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Reading Fiction English106-2 TTH 2:00-3:15
Fall 2022
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This is a "real time" syllabus that will be regularly updated to reflect our progress throughout the semester. You can easily check it from a mobile device or from any computer.

The syllabus consists of the Reading Schedule and Course Policies. Students are responsible for understanding and following the reading schedule and the course policies, which are in effect from the first day of class. Please read them carefully (and review them throughout the semester). Please see me if you have any questions.

Think of the syllabus as a flexible guide. It will structure our semester, but we will adjust it to fit our needs as the semester progresses. Not all assignments and quizzes are listed at the beginning of the semester; some will be added throughout the semester. It may also be necessary to finish some readings the following class period; I will update the syllabus after each class.  Again, be sure to check the syllabus regularly.  The course is organized by themes:  The Individual and Society, The Extraordinary and Fantastic, Nature, and Terror and Violence.

You do not need to print the syllabus, but if you decide to, be sure to check the online syllabus regularly for new information, added assignments, or reading schedule changes. The print icon above is for print copies.

Our main vehicle this semester for course content will be the Course Website, but it is linked to Canvas, which we will use for some things, such as discussion posts or for accessing video. We will not use the Canvas Gradebook; instead, the Grade Sheet on our Course Notes page (on the course website) will help you track assignments and grades.

All readings are from Fiction 100 unless otherwise noted as a handout.  TIDM=The Island of Dr. MoreauIt will be useful to read the Biographical Notes (beginning on p 1238) for each author we study. Helpful information and context for those stories that are on the Course Notes page (Course Website) will be noted on the syllabus, e.g., "A Rose for Emily" (Course Notes).  This means you should read the Course Notes along with the assigned story.  You may find it helpful to preview the Course Notes material first, then read it again after you read the story. (Be careful of any spoiler info.)  Finally, our book contains A Short Story Handbook, beginning on p 1293.

Reading should be finished for the day assigned, e.g., "The Most Dangerous Game" should be completed for class on September 08. Please bring the required books for each class meeting and be sure to use the Course Notes pages to prepare for class and to study outside of class.  TIDM should be completely finished by our first day of discussion.

Tuesday Thursday
06 Course Introduction
Review Course Website (Syllabus, Course Notes)/Canvas site

08 Review Course Website (Syllabus, Course Notes)/Canvas site

Reading and Interpreting Literature
Intro: Plot & Characterization
**You can bring Fiction 100 for the short story handbook

"The Most Dangerous Game" (Also available on Course Notes page).  Read this story online; you can bring your laptop/tablet to access the story. Bring reading notes to class
13 Reading and Interpreting Literature
Intro: Finish Plot & Character/
Pt of View & Theme(s)

**You can bring Fiction 100 for the short story handbook

"The Most Dangerous Game" (Also available on Course Notes page).  Read this story online; you can bring your laptop/tablet to access the story. Bring reading notes to class
15  "The Most Dangerous Game - Themes/Final Thoughts

The Individual & Society

"A Rose for Emily" (Course Notes)
20 Finish "A Rose for Emily"
**Fetterley quotations--Course Notes

"This Is What It Means to Say Phoeniz, Arizona"

22 "Shoeless Joe Jackson Comes to Iowa"

In-class grp work--card (5pts)

27 Finish "Shoeless Joe": In-class cards.  Sit in your groups from TH

Q3/Final Thoughts - All Groups

"The Lesson"

Course Notes--under "Outside Links": 1.) Great Migration link, bottom of page and 2.) article on Eight-Mile Wall in Detroit]

29 Finish "The Lesson"


Quiz 1: "The Most Dangerous Game"; "A Rose for Emily"; "Shoeless Joe"

Tuesday Thursday
04 Finish "Saboteur"

"Two Questions"

Informal in-class group work

06 Finish "Two Questions" - Sit in informal groups from 10/4

The Individual & Society - Final Thoughts

The Extraordinary & Fantastic

TIDM (Study questions--Course Notes)
We will reference the critical introduction and notes to the Penguin edition

**The novella as a genre (Course Notes; Also see Poe's Review of Hawthorne's Twice-Told Tales)
**Wells Biographical Note (Critical intro)
**Publication method/history (Note on the Text)
**Scientific romance (Critical intro/Wells bio)

11 The Individual & Society - Final Thoughts

**The novella as a genre (Course Notes; Also see Poe's Review of Hawthorne's Twice-Told Tales)
**Extraordinary and Fantastic

**Discuss study questions (Course Notes) #1 & #3

13  TIDM
**Finish study questions #1 & #3
**Study questions #4 & #2

Quiz 2: "The Lesson"; "Saboteur"; TIDM (character of Prendick)

**Prendick--Conclusion (Ch 22): Final paragraph?/Montgomery's death (Ch 19)
**Study questions #4 & #2
    --Dr Moreau Explains (Ch 14: pp 71, 72-73, 75, 78)
**Study Question #5

**Finish discussion of  **Study questions #4 & #2
    --Dr Moreau Explains (Ch 14: pp 71, 72-73, 75, 78)
**Study Question #5

Review for midterm (see study guide) as time allows: Bring Fiction 100

25  Midterm (No early exams, please)

27 Bring TIDM & Fiction 100

**Beast Folk--Final observations
**Study Questions #s 6 & 7
**Film clips (movie TIDM, 1996)
**Loose Ends/Final Thoughts

Begin "The Cask of Amontillado" (Course Notes)

Tuesday Thursday
01 Finish Poe's "Cask" (Course Notes)

In-class grp work--card (5pts)

"The Signal-Man"

03 Finish "The Signal-Man"
**Spectres the S-M sees
**Narrator's attempt to explain these phenomenon
**Narrator's relationship with the S-M
**Ghost stories: possible & impossible/natural & supernatural//psychological: memories & recollection
**Technological and Physiological (Biological) signals

"The Speckled Band"

Read the story in Fiction 100, then look at the story in The Strand magazine (link below) as Victorian readers would have experienced it.

The Strand
includes the Sidney Paget illustrations


**Clip from BBC's Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) in class
**Why is SH so popular?
**Romance of reason
**Induction & Deduction

08 Finish Conan Doyle's "The Speckled Band"
**Characterization: Holmes and Watson
**Dr Roylott--bkgrd (aristocracy)/Stoner sisters (marriage)
**Consider text and illustrations--The Strand edition (see 11/3)

The Extraordinary & Fantastic
- Final Thoughts


"To Build a Fire"
Introductory thoughts: lack of dialogue, nature as a character,
lack of relationship between man and dog
10 Finish "To Build a Fire"
**Literary Naturalism (See Course Notes)
**Charcterization - unnamed protagonist
**Relationship between protagonist & dog
**View of natural world (nature)

"Big Two-Hearted River" (Handout)
Hemingway bio (Fiction 100, p 1262-63)
**In Our Time--Nick Adams
**Writing style
**camping, fishing
15 Finish "Big Two-Hearted River
Hemingway bio (Fiction 100, p 1262-63)
**In Our Time--Nick Adams
**Writing style
**camping, fishing

17 "Them Old Cowboy Songs"
**Pick two passages that you feel are good writing.
**dirty realism

Quiz 3: "The Speckled Band"; "The Signal-Man"; "Big Two-Hearted River"

22 Reading Time on Your Own - No Class

24 Thanksgiving Break

29  Bring Fiction 100 & "Uncle Baghdasar"

Finish "Them Old Cowboy Songs"
**Women (pp 1017, 1024)
**Nature (Gold Dust, weasel: pp 1024-25/Archie's death, pp 1021-23)

Nature - Final Thoughts

Terror & Violence

Discuss video on the Armenian Genocide--access on Canvas
(Watch video before class--take notes for class discussion)

In-class card

"Uncle Baghdasar" (Handout)
**Historical Bkgrd/Begin discussing story as time allows

See related readings under "Outside Links" on our Course Notes page

01DECEMBER - Look Below
Tuesday Thursday
29 NOVEMBER - Look Above
01 Discuss story "Uncle Baghdasar"

Video on the Armenian Genocide (See 11/29)

See related readings under "Outside Links" on our Course Notes page
06 "The Man Who Was Almost a Man"

Quiz 4: "To Build a Fire"; "Them Old Cowboy Songs"; "Uncle Baghdasar"
08 "A Good Man Is Hard to Find"
13 A Good Man Is Hard to Find

Review for final examination
**Bring midterm exams

15 Bring Fiction 100/TIDM

Terror and Violence - Final Thoughts

Course Wrap up

Semester Review Discussion Posting - On Canvas (10pts): Due Date TBD


Final Exam Week: Dec 16, 19 - Dec 22
Office Hrs during Finals Week: See Home Page

Semester Review Discussion Posting - On Canvas: Due Date TBD

Final Exam: Dec 16, 2:45-4:45pm, in our usual classroom. No early exams, please

Course Grades Available on AccessPoint: TBA

Covid/Face Covering Policy

There is no mandatory face covering policy at UWSP.  Wearing is optional.  Students who wish or neet to wear a mask should do so.  Any student who is sick, particularly coughing, should not attend class until well and pehaps wear a mask in class until fully well.

Learning Outcomes and Course Description/Objectives

The General Education Program Learning Outcomes for Humanities (Human Cultures and Sciences Level) are as follows:
  • Read closely, think critically, and write effectively about texts or cultural artifacts that reflect on perennial questions concerning the human condition (such as the search for truth and meaning, the confrontation with suffering and mortality, or the struggle for justice, equality, and human dignity.
  • Investigate and thoughtfully respond to a variety of ideas, beliefs or values held by persons in situations other than one's own.
Course Description and Goals

In this course we will read and discuss short fiction, focusing on fundamentals such as plot, characterization, point of view, and theme.  Concentrating on four main course themes, we will also explore key social, philosophical, historical, political, and economic issues raised by our readings as well as questions about human nature and how individuals (including those different from ourselves) connect to their society.  A key concern will be how we read and what the act of interpretation entails. We will also read one novella--The Island of Dr. Moreau--that will raise questions about what constitutes a "short story."

Building on the GE Learning Outcomes above, we will, in our course, work to

  • Read texts critically to understand plot and articulate questions, problems, and interpretations about the readings, both individually and during class discussions
  • Develop specific, thoughtful written responses to the readings
  • Comprehend the historical and social contexts related to the literature studied
  • Understand literature as an imaginative expression of the human condition 

Text Rental

Pickering, James H. Fiction 100: An Anthology of Short Fiction. 13th ed.  Pearson, 2012.

Purchase at Bookstore (or from another vendor)

Wells, H. G. The Island of Dr. Moreau. Penguin Books, 2005. (ISBN: 978-0-14-144102-3)  Warning: If you choose not to use this Penguin edition, you will have trouble following our class discussions and noting page references. You will also not have textual notes and the critical introduction.


During class discussions we will focus on key issues, difficult passages, and questions you raise.  However, we cannot cover every line of every work.  You will be responsible for parts of works we do not have time to cover in class, using your notes and our discussions to guide your (re)reading/thinking. You should be prepared to discuss the reading assignments for the days they are scheduled. It is useful to mark key passages or scenes that point to central concerns or ideas in the works that are read. Take notes when you read outside of class and write down questions you have. The purpose of class discussion is not to give you answers; instead, class discussions will help you develop reading strategies, understand background/contexts, and raise questions that you will think about and answer. There will be several quizzes, some assignments, and two examinations (a midterm and a final).

Please remember that your course grade will be based on the work that you complete, not simply on the effort you make and not on my subjective opinion.

Course Grade %
Assignments/Quizzes** 25%
Midterm 35%
Final 40%
** Will be determined by point values (Approx Grades): 5pt Assignments: A/A-=5-4.5; B- =4; C- =3.5; D- =3; F=2.5-0
10pt Assignments
: A/A- =10-9; B/B- =8.5-8; C/C- =7.5-7; D/D- =6.5-6; F=5-0

Late Assignment Policy: Students who miss a quiz may contact me about the possibility of making up the quiz; however, this must be done before the quiz or a day or two after the quiz is given.  It may not be possible to make up a quiz. Assignments due on a given day must be submitted at the beginning of the class period. An assignment that is finished but not printed out and ready to hand in is late. Late assignments will be accepted one day after the original due date (not the next class meeting), but will lose one letter grade or a minimum of one full point. After that, they will not be accepted. (Assignments due on Friday that are late must be turned in by 5pm.  They will not be accepted on Monday.) Assignments due electronically (e.g., on Canvas) must be received by the day and time specified.  In-class assignments must be completed during class.  Students who are absent during an in-class assignment must contact a day or two after the assignment.  It may not be possible to make up a missed in-class assignment.  No incompletes will given in the course.  See me about any issues that arise.


Regular attendance is your responsibility and is essential for success in the course. As stated in the online UWSP Course Catalog (UWSP Course Catalog pgs 25-26), you cannot "cut" classes.

There are no excused or unexcused absences in this course.  The only relevant factor is your number of absences.  However, you have personal days to use and manage as needed: For three-days-a-week classes: 5.  For two-days-a-week classes: 3.  Use personal days for family situations or sickness.  Be careful not to squander them.

If you miss a total of two weeks of class (six class meetings for classes meeting three times a week; four class meetings for classes meeting twice a week), you may fail the course.  If you are on a sports team, absences for games still count as personal days.  However, we will adjust your absence limit if absences because of games exceed the absence limit.  The attendance policy begins with the second class meeting. 

It may be possible to make up missed assignments/quizzes with my approval; therefore, it is your responsibility to contact me to determine work that needs to be completed and to follow up with all logistical requirements.  However, it may not be possible to make up some assignments or quizzes.

If you are absent and have not exceeded your absence limit, you do not need to email me to explain your absence. If you would like to find out about missed information or assignments, it is best to stop by during office hours or make an appointment to see me. You can also email me, but I may not be able to respond before our next class meeting. However, you should email about an absence ahead of the due date if an assignment is due.

For an extended absence, do the following:  Follow the syllabus and keep up with readings/assignments; Stay in contact with me for information/resources/help; Look into getting notes from classmates (I can help with this); See me during office hours when you return to class.

Classroom Etiquette

During class meetings, we will discuss and debate issues about writing and literature.  It is fine to express your views passionately and debate others in class, but do so in a civil, constructive manner.  Please do not use phones and mobile devices during class, even if you believe you are doing so quietly.  Not only is this rude, but also it distracts other students as well as your ablity to focus on and follow class instruction and discussion.  Also, please do not wear headphones. It is English Department policy that students cannot and should not record class lectures and discussion without permission from the intstructor. Also, please get drinks of water or use the washroom before or after class, not during class, so that our classroom does not become a bus station. Please see me if you need special accomodations.

Plagiarism (from the Latin "to Kidnap")

You will be expected to do your own work throughout the course. Intentionally or unintentionally passing off the ideas, words, or sentences of others (e.g., published authors, website authors, other students) as your own is plagiarism, which will result in failing the plagiarized assignment and possibly the course. Please review the University policy regarding plagiarism.