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English Literature II Romantics to Present 212 TTh 2:00-3:15
Spring 2020

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This is a "real time" syllabus that, unlike a print syllabus, will be regularly updated and 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. You are responsible for understanding and following the schedule and the course policies, which are in effect from the first day of class. Please read them carefully (more than once and throughout the semester). Please see me if you have any questions about them.

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, in which case I will update the syllabus after each class. Again, be sure to check the syllabus regularly.

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.

For the rest of the spring semester, 2020, use this website with Canvas.

Quick read poems are poems we will read together once in class to experience additional works of literature.  While they will not be on the quizzes or exams, they will help your understanding of the literature and periods we study.  And you can briefly reference them on quizzes or exams if you think they will help you support a response.

NA=Norton Anthology (Volumes D, E, F)
ROD=The Remains of the Day

Assignments may be modified as necessary.

You should read the introductions for each author we study. Reading should be finished for the day assigned, e.g., the Romantic Period  introduction should be read (completed) for class by Jan 28. Please bring the required books for each class meeting.  Finally, be sure to use the Course Notes (website) to prepare for class and to study outside of class.

Tuesday Thursday
21 Course Introduction

Reading and Writing about Literature

Wordsworth poem - "I wandered lonely as a cloud"
23 Review Course Website/Syllabus

Reading and Writing about Literature

William Cowper - "The Negro's Complaint" (Bkgrd: 95-96; 105)
28Intro to Romantic Period - NA, Vol D 30 Barbauld - "The Rights of Woman" (Course Notes)/Smith - "Written in the Church-Yard . . ."

In-class grp work--card
Tuesday Thursday
04 Blake - Songs of Innocence and Experience (6 poems)

1.) Introductions (both)
2.) "The Lamb"/"The Tyger"
3.) "The Chimney Sweeper" (both)

(Course Notes)

Reading Journal (Handout)
06 Blake: Introductions (both)/"The Chimney Sweeper" (both)
Final Thoughts

Wordsworth - Preface to Lyrical Ballads (Bkgrd: 193-4)

Quiz 1: Possible Field: Intro to Romanticism (basic points); "TN'sC"; "Written in Church-Yard . . ."; "The Rights of Woman"
11 Wordsworth - Preface/(Bkgrd: 193-4)
Quick read poems: "Expostulation and Reply" & "The Tables Turned (Not on
the midterm)

"Michael" (Course Notes)

13 Finish Preface: "What is a Poet" section.  Also, Bkgrd: 193-4)

Finish "Michael"

Shelley - A Defense of Poetry (1.) 873-78; 2.) 878, "It is difficult . . . ." paragraph; 3.) 879-80, "Poetry is indeed . . . ." paragraph)

18 Shelley - A Defense of Poetry (1.) 873-78; 2.) 878, "It is difficult . . . ." paragraph; 3.) 879-80, "Poetry is indeed . . . ." paragraph)

Read Coleridge bio in NA
Read together in class: Coleridge - "Frost at Midnight" (Will not be on midterm)

Keats letter to Shelley (1028)

Byron - Don Juan (Canto I, stzs. 1-94) (pgs 668-83)
(Course Notes)

In-class grp work--card

20 Continue with Byron - Don Juan

In-class grp work--card due

Shelley - "Ode to the West Wind" & "To a Sky-Lark" (Course Notes)

25 Continue with Shelley - "Ode to the West Wind" & "To a Sky-Lark" (Course Notes)

Keats - "Ode to a Nightingale"

Family farms in WI: Connection to Wordsworth's "Michael"
27 Bring NA, Vols D & E

Finish Keats - "Ode to a Nightingale"
Family farms in WI: Connection to Wordsworth's "Michael" (Course Notes)
Final Thoughts - Romanticism

Intro to The Victorian Age - NA, Vol E

Video Clip: From Queen Victoria's Empire

Tuesday Thursday
03 Intro to the Victorian Age - NA, Vol E
Video Clip: From Queen Victoria's Empire

Carlyle - Past and Present/Mill - On Liberty
05 Finish Carlyle and Mill

Intro to the Victorian Age - NA, Vol E
Video Clip: From Queen Victoria's Empire

Tennyson -"The Lotos-Eaters" (Course Notes)

Quiz 2: Possible Field: Blake, Wordsworth, Shelley

10 Final point about Mill (pp 87-88)

Continue with Tennyson -"The Lotos-Eaters" (Course Notes)

Browning - "Porphyria's Lover" (Course Notes--dramatic monologue)
(Browning is not on the midterm)

Review for midterm exam as time allows
12 Midterm Examination
(Please - No Early Exams)

17 Spring Break 19 Spring Break
24 Spring Break

26 Spring Break
31 Finish PPt Slides (Course Notes): The Victorian Age

Tennyson, Bio from NA/Review of "The Lotos-Eaters"

Browning - "Porphyria's Lover" (Course Notes--dramatic monologue)

Discussion Post Assign--See Canvas
02 April
Look Below

Tuesday Thursday
31 March
Look Above
02 Dickens - Hard Times, 718-24 (Bkgrd 261-3; 713-18)

E. B. Browning - "The Cry of the Children" (Bkrgd: 626-27; 633-34)

ROD Reading Journal Due, Sunday, 5pm (See Canvas)
07 Have NA, Vols E & F

Brief discussion: Victorian Empire (682-86)/The Woman Question (653-56)

Final Thoughts - The Victorian Age
Quick read poem: "I'm happiest when most away" (375)  (Not on the midterm)

Intro to The Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries - NA, Vol F (Course Notes--PPt Slides)
09 Intro to The Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries - NA, Vol F (Course Notes--PPt Slides)

Voices from WWI (Bkgrd: 136-38)
Quick read poem: Brooke, "The Soldier" (139)  (Not on the final exam)

Sassoon - "They"; The General"; The Rear-Guard"; "Glory of Women" (Course Notes-Study Questions)

Paintings: C2, C3

14 ROD
Ishiguro interview
**Novel's title: Pgs 244-45 (the hub: 115-16)
Great men vs ordinary men (democracy)

Use your Reading Journal throughout our discussion

Quiz 3: Possible field: Dickens--HT, "The Cry of the Children," Sassoon poems (see Canvas)
16 ROD
**Being in service--a butler
**Stevens and Miss Kenton/Mrs. Behn
Ladder vs Wheel/Steven's father/Dignity/Significance of "hands"
Stevens pretending/feelings/love and marriage

21 ROD
**Lord Darlington/WW I and the Versailles Treaty
**Writing style/Memory and Consciousness

23 ROD
**Return to the ending: Novel's title
**Loose ends & Final Thoughts

Introduction/(act/scene 1.1)
**Play's title
28 Arcadia (acts/scenes 1.1-1.2)
**Carnal Embrace: Septimus and Thomasina
**Definition of Entropy (Course Notes)
**Landscape Gardening/Romanticism (Course Notes)
**Research: past and present
**Thomisina, Septimus/Bernard, Hannah
30 Arcadia (acts/scenes 1.3-1.4)
**Classical mechanics (Newton)/Thermodynamics [Septimus and Thomasina (Cleopatra)]
**Chaos Theory (Course Notes)
**Bernard theory: Byron killed Chater??
Tuesday Thursday
05 Arcadia (acts/scenes 2.5-2.6)
**Lady Croom and Septimus--Byron
**Hannah and Bernard--logic, reason/intuition, feeling
**Humanities and Arts/Sciences

Quiz 4: Possible field: ROD & Arcadia, Scenes 1-4 (Act 1)

07 Arcadia (act/scene 2.7)
Review of scenes 1-6/Final Thoughts
**Result of Bernard and Hannah's research
**Waltzing--three couples at the end of the play
**Why doesn't Gus speak
**Sex--equation Newton left out
**Entropy/Deterministic Chaos--tea, steam engine

Course Review Posting--on Canvas (Due May 11, by 5pm)
Final Examination--See below

Review for final exam as time allows

Finals Week: May 11 - May 15
Zoom Review Session:  Monday, May 11, 5pm.  Join through Canvas (see my emails)
Final Exam: May 14, TH, 8:00-11:30am (We will use Canvas--same procedure we used for the quizzes)

Course Grades Available on AccessPoint: May 21 (afternoon) or May 22

Course Description and Learning Outcomes
The General Education Program Learning Outcomes for the Humanities (Investigation 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

Note how this course addresses these learning outcomes.  We will read and discuss fiction, poetry, prose, and drama from the English Romantic, Victorian, and Modern periods, including such writers as Barbauld, Wordsworth, Tennyson, Dickens, Yeats, and Stoppard. This literature will be read not only to study each work's artistic value but also to understand the social, historical, and political contexts that define these works and the periods in which they were written. As time allows, we will examine literary theory and criticism as a way of reading, thinking, and writing about English literature.

During the semester, we will work to

  • Summarize and explain plots and themes when reading literature individually and during class discussions
  • Analyze literature critically in writing to demonstrate an understanding of key themes and of the conventions of literature
  • Recognize the historical, social, and cultural contexts of British Romantic, Victorian, and Modern literature as well as the ways literature and culture interact to reinforce and challenge social attitudes and values
  • Evaluate and engage literature as an imaginative expression of the human condition
Texts (Available at Text Rental)

Text Rental

Abrams, M. H., gen. ed., et al.  The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vols. D, E, F (10th ed.)

Purchase at Bookstore (or from another vendor)

Kazuo Ishiguro. The Remains of the DayVintage International. 1993. (ISBN: 978-0-679-73172-6)  Warning: If you choose not to use this Vintage International edition, you will have trouble following our class discussions and noting page references.


During class discussions we will focus on key issues, evocative passages, and questions you raise.  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 we read. Take notes when you read outside of class and write down questions you have. 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. 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 some quizzes (announced and possibily unannounced) and assignments along with two examinations (a midterm and a final).

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

Course Grade %
Assignments/Quizzes** 20%
Midterm 35%
Final 45%
** Will be determined by point values, e.g.: 10pts: A=10; A- =9; B=8.5; C=7.5; D=6.5; F=5-0//5pts: A=5; B- =4; C- =3.5; D- = 3; F=2.5-0

See Course Grade Sheet for info on estimating course grades

Late Work: Assignments or quizzes due/given on a set day must be submitted/completed during the class period. Having an assignment finished but not printed out and ready to hand in is late. Late assignments will be accepted one day after the original due date, but will lose one letter grade or the point equivalent. After that, no credit will be given. Assignments due electronically must be received by the day and time specified. (Assignments due on Friday will not be accepted as late on Monday.  You must turn these in by Friday afternoon, 4pm.) Makeup quizzes, if feasible, must be arranged as soon as possible.  It is your responsiblity to see me and make arrangements; however, it may not be possible to make up missed assignments or quizzes.

For any special circumstances or problems, please contact me ahead of time. Also, no incompletes for the course will be given; there is no extra credit possible.


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. You have personal days to use and manage as needed.  For this class, you have three personal days.

If you miss a total of two weeks of class (six days for classes meeting three times a week; four days for classes meeting twice a week), you may fail the course.

If you are absent, you do not need to email me to explain your absence--unless there is a quiz or assignment due.  If you would like to find out about missed information or handouts, it is best to stop by during office hours or make an appointment to see me. You can email me about missed information, but I may not be able to respond before our next class meeting. 

However, if an assignment is due or there is a quiz, then you do need to email me or see me the day of the assignment due date or quiz or asap.  And you must have a legitimate reason for your absence. You cannot just expect to be able to turn in a missed assignment or make up a quiz the following class period.

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 limits your ablity to focus on and follow class instruction and discussion. 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")/Cheating

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.

Anyone caught cheating during quizzes or exams (e.g., looking at someone else's paper or using a cell phone) will fail the quiz or exam and be reported to the Dean of Students Office.