To Schedule
To Policies


Reading Fiction 106-1/H TTH 3:30-4:45
Fall 2021
Log into Canvas

This is a "real time" syllabus that 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 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, in which case I will update the syllabus after each class.  Again, be sure to check the syllabus regularly.  The course is organized by themes:  Individual and Society, 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 will be the course website, but we will use Canvas 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 eFictions unless otherwise noted as a handout.  TIM=The Invisible Man.  It will be useful to read the introductions for each author we study. Helpful information and context for stories that are on the Course Notes page 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.)

Reading should be finished for the day assigned, e.g., "The Most Dangerous Game" should be completed for class on Jan, 28. 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.  TIM should be completely finished by our first day of discussion, March 2.

26 Course Introduction
Review Course Website (Syllabus, Course Notes)/Canvas site

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

Reading and Interpreting Literature
Intro, 3-13 (Plot)

"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
02 Reading and Interpreting Literature
Intro, 3-13 (Setting, Characterization, Pt of View, and Theme)

"The Most Dangerous Game" (See Jan 28)

"The Most Dangerous Game" - themes/Final thoughts

"A Rose for Emily" (p 117; Course Notes)

Group assignment - in class
09 "A Rose for Emily" (Group work on assigned quotation--see Course Notes)
Sit with your partner, but maintain safe distance.  Bring notes to class

"Babylon Revisited" (Course Notes)

Card Due
: Theme in "MDG" (5pts)
[For those who Zoomed in on TH (2/4), your card
is due TH, 2/11]

11 Finish discussion of "Babylon Revisited"

"The Lottery"

Watch short film adaptation of "The Lottery" in class

Discussion of story and adaptation

Due: "A Rose for Emily" discussion post - one for each group. (5pts) See Canvas for details. Due Monday by 5pm.
16 Finish discussion of "The Lottery" (Compare the short movie adaptation and story): Tradition & Game Playing

"American Dreams"

Quiz 1: "A Rose for Emily"; "Babylon Revisited"; "The Lottery"

18 Finish discussion of "American Dreams"

"The Rocking-Horse Winner"

Terms used by Marxism website: Read and study the following terms: 1. commodity (use-value vs exchange value) 2. commodity fetishism   How do these terms help us read the story?
23 Finish discussion of "The Rocking-Horse Winner"

"The Lesson" (Course Notes)

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

25 "The Bridegroom"

Groups will respond to assigned questions in class on 2/23

02 Final Thoughts/Loose Ends (Bring eFictions and TIM)

"The Rocking-Horse Winner"
**Overall assessment of reading the story using the concepts of "commodities" & "commodity fetishism"

"The Lesson"
**Sylvia - her voice and language

Final Thoughts - "The Bridegroom"

Individual and Society theme: key questions & concepts


Brief lecture - the short story as a genre

TIM (Study questions--Course Notes)

**Introduction/Bkgrd (We will reference the critical introduction to the Penguin edition, which you should read.)
**Chpts 1-4 (Deduction, Induction--Course Notes)

Watch movie The Invisible Man (1933)--available on Canvas.  Watch by 3/11.  Use movie/novella comparison chart (handout)

04  TIM

Chpts 1-4 (Deduction, Induction--Course Notes)

Invisibility Experiment in Class!!

Chpts 19-23 (Griffin's narrative; index of refraction--see
the chapter and text notes).  Idea and Method/Imagination and Observation, Reason

Quiz 2: "American Dreams"; "The Rocking-Horse Winner"; "The Lesson"

09 TIM

**Publication method/history
**Scientific Method (Chpts 1-4; 26 (Wickstead murder)
**Literature and Science (Science Fiction)
**Griffin: characterization/drawbacks to invisibility (Chpts 19-23)

11 TIM

**Griffin's background (hereditary class system)
**Thomas Marvel (Chpts 9-16, Epilogue), Kemp (Chpts 15-18, 24-28)

Discuss movie adaptation TIM/comparisons to the novella.  Bring movie/novella notes - comparison chart (handout)

Excerpt from Plato's Republic (handout)

16 TIM

**Plato's Republic excerpt (handout)
**Narrator: Who is the narrator?
**Genre: short story & novella
**Movie adaptation TIM/comparisons to the novella

Review for midterm (see study guide) as time allows: Bring TIM & eFictions

18 Midterm (No early exams, please)

30 TIM (Bring TIM & eFictions)

**Game playing references in the novel
**Colonel Adye (Chpts 24-28)
**Movie adaptation TIM/comparisons to the novella

Loose Ends/Final Thoughts

"The Cask of Amontillado"

01 April

Look Below
30 March

Look Above
01 "The Cask of Amontillado"

**Narrator (questions we raised at the end of class Tues)
**Reference to "masons"

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" (Also available on Course Notes page)

Read this story online; bring your laptop/tablet to class to access the story. Bring reading notes to class

06 Bring your laptop/tablet to class to access both stories for today

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
**Discuss ideas we layed out at the end of TH's class (in your notes)

"The Speckled Band"

**Consider text and illustrations
**Clip from BBC's Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) in class

08 "The Speckled Band"

**Conan Doyle Bio (handout)
**romance of reason
**Empire: Violence begets violence (Roylott's bkgrd/family history - India)

Final Thoughts - The Extraordinary and Fantastic theme


"To Build a Fire"

**Group Presentation - Honors Students

Honors Students: Prospectus for literary analysis essay due
13 "To Build a Fire"

**Literary Naturalism
**Stylistic Analysis: opening pars
**Characterization: Man and the dog/Old-Timer

Final Thoughts - The Extraordinary and Fantastic theme

"The Big Two-Hearted River" (handout)
**Hemingway bio: eFictions, p 475
**Context: In Our Time

15 "The Big Two-Hearted River"
**Writing Style
**Nick Adams/landscape
**trout, grasshoppers

"The Open Boat"/Crane's newspaper account (Handout)
(see Course Notes)

**Objective point of view (narration)--See glossary at back of eFictions
**Structural/Organizational differences between news account and short story??

20 Review/Loose-ends Day

Quiz 3: TIM, "TSB," "TB T-H R"

"The Big Two-Hearted River"
**review key ideas from our discussions
**camping/fishing/human relationship to the natural world

"The Speckled Band" (Bring your laptop/tablet to class)
**Plot - locked room mystery
**Relationship of Holmes/Watson
**Social/Historical context (faith in reason)

**Commodity/Commodity Fetishism - if/as time allows ("The Rocking-Horse Winner")
22 "The Open Boat" (see Course Notes)

**Objective point of view (narration)--See glossary at back of eFictions
**Structural/Organizational differences between news account and short story?
**Four characters: brotherhood and the struggle to survive

Final Thoughts - Nature theme

Begin midterm review - bring your exams


"Entropy" (Course Notes)

Also, see this link for an explanation of entropy:

Focus on reading/study questions 1 & 2

Honors Students: Scratch Outline Due

27 "Entropy" (Course Notes)

Focus on reading/study questions 1 & 2

**Concept of Entropy
**Meatball/Callisto Apts **Entropy & Communication

"The Destructors"

**Group Presentation - Honors Students

"Open Boat" Posting Due - See Canvas - by 1pm
29 "Entropy"
**Discuss pars on pp 748-49 - entropy as a metaphor

"The Destructors"
**Final thoughts/loose ends: Lorry driver's laughing at the story's conclusion
**Character Trevor

Video on the Armenian Genocide--access on Canvas
Watch video before class--take notes for class discussion

Historical Bkgrd/Set up for "Uncle Baghdasar"  (Course Notes--under "Outside Links")
04 "Uncle Baghdasar" (Handout; Course Notes--under "Outside Links")

Historical Bkgrd/Discuss story

Quiz 4: "The Cask of Amontillado"; "Entropy"; "The Destructors"
06 "Uncle Baghdasar"
**Background Info
**Final thoughts on the story

"In the Penal Colony" (Course Notes)

Groups, set up on 5/4, will present ideas on their assigned discussion questions from eFictions

11 "In the Penal Colony"

**Finish group presentations: Discussion questions 4-5
**Discuss Course Notes about the story

"The Guest" 
**Look up "existentialism"

13 "The Guest"
**Daru, Balducci, Arab prisoner 
**Daru as existential hero?

Final Thoughts: Violence & Terror theme

Loose Ends/Final thoughts about our stories

Review for final exam as time allows
**Midterm exam - share responses

Course Wrap up

Semester Review Card (10pts)
: Due Date--Wed, May 19, in class before you take the final exam
Honors Students: Course Essay Due TH, May 20.  Drop off at my office: 9-10:30am; 2-3pm

Final Exam Week: May 17-21
Office Hrs during Finals Week: See Home Page

Semester Review Card: Turn in right before you take the final exam on Wed

Final Exam: May 19, Wed, 2:45-4:45, in our usual classroom. No early exams, please

Course Grades Available on AccessPoint: May 27/28

Face Covering Policy

Because we are in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic, at all UW-Stevens Point campus locations the wearing of face coverings is mandatory in all buildings, including classrooms, laboratories, studios, and other instructional spaces. Any student with a condition that impacts his or her use of a face covering should contact the Disability and Assistive Technology Center to discuss accommodations in classes. Please note that unless everyone is wearing a face covering, in-person classes cannot take place. This is university policy and not up to the discretion of individual instructors. Failure to adhere to this requirement could result in formal withdrawal from the course.

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 (or short stories), focusing on fundamentals such as plot, characterization, point of view, and theme.  Focusing on four main 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 Invisible Man--that will also raise questions about what constitutes a "short story."

During the semester, we will 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

Trimmer, Joseph F, et. al. eFictions. Boston, Heinle, 2002.

Purchase at Bookstore (or from another vendor)

Wells, H. G. The Invisible Man. Penguin. ISBN: 9780141439983  Warning: If you choose not to use this Penguin edition, you may have trouble following our class discussions and noting page references. You will also not have notes and the critical introduction unless you photocopy these from someone else's book.


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 periodic quizzes, (announced and possibly unannounced), 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 the effort you make or my subjective opinion.

Course Grade %
Assignments/Quizzes** 20%
Midterm 35%
Final 45%
** Will be determined by point values (Approx Grades): 5pt Assignments: A=5-4.5; B=4; C=3.5; D=3; F=2.5-0//10pt Assignments: A=10-9; B=8.5-8; C=7.5-7; D=6.5-6; F=5-0

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 on Monday.) You cannot makeup missed exams unless there is an extraordinary situation.  Makeup quizzes and assignments, 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.

Honors Students

The mission of the University Honors Program is to foster intellectual curiosity and academically prepare high-achieving students to engage in unique educational experiences, in and outside the classroom, across a wide-ranging curriculum in preparation for lifelong learning.

The requirements for honors students in English 106 include the standard requirements for the course plus the following. (Details on Course Notes page.)

  • A literary analysis (5-6 pgs) of one of the short stories we read and discuss in class.  (See grade chart below.)
  • Honor students will, in teams of two, lead a class discussion (20 mins.) of a short story for a class period. (20pts--Assigns/Quizzes category below.)

For both of these assginments, students will consult with me to guide their progress.

Due date: TBD

Course Grade %
Assignments/Quizzes** 20%
Literary Analysis 10%
Midterm 30%
Final 40%
** Will be determined by point values (Approx Grades): 5pt Assignments: A=5-4.5; B=4; C=3.5; D=3; F=2.5-0//10pt Assignments: A=10-9; B=8.5-8; C=7.5-7; D=6.5-6; F=5-0

Late Assignment Policy: 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, 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.) Assignments due electronically must be received by the day and time specified. Late email assignments will be accepted 24hrs from the original due date. For any special circumstances, please contact me ahead of time. No incompletes will given in the course.

Essays submitted late will lose 1/3 of a letter grade each day they are late, including weekends (e.g., original grade B. Two days late, C+). For any special circumstances, please contact me ahead of time. It may not be possible to make up some quizzes or assignments.


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 three-days-a-week classes: 5/For two-days-a-week classes: 3

Since this is an in-person class, you need to attend class regularly.   

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.  However, if you have to quarrantine, then we will adjust your absence limit. 

Zooming into class is not a substitue for being in class (in person).  If you are not in class, you will be marked absent.

For the students who are fully online, you need to attend class synchronously--in real time.  Watching recordings (if available) is not a substitute for real-time participation.  The same attendance requirements
for in-person students applies to you.

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, 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 if an assignment is due.

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, 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.