HUMALIT | Term 3, AY 2016-17 | Undergraduate
Department of Literature, De La Salle University Philippines – Manila

Instructor: Dr. Carlos Piocos III

Course description

This is a foundational course that guides the learner through a study of literature as an expression of human experience and social values, and as creative responses towards the flux of life. Selected texts will provide the learner with opportunities to: (1) examine literature in its various forms; (2) familiarize one’s self with the elements that characterize each genre, and (3) analytically and critically explore texts as they express the dialogic relations within societies.

The course shall enable the learner to (1) define literature or come up with a personal definition of literature, (2) identify elements, types and the nature of various literary genres, (3) develop critical thinking skills through applying modes of literary analysis. Most class activities entail discussion in class as well as participation in discussions led by your peers. By the end of the course, the learner should have developed a personal framework for the analysis, appreciation, and assessment of literature.


Course Readings: Click to Download

Week 1 to 2: Introduction: Why Humanities and Why Literature?

Week 3-4: Poetry

Week 5-6: Fiction

Week 7: Play

Course schedule

May 16: Course Introduction
May 18: Film Showing: Dead Poet’s Society (1989)
May 23: Quiz: 10 points

Why Humanities? Why Literature

·       Frye, Northrop. “The Role of the Humanities.” Canadian International Youth Letter.

·       Behling, David. “On Studying the Humanities: What does it mean to be human?”

·       Nussbaum, Martha. “The Silent Crisis” and “Cultivating Imagination: Literature and the Arts” in Not For Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities. NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010. 1-12; 95-120.

May 25: Quiz: 20 points

What is Literature? Why is it Important?

·       Widdowson, Peter. “What is Literature? Some (non-)definitions” in Literature. London and NY: Routledge, 1999. 1-25.

·       Terry Eagleton, “Introduction: What is Literature?” in  Literary Theory: An Introduction London: Blackwell, 2006, 1-14.

May 30: Quiz: 10 points


·       Jorie Graham, “Introduction to Best American Poetry 1990”

·       Bennett and Royle. “Figures and Tropes” in An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory. London and NY: Routledge, 2009. 80-87.

June 1: 1.     “One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop

2.     “Remember” by Christina Rossetti

3.     “If See No End In Is” by Frank Bidart

June 6: 1.     “Self-Help for Fellow Refugees” by Li-Young Lee

2.     “Self-Portrait as Exit Wounds” by Ocean Vuong

June 8: 1.     Selected poems from Zero Gravity by Eric Gamalinda (“Memory is not the Privilege of the Poor,” “When the Heart Flies from Its Place,” “Manifesto for Myself,” “Enough,” and “The Opposite of Nostalgia”)

2.     Selected poems from Dark Hours by Conchitina Cruz (“Dear City,” I must say this about the City,” I must say this about the city,” “Elegy,” and “You, there”)

June 13:
June 15:
June 20:  Quiz: 10 pointsFiction:

·       Le Guin, Ursula. “Fact and/or/plus fiction” and “The Writer and the Character”, from the Wave in the Mind: Talks and Essays on the Writer, the Reader and the Imagination.

·       Bennett and Royle. “Narrative” and “Character” in An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory. London and NY: Routledge, 2009. 54- 62; 63-70.

June 22:  1.     “Before the Law” and “An Imperial Message” by Franz Kafka2.     “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” by Ursula Le Guin
June 27: 1.     “I Only Came to Use the Telephone” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

2.     “The Censors” by Luisa Valenzuela

June 29:  1.     “The Apollo Centennial” by Gregorio Brillantes2.     “Generations” by Ninotchka Rosca
July 4: Novel: Introduction

Quiz on The God of Small Things: 40 points

July 6: Oral Exams on God of Small Things 
July 11:  Oral Exams on God of Small Things


July 13:  Quiz: 10 pointsPlay

·       Baker, George Pierce. Drama: General Introduction. Lecture on the Harvard Classics.

·       Bennett and Royle. “Laughter” and “The tragic” in An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory. London and NY: Routledge, 2009. 93-102; 103-112.

July 18:  Alternative Class: Watching Play (Art in Action: July 7, 2017 | Text: Isagani Cruz’ Marjorie
July 20: No Class: Final Take Home Assignments and Creative Group Project
July 25: No Class: Final Take Home Assignments and Creative Group Project
July 27: No Class: Final Take Home Assignments and Creative Group Project
August 1: No Class: Final Take Home Assignments and Creative Group Project

Submission of Final Take Home Assignments via Turnitin

August 3:  1.     The Script2.     The Staging
August 8: Synthesis and Presentation of Creative Group Projects 
August 10: Consultation and Submission of Revision; Deadline: 5pm, Submission of the soft copy of Revised Final Paper via Turnitin, and hard copy in the instructor’s pigeonhole at the Literature Department
August 15: No Class (Finals Week)
April 17: No Class (Finals Week) Release of Final Grades

Course Grading:

Attendance and Class Participation:                   30%

Group Presentation and Discussion:                    10%

Quizzes (100 points):                                                    20%

Oral Exams (Novel):                                                     10%

Final Take Home Writing Assignments:              20%

Creative Group Project:                                              10%


Course Requirements

Attendance and Class Participation: 30%

You will be given ONE point for each of your attendance in class (which includes sessions of film showing or group presentation). This point will be reduced when you come in late in class (after the initial roll call). Students who have perfect attendance will be given FIVE incentive points to the total of their grade (which is equivalent to a .5 increase in their grades). Excused absences will not be given any point and does not qualify a student for a perfect attendance incentive.

Depending on the insight of your recitation, you are going to be given ONE to THREE points each time you contribute to class discussions in both lectures and group presentations (where you are not a member reporting). A recitation that critically interprets and interrogates ideas from our required readings and films, citing particular passages and pages from a text, is highly valued. The student’s grade for attendance and class participation will be set against the average grade of the whole class’ highest and lowest pointers. Those who will get more than the class average grade will retain their excess points as incentive.

Group Presentation and Discussion: 10%

You will work in groups of 2 or 3 to facilitate discussion of text assigned by the instructor. You should be able to demonstrate your knowledge of about the context of the text and its formal/textual characteristics by applying them in your interpretation of your assigned literary work. You also need to execute close and critical reading by isolating important and difficult passages, provoking the whole class to respond to your selected excerpts and facilitating a healthy exchange of ideas from your other classmates. Your whole presentation will be no less than 30 minutes.

Quizzes: 20%

There will be objective exams that will test whether you have read the required readings of the class. The sum total of all the quizzes distributed throughout our course is 100 points and it will comprise 20% of your grades. Please refer to our course schedule for the dates and the required readings for these quizzes.

Oral Exams: 10%

Each student in the class will be given one VERY SPECIFIC question about Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things which you will need to answer within 3 minutes in front of the class. Your question will be sent to your DLSU email the night before your scheduled oral examination, around 7pm. You will be graded according to the organization of your answer, your presentation of ideas, and most importantly, how well you selected passages from the text to demonstrate your point and how sharp your analysis of your chosen excerpts is (You also need to cite the pages from the physical book). The class will be divided into batches. The oral exams is scheduled on July 13 and July 18. Further instructions will be given.

Final Take Home Writing Assignments: 20%

In lieu of final exams, this takehome writing assignments will test your understanding of selected literary texts discussed throughout the course. These are sets of questions, all of which came from our previous classroom discussions, which you will need to choose four items to answer. Each item requires a short essay-form response, around 200 words in length. (4 questions= 800-words). You can NOT work with your classmates on these assignments. Your assignment must be submitted in both hard and soft copies. Soft copy should be uploaded at Turnitin on or before August 1, 2017, 5pm (Turnitin details is emailed to students together with questions and instructions). The printed copy should be submitted in class on August 3, 2017.

It should be in a Word document, double-spaced, using Times New Roman, font size 12, with your name, student number and email address clearly indicated in the upper left part of the first page of your exams. You must provide references for quotations and/or citations you use in all your work. This applies to images, sound clips and video clips as well. Refer to the MLA guidelines.


Creative Group Project: 10%

You will work with your group for creative group project. You must be able to use any creative form of/digital new media (video, short film, podcast, blogpost, photography, flash film, gifs, Instagram/Snapchat pictures or short videos, Facebook posts, etc.) to make a literary text written by any of the authors in our course syllabus interesting and shareable in your social network. You also need to be able to have a short commentary/critical ‘post’ on the ‘text’ that you are rendering in a creative new media and sharing in your social network. This means that 1.) you group needs to find out other literary works of an author here, 2.) the post has to be creative and interesting enough for people to like, share and even comment on it, and 3.) you need to be able to present your own insightful reading on that particular text in the social network. Each pair or group will present their projects in class on August 3.


House Rules

  1. On excessive absences

You required to attend all class sessions, come to class on time and actively participate in discussions. He/she must come to class prepared, bringing the assigned readings at hand on the day as indicated in the course syllabus. He/she must be ready to talk about the class material/s and engage with the instructor and classmates.  You are only allowed 5 unexcused absences. You will automatically be given 0.0 for your grade if you got 6 unexcused absences. Excused absences

  1. The use of electronic gadget/s in class

Once the instructor calls the class into order, you should put away your gadgets immediately. You CANNOT use your gadgets inside the classroom. Any number of things will happen to your gadget/s (laptop, tablet, smartphone, etc.) once the instructor sees it during class session: 1.) it will be confiscated, 2.) the instructor can read and share to the whole class what he can find on your gadget/s, or 3.) the instructor can use your gadget in front of the class (explore your social media, respond to the messages you are receiving, etc.

  1. On plagiarism

Take note that all written outputs are submitted on Turnitin. This shows how much your instructor demands intellectual rigor and originality for you as Literature majors. Plagiarism is a serious offence in this course and at the University. Presenting ideas, words and works of another person/s as if it is one’s own or presenting them without observing proper citation constitutes plagiarism. Any student who commits such act is liable to disciplinary action: automatic 0.0 in this course and/or a case at SDTO.

  1. On proper documentation of sources

This course follows the MLA guideline in documenting sources in all the writing requirements. For information, consult the website:

  1. On late and/or non-submission of course work:

You must complete ALL requirements to pass this course. He or she must submit the final paper proposal, final paper, group project proposal and the creative project of your group on or before the assigned deadline. Late submission of these requirements will only be accepted under exceptional circumstances, and is subject to deduction in marking. If a student has a good reason to request for an extension, he or she must email the instructor a week in advance.


Consultation Hours: You may visit the instructor at Department of Literature, 3F Faculty Center, on his consultation hours: 1 to 5 PM on Mondays and Wednesdays. Email the instructor one day before to ensure the schedule of appointment.


Please note: This syllabus is subject to change. Note any alterations made by the instructor immediately.


Course Instructor:

Dr. Carlos Piocos III

Associate Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Literature, 3/F Faculty Center, DLSU-Manila

Consultation Hours: Mondays and Wednesdays, 1-5 PM

Email: |