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Great Works of Irish Literature and Film

This course is the capstone of your Cluster Two experience in General Education. The courses in Group 3 are writing-infused. They afford students extensive opportunities to produce various genres of academic writing, as well as to develop more engaged and sophisticated reading strategies through exposure to interesting and thought-provoking texts. At the end of this learning experience, the student will be able to: ? Generate increasingly nuanced questions (interpretations, ideas) about literature and explain why those questions matter.

? Use appropriate vocabulary and tactics to analyze specific literary expressions of culture and the relationship between the reader, the author, and text. ? Define ways that texts serve as arguments and identify rhetorical and formal elements that inform these arguments. ? Recognize appropriate contexts (such as genres, political perspectives, textual juxtapositions) and understand that readers may interpret literature from a variety of perspectives.

? Articulate a variety of examples of the ways in which literature gives us access to the human experience that reveals what differentiates it from, and connects it to, the other disciplines that make up the arc of human learning. Processes: We will achieve these goals in several ways. You will analyze works of literature and film in the context of their historical moments. This analysis will serve as the basis for our discussions in class and for your papers and exams. Preparation: Preparation is essential in this class. This is a discussion class in which you learn analytical skills by practicing them.

You must read the assigned materials carefully, pen in hand, taking notes and marking up the text. You must make each text you read or view useful to you. You will take timed open book quizzes at which you will be more successful if you have annotated your readings. There is a separate section of the syllabus called Reading Online with suggestions on how to make your online reading useful. Discussion: This will not be a lecture class. The primary format of the class will be discussion. I will open each class with an opportunity for questions.

This is your chance to ask about anything on which you are not entirely clear. These questions may be specific or general. If you do not ask, I will assume that you have mastered the readings. Come to each class meeting with questions! They are essential to the conduct of the class. They are the most important contribution you can make to the class. Blackboard Discussion Board Postings: You will be given assignments that will include postings to the Blackboard Discussion Board and responses to your fellow students’ postings. These are graded activities.

Assignments will be announced in class. Writing: This is a writing intensive class. Writing is a process through which you will work out your analysis of ideas and materials you find interesting. We will spend time in class discussing the writing process, our writing assignments, and the drafts of your essays. The Blackboard site contains a Writing Center which houses support for developing your writing skills and addressing any deficiencies in your writing. There is also a University Writing Center which has both in person and online support for your writing (http://www.

jmu. edu/uwc/) You might look over papers you’ve gotten back in the past to see how this might be useful to you. My comments on your papers will direct you to sections of the Center. I am available to discuss your writing at any stage of the process from the formulation of ideas to revising your final draft. I will not discuss drafts with you the day before the paper is due unless I have already worked with you at some stage of the process. You may meet with me during my office hours, or we can set up a time that is more convenient. We can also discuss this in emails.

Assessments: Your learning will be assessed in several ways: BLACKBOARD QUESTIONS: You will post two questions or topics you’d like to discuss on the Blackboard Discussion Board after you watch each week’s movie. Questions or topics are to be posted by noon each Wednesday. QUIZZES: We will have frequent quizzes in class and on Blackboard. Often you will be encouraged to use your notes to answer the questions. EXAMS: You will take three exams. These will include multiple choice, short answer and essay questions. ESSAYS: You will write two five-page essays and a five page analysis of a film.

GROUP WORK: You may be placed in small groups during the semester for various assignments. These assignments will count as quizzes. Your small group will also help assess your contributions to the class. CLASS DISCUSSION: The class and I will also be assessing your contributions to class discussions. Policies: Attendance: I do not have an attendance requirement. However, missed work may not be made up except under extreme circumstances. A missed class is also a missed opportunity for contribution to class discussion, group work and quizzes, all of which is factored into your final grade.

Plagiarism: All written work is assumed to be your own words and ideas unless otherwise attributed through citations. Failure to supply citations is plagiarism and is grounds for failing the course or visiting the Honor Council or both. Cheating on tests or quizzes will be a forwarded to the Honor Council. You don’t want to tell your kids, parents, future (potential-but-probably-not-once-they-hear-this) employers that you took that semester off because you were caught cheating in a Humanities class.

Blackboard has a substantial “Big Brother” element that allows for pretty thorough evaluation of suspect submissions, so let’s just skip that experience. Grading: Work in this course will be evaluated on the following basis in assigning grades: Blackboard Postings: 1-5 points each; Quizzes: 1-5 points each, Exam One: 15 points; Exam Two: 20 points; Exam Three: 25 Points: Class Discussion: 30 points; First Essay: 15 points; Second essay: 20 points; Third Essay 25 points. Class Meetings And Assignments Complete the assignments below before the date listed. Be prepared to discuss the assignment on that date. August 31: Cead Mile Failte.

Register for the daily News Update at http://www. rte. ie/emails/ September 2: Read from The Cattle Raid of Cooley (The Tain) Chapters 1,2,7,7a and 7b at http://faculty. vassar. edu/sttaylor/Cooley 7: The Cattle Raid of Cooley: Read Chapters 19a,b,c,d, 20 and 21. Read “What is Academic Writing,” p. 1-7 and “The Process,” only p. 15-21 from Writing About Film. (Download from our Blackboard site. ) Movie: The Quiet Man. 9: The Cattle Raid of Cooley: Read Chapters 28 and 29. Read “The Process,” only pages 21-24 and 29-40 from Writing About Film. 14: Read Translations. Movie: Angela’s Ashes 16: Discuss Translations and Angela’s Ashes.

21: Begin reading about The Great Famine at http://www. wesleyjohnston. com/users/ireland/past/famine Read Introduction, Prelude, and Famine. Pay particular attention to the maps. Read pages 41-52 from Writing About Film. Movie: The Hanging Gale, Parts 1 & 2 23: Read Dracula Chapters I-IV. Essay One due. 28: Read Famine and Effects at http://www. wesleyjohnston. com/users/ireland/past/famine Read Dracula, Chapters V-XIX. Movie: The Hanging Gale, Parts 3 & 4 30: Read Dracula, Chapters XX-XXIII October 5: Movie: Bram Stoker’s Dracula. 7: Exam One 12: Read A Star Called Henry, Part One. Read “Prelude” and “Insurrection” at

http://www. bbc. co. uk/history/british/easterrising/index. shtml Movie: Michael Collins. 14: Read A Star Called Henry, Part Two & Three. 19: Read A Star Called Henry, Part Four. Read Yeats’ “Easter 1916. ” Movie: The Wind That Shakes the Barley. Read “Aftermath” at http://www. bbc. co. uk/history/british/easterrising/index. shtml 21: Discuss The Wind That Shakes the Barley. Essay Two due. 26 Read “The Northern Ireland Troubles: INCORE Background Paper” and “Chronology of Events: Bloody Sunday” at http://cain. ulst. ac. uk/othelem/incorepaper09. htm and http://cain. ulst. ac. uk/events/bsunday/chron. htm Movie: Bloody Sunday.

28: Read William Trevor’s “Lost Ground” (Handout) November 2: Read the :Summary” and Chronology at http://cain. ulst. ac. uk/events/hstrike/index. html Movie: Some Mother’s Son. Exam Two 4: Discuss Some Mother’s Son. 9: Movie: In the Name of the Father. 11: Read William Trevor’s “Beyond the Pale. ” (Handout) 16: Read about the Omagh bombing at http://cain. ulst. ac. uk/events/omagh/index. html Movie: Omagh. 18: Discuss Omagh. Essay Three due. Thanksgiving Break 30: Read “Doubleblind” at http://www. theatlantic. com/doc/200604/ira-spy Movie: The Crying Game. December 2: Discuss The Crying Game. Final Exam: Thursday, December 16, 1-3pm

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