COURSE NUMBER: ENGL 405

COURSE TITLE: Unpacking the Text: Contemporary Literary Theory

INSTRUCTOR: Philip Mingay

CREDIT WEIGHT AND WEEKLY TIME DISTRIBUTION: credits 3 (hrs lect 3 - hrs sem 0 - hrs lab 0)

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

This course expands the senior student's understanding of the various theoretical approaches to literature and culture, their differences, and their effects on our position as Christian scholars. By reading the works of the major theorists and theoretical movements, students learn the key issues and terminology that inform our discipline, and their role in the student's criticism and research methods.

 REQUIRED TEXTS:

Richter, David H., ed. The Critical Tradition: Classic Texts and Contemporary Trends. Bedford: St. Martin’s, shorter 3rd ed, 2016. 

RECOMMENDED TEXTS:

Lynn, Steven. Texts and Contexts: Writing about Literature with Critical Theory. 7th ed, Pearson, 2017.

Barry, Peter. Beginning Theory: An Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory. Manchester, England: Manchester UP, 3rd ed, 2010.

COURSE OBJECTIVES:

In ENGL 404: Literary Theory from Plato to Pope, you examined the various early literary methodologies. You were also asked to think about how these schools of thought laid the foundation for contemporary ideas about literature. This course will build on your knowledge from ENGL 404 as we continue to ask questions about the role of criticism in literature studies, and how it affects our interpretations as Christian scholars. 

The 20th Century saw an explosion of theory, prompting us to rethink our understanding of literary texts and contexts. Viewing these against the backdrop of early 20th-century criticism, we will examine and apply the approaches taken by recent schools of theory such as Reader Response, Deconstruction, Feminism, Postmodernism, Postcolonialism, and Ecocriticism. Where applicable, we will employ short poems and other texts to assist our understanding of the theories.

The course will consist of lectures and discussion based on the assigned readings. All assigned readings must be completed before the scheduled class(es); readings are indicated on the Schedule page, but may be amended as required. Any changes will be announced at the beginning of the preceding class and indicated on the website. In order to facilitate thoughtful discussion and engagement, students will upload questions to our Moodle site, as well as submit summaries every two weeks.


Major analytical assignments for the course include one presentation, a research essay, and a final examination. Your presentation date/theorist will be selected early in the term. It will involve orally presenting the ideas of a theorist, including a one to two page written summary for everyone’s notes, and sustaining class discussion. The research essay (12 pages) will involve either a deeper reflection on one theory or a comparative study of two theoretical perspectives.

Further details about these assignments will be posted on the Assignments page.

MARK DISTRIBUTION IN PERCENT:

Seminar Presentation

15%

Participation and Questions 10%
Reading Summaries 15% 

Research Essay

35%

Final Exam

25%

Total

100%

 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION:

DEADLINES:   

All grades will be assigned using The King's University alpha scale below (A+ - F). Please make copies of your assignments before submission. Keep all assignments in electronic form (on file or on usb) until the semester is over and you have received your official final grade. 

A hardcopy of your essay is due at the beginning of class on the due date, and will only be accepted for grading within TWO weeks of the due date. As per Department policy, essays submitted past the due date without medical certificate or a prior arrangement with me are deducted one alpha grade-step per day, excluding weekends, to a maximum of five steps. If not submitted in person, late papers must be date-stamped at Reception. No faxed or e-mailed assignments will be accepted.

In addition to submitting a hardcopy of your essay, you will also upload  copy to Turnitin via our Moodle site. You may use this site multiple times before you submit your final copy. Your essay will not be graded until your essay has been uploaded. 

 

Designator Percentage Letter Grade GPA

Excellent

90-100

86-89

82-85

A+

A

A-

4.0

4.0

3.7

Good

78-81

74-77

70-73

B+

B

B-

3.3

3.0

2.7

Satisfactory

66-69

62-65

58-61

C+

C

C-

2.3

2.0

1.7

Poor

54-57

D+

1.3

Minimal Pass

50-53

D

1.0

Failure

0-49

F

0.0

 

PLAGIARISM:

Academic dishonesty is a serious offence with potentially disastrous consequences, and I intend to hold you to the highest standards of integrity and honesty. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with University policies regarding scholarly ethics and academic integrity (see current King's calendar).

There is a zero tolerance policy and multiple incidents may affect your academic record. Stiff penalties apply for offenders:

 

 

• First offense = automatic zero on the assignment.

• Second offense = automatic failure of the course.

• Subsequent offense = convening of Discipline Committee with power to recommend penalties up to and including expulsion from the University.

***Please discuss with me any concerns you may have regarding your research or other matters. I will also address plagiarism and proper citation methods throughout the semester, and post information on our website.

STUDENT SUPPORT AND ACCESSIBILITY

Students with disabilities or medical conditions who require academic accommodations in this course must contact a Coordinator in the Student Support and Accessibility Office (SSAO) to complete a registration and receive the necessary Letters of Accommodation. After registering with the Student Support and Accessibility Office, students must present their Letter of Accommodation and discuss their needs with their professor as early in the term as possible.

 

Please note that more information including deadlines for the submission of documentation and completed forms to Student Support and Accessibility Office can be viewe at https://www.kingsu.ca/services/accessibility-and-accommodation