper due

Week 7

Mon 5/6

 

 

 

Hoffman – Lost in Translation

Presentation (Group 3)

 

 

Hoffman – Lost in Translation

 

 

 Response Paper (Group 3)

 

Wed 5/11

ALEKSANDAR HEMON and the Question of Exile

 

 

Hemon “The Lives of a Flaneur”

 

 

 

Week 8

Mon 5/16

 

Hemon and Exile

Presentation (Group 4)

 

 

Hemon “The Lives of a Flaneur”

 

 

 

Response Paper (Group 4)

 

Wed 5/18

 

NOTE: Coursework will be conducted online on 5/18

 

 

 

 

Week 9

Mon 5/23

 

Jhumpa Lahiri – “A Temporary Matter”

 

 

Jhumpa Lahiri – “A Temporary Matter”

 

 

 

Wed 5/25

 

 

Jhumpa Lahiri – “A Temporary Matter”

Presentation (Group 5)

 

 

Jhumpa Lahiri – “A Temporary Matter”

 

 

 Response Paper (Group 5)

 

Week 10

Mon 5/30

Memorial Day –NO CLASS

 

 

 

 

 

Wed 6/1

Draft revision & editing Wrap up discussions

 

FINAL PAPER -DRAFT due

Finals Week June 4-10

 

 

 

 

FINAL PAPER due

June 6th

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additional Details:

This course focuses on Anglophone literature that is being created by a growing transcultural group of writers who explore the intersections of migration and mobility with identity formation.   In the light of such cultural trends, this course proposes a flexible interpretative framework for examining the treatment of home and the quest for cultural/national belonging by several contemporary writers. We will use as a starting point Toni Morrison’s ideas from her 2006 Louvre lecture, where as a curator of the multidisciplinary program ""The Foreigner's Home""—an artistic exploration of the pain as well as the rewards of displacement, immigration and exile-- Morrison examines Géricault's painting ""The Raft of the Medusa” as a fitting metaphor for the millions of displaced and exiled people in the world today. Through our discussions we will also take on the question of the immigrant experience as a “condition of terminal loss” (as Said defines it) and consider the possibilities of geographical/transnational mobility as a culturally productive state.

Coursework will involve writing two papers, a midterm and a final exam, along with shorter writing assignments, quizzes and significant class discussion and participation. Required texts: Home (Toni Morrison), Americanah (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie), Lost in Translation (Eva Hoffman), The Book of My Lives (selections, Aleksandar Hemon), Interpreter of Maladies (selected short stories, Jhumpa Lahiri),as well as a course packet with theoretical essays.  This course statisfies the UW ""W"" requirement.

Catalog Description: 
Covers techniques and practice in reading and enjoying literature in its various forms: poetry, drama, prose fiction, and film. Examines such features of literary meanings as imagery, characterization, narration, and patterning in sound and sense. Offered: AWSp.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Writing (W)
Status: 
Active
Last updated: 
October 5, 2016 - 9:04pm