Georgia Southern University
the College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences
the Department of Literature & Philosophy
welcome you to one of your 3-hour University Core Requirements
World Literature II
English 2112 J (CRN 15441)
TTh 9:30-10:45 in Nursing/Chemistry Bldg. 3241
Professor: Dr. Cyr
Office: Newton 1122A (message pad on the door)
Office phone: 478-0235
Main Literature phone: 478-5471
Home Phone: 764-7323
LEAVE MESSAGES! GIVE YOUR NAME AND PHONE NUMBER SLOWLY AND CLEARLY!
Office hours: TTh 11:00-12:15 and 2:00-3:15. Also by appointment at other times.
TEXT: The Norton Anthology of World Literature 1650 to the Present: Vols. D, E, F (2nd ed.)
Americans with Disabilities Act: This class complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Students
with disabilities needing academic accommodations must register with and provide documentation to the Student
Disability Resource Center (SDRC; contact in Hampton Hall, 912-871-1566) and provide a letter to their instructors
from the SDRC indicating what their needs may be for academic accommodation. This should be done within the
first week of class.
Related Note: Unless you are registered with the SDRC and they direct that you need this particular
accommodation, you may NOT use laptops during this class.
January 17 – First Class Day
March 12-16 – Spring Break (Yeeeeee-haw!)
March 19 – Last Day to Withdraw Without Academic Penalty
May 4 – Last Day of Classes (ours will be May 3)
OUR FINAL EXAM: Tuesday, May 8, at 10:00 in our regular room.
NOTE: Rescheduling a final exam requires formal approval by department chairs and deans. You must have a
severely good reason: For example (this is a true story), if your family books a mega-bucks vacation that conflicts
with a final exam, the school will NOT accept that as a valid reason to reschedule. If you need to reschedule your
final, start the paperwork ASAP; applications made on short notice are unlikely to succeed for various reasons.
The exception to this rule is if you have three or more finals on the same day. If this is the case and ours is the test
you want to reschedule, talk to me and we can make arrangements. (The rule of thumb is that it’s best to reschedule
the middle exam of the three because this gives you a break.)
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course will explore some of the finest literature written in the world from
(roughly) the mid-seventeenth century through today. Our first goal simply is to introduce you to this material, to
some of the ways in which people have perceived, conceived, and expressed their worlds; beyond that, it is to train
and exercise you in critical thinking via close, careful (i.e. critical) reading.
- Mid-term #1 = 100 points (25% of total grade)
- Mid-term #2 = 100 points (25% “ ” “ )
- Final exam = 100 points (25% “ ” “ )
- Quizzes = 100 points (25% “ ” “ )
A = 90% (360 pts) B = 80% (320pts) C = 70% (280 pts)
D = 60% (240 pts) F = 59% (239pts and below)
Quizzes: pop-style (i.e. unannounced) and given before we have discussed the assignments in class; there will be an
indeterminate number of these, of which the lowest 2 scores will be dropped. At the end of term, I will average the
scores to a total out of 100. Missed quizzes may NOT be made up.
Note: Quizzes are designed primarily to determine if you have A: read the assigned introductions and primary texts
(including notes), and B: read them carefully. Interpretive questions are rare; I save those for exams, after we’ve
discussed the texts.
Example: Q: What happens to Leonardo Dicaprio’s character at the end of the movie Titanic? Potential A’s: (a) He
buys beachfront property. (b) He can’t remember getting that tattoo. (c) He becomes the first CIA expert in
waterboarding. (d) The piece of debris Jack finds will hold only one person, so (gush) Jack makes Rose get on it; he
stays in the water until he freezes to death (sniffle), but when Rose dies years later their spirits are reunited (oh, boo-
hoo-hoo, it’s sooooooo romantic!).
Tests: Your mid-terms and final will have the same structure, and each will be worth 100 points total:
50 points - 25 multiple-choice questions, including identifications of passages.
50 points - An in-class essay. (Note: Since this is an in-class essay, I won’t deduct points for language errors per se.
However, good grammar, syntax, spelling, etc. are not mere frills; they are necessary for clear communication. In
short, this is where all those chickens hatched in composition classes come home to roost since thoroughness and
clarity will, of course, be rewarded.)
ATTENDANCE: I do not take roll. Indirect penalties for absenteeism are that you will miss the wit and
wisdom of lectures and discussions, and therefore likely under-perform on tests, and miss reading assignments,
which will be very bad re: quiz performance. A direct penalty comes into play regarding those quizzes, which are
frequent: If you miss four (4) quizzes, your term grade will drop a full grade level; miss five (5) it will drop two
levels; etc. For example, if by the numbers you have a B but missed four quizzes you will earn a C; missed five, a D;
and so on. I do not have this policy (just) because I am mean. Studies show that attendance correlates strongly with
student success in learning. This policy is a means to encourage your attendance and your success.
The following three items are from the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences:
RESPONSIBILITY: The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences considers students to be individuals
responsible for their own behaviors. Students are expected to make decisions with an awareness of the consequences
likely to result from these decisions. Decision-making without considering possible consequences is not justifiable
behavior should the consequences put the student’s academic efforts at risk.
CIVILITY: Students are expected to communicate in a civil manner in their professional interaction at all times,
both in and out of the classroom. This means that student interaction, including discussion and argumentation, is to
be carried out in a polite, courteous, and dignified manner that is respectful and understanding toward both peers and
professors. Failure to behave in a civil manner may result in disciplinary actions as described by the Student
Cyr’s Notes: (1) Use of phones and other devices during class is irresponsible behavior because it distracts
you (and sometimes others) from the lecture/discussion. So please turn them off and put them away for the duration
of class. (2) If you chew gum, please do not blow bubbles. (3) If you chew tobacco, leave it and the attendant spit-
CHEATING & PLAGIARISM: Cheating, in any of its forms, is a serious offense to the university that
compromises the learning process of the violators as well as their classmates. Ultimately, the reputation of the
institution is at risk. For these reasons, the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences expects students to
understand and uphold the provisions of the Academic Honesty Honor Code as published in Section 3 of the Georgia
Southern University Student Conduct Code that address academic dishonesty and the penalties for it, and to conduct
themselves with integrity in their academic efforts. To that end, students are expected to follow both the letter and
the spirit of academic honesty and to consult with their instructors in advance whenever they feel that those ethical
standards may be at risk.
Cyr’s Note: Giving to others, or receiving for yourself answers to quiz or test questions during an exam is
cheating. Giving or receiving answers to known quiz or test questions prior to an exam is also cheating (one-to-one
or study-group discussion of class material is NOT cheating, by the way).
As for plagiarism: Basically, plagiarism occurs when you present someone else’s language and/or ideas as though
they are your own. DON’T DO IT! And remember: For a student in an instructional setting, the rules against
plagiarism apply to any paper or report, in this class or anywhere else, and they apply whether or not an assignment
is called a “Research Paper.”
And here’s an observation: If you’ve gone to the trouble of researching the topic sufficiently to plagiarize, why
bother cheating? Just cite and/or quote the material properly (help in doing so is available from me and – an
invaluable place! – the University Writing Center) and thereby not only avoid getting your hide nailed to the wall,
but even get brownie points (i.e. better grades) for having done the research.
For our in-class essays, if you take material from, say, an online source or from the introductory materials in our
text, just identify the source (by the author’s name and/or the title of the site or book you got it from) & put any
language you take from the source in quotation marks.
The very least penalty for cheating or plagiarism you’ll receive from me is an F on the quiz or test. Depending on
the nature and/or scale of the offense, I am more than willing to pursue stiffer penalties, up to and including a
student’s expulsion from the University. Also, as required by University policy (with which I wholeheartedly agree),
I will file a formal report of Academic Dishonesty with the Office of Judicial Affairs.
From all of the above, you can see that this class addresses at least seven of our university’s desired “General
Education Outcomes” (which are currently under review): Effective communication; effective analysis of
information; problem-solving ability; informed decision making; aesthetic appreciation; familiarity with major
issues; and basic areas of knowledge. To see a complete list and description of the General Education Outcomes go
to the GSU homepage and type “General Education Outcomes” in the Search box.
Furthermore, upon successful completion of this course, a student should be able to (1) demonstrate familiarity with
literary language, periods, and genres; (2) construct written interpretations of literary texts in their intellectual,
cultural, social, and historical contexts; and (3) illustrate and analyze the commonalities and distinctive features of
literatures produced by different world cultures.
Here is the list of reading assignments, and the likely order in which we'll read them (events might lead to a change
in readings or the order in which we read the various items; we’ll have to see what happens). If you miss class, by
the way, contact me or another student BEFORE THE NEXT CLASS to find out about specific assignments given:
Finding out what the assignments are is your responsibility.
NOTE: READ THE INTRODUCTIONS TO THE AUTHORS before reading the primary text. And don’t forget
the footnotes! Not only are all of these items informative, but they’re fair game for quizzes.
- "The Enlightenment in Europe" (295)
- Moliere, Tartuffe (306; read Moliere's Preface and Petitions as well)
- Racine, Phaedra (364)
- Pope, An Essay on Man, Epistle I (510)
- Swift, "A Modest Proposal" (483)
- “Vernacular Literature in China” (3)
- Wu Ch’Eng-En, from Monkey (10)
- "The Rise of Popular Arts in Premodern Japan" (583)
- Basho, "The Narrow Road of the Interior" (607)
- "The Ottoman Empire: Celebi's Book of Travels" (281)
- "The City of Boudonitza" (286)
- Swift, Gulliver's Travels: Part IV. A Voyage to the Country of the Houyhnhnms (437)
And then MID-TERM #1 (NOTE: you will have the results of this test before the last WD date)
- “Revolution and Romanticism in Europe and America” 651
- Wordsworth “Tintern Abbey” 792
“Ode on Intimations of Immortality” 795
- Coleridge “Kubla Khan” 813
“Dejection: An Ode” 815
- Keats “Ode to a Nightingale” 831
- Browning “My Last Duchess” 910
- Tennyson “Ulysses” 875
- Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (920)
- “Realism, Naturalism, and Symbolism in Europe” 1071
- Ibsen Hedda Gabler 1464 (by the way, with this one I suggest that you read the intro AFTER rather than before
you read the play)
- Tolstoy “The Death of Ivan Ilyitch” 1418
And then MID-TERM #2
- “The Modern World: Self and Other in Global Context” 1579
- Yeats “The Second Coming” 1705
- Eliot “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” 2075
- Poems on handout
- Pirandello Six Characters in Search of an Author 1725
- Joyce “The Dead” 1945
- Woolf from A Room of One’s Own
- Robbe-Grillet “The Secret Room” 2787
- Wright, “The Man Who Was Almost a Man” 2515
- Tagore “Punishment” 1693
- Premchand “The Road to Salvation” 1910
- Achebe Things Fall Apart 2860
And then your Final Exam
*** Events over the course of the term may require alterations to the syllabus or policies. I will inform you of any
Some Basic Terms
PROSE: Usually described as “writing the way you speak.” This isn’t quite accurate, though, because few people in
their day-to-day conversations speak in grammatically correct sentences organized into unified and coherent
paragraphs and etcetera. At any rate, it is speech not patterned by repeated rhythm, meter, rhyme, etc. It is the
language you use, for example, in your own essays. “Prose Fiction” is made-up stuff written in prose, like a short
story or novel. “Non-fiction Prose” is factual material, like newspaper articles or history books.
POETRY: Language organized into some sort of formal pattern by rhythm, meter, rhyme, etc. The basic unit is the
line, rather than the sentence. Often called “verse.” Usually (not always, as with so-called “prose poetry”) you can
tell you’re looking at a poem on the page because the lines don’t run all the way to the right-hand margin, that is, do
not “wrap” like they do when you’re typing an essay on a computer.
DRAMA: Something written for performance on a stage by one or more actors. Drama can be written in either
poetry/verse (ex. Shakespeare’s Hamlet) or prose (ex. Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman).
SIMILE: A figure of speech making an explicit comparison using “like” or “as” between two dissimilar items.
Examples: “She has hair like gold”; “He eats like a pig.”
METAPHOR: A figure of speech comparing two dissimilar items in which the one item is said to actually be the
other. Example: “She has golden hair”; “He is a pig.”
ANALOGY: An illustration of an idea by using a more familiar idea for comparison. For example, the war in
Afghanistan is often analogized by comparing it to the war in Vietnam. Or you might analogize being in my class to
being Hannibal Lecter’s cellmate.