Writing Literary Criticism

WRITLIT A51 | Term 2, AY 2017-18 | Undergraduate
Tuesdays and Thursdays | 2:30 to 4 PM | M304
Department of Literature, De La Salle University Philippines – Manila
Instructor: Dr. Carlos M. Piocos III | Caloy | piocos.carlos@gmail.com | www.carlospiocos.com

 Course Description:
This course is an immersion in the theory and practice of literary scholarship. We shall collectively explore the philosophical foundations of the discipline of Literary (and by extension Cultural) Studies towards the goal of helping you to succeed in our AB LIM program. It aims to equip you with the necessary concepts and skills to purposefully read and critically write about a broad range to literary texts across genres, historical periods, and cultural traditions.

  1. Course Materials:
    1. Bennett and Royle. An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory. London and New York: Routledge, 2009.
    2. Bloom, Harold, editor. Bloom’s Major Short Story Writers: Franz Kafka. Pennsylvania: Chelsea House Publishing, 2003.
    3. Bloom, Harold, editor. Bloom’s Modern Critical Views: Sylvia Plath. New York: Infobase, 2007.
    4. Eaglestone, Robert. Doing English: A Guide for Literature Students. London and NY: Routledge, 2000.
    5. Kafka, Franz. Selected Short Stories of Franz Kafka. Translated by Willa and Edwin Muir, Introduction by Phillip Rhav. New York: Random House, 1952.
    6. Plath, Sylvia. Ariel. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1965.
    7. Tyson, Lois. Critical Theory Today: A User-Friendly Guide. London and New York: Routledge, 2006.
    8. Online resource: <https://www.cla.purdue.edu/english/theory/>

 Download WRITLIT COURSE READINGS.

Course Schedule:

Jan 11:              Course Introduction

 

Jan 16:              The Value of Literary Scholarship

Required reading:

  • Eaglestone, Robert. “Critical Attitudes” and “Literature, value, and the canon” in Doing English: A Guide for Literature London and NY: Routledge, 2000. 39–60.

Critical Terms: Canon, Author, Text

 

Jan 18:              The Discipline of Close Reading and Critical Writing

Required reading:

  • Bennett and Royle. “Readers and reading, “The author” and “The text and the world” in An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory. London and NY: Routledge, 2009. 9-32.

Recommended readings:

  • Tyson, Lois. “New Criticism,” Structuralist Criticism and “Deconstructive Criticism” in Critical Theory Today: A User-Friendly Guide. London and NY: Routledge, 2006. 135-168, 208-280.

Critical Terms: close reading, intentional/ affective fallacy, subjective criticism, contrapuntal reading, deconstruction, binary opposition

 

Jan 21 (Sun):      Writing Assignment #1 Write a 350-word analysis of ONE in any of the following poems in

Sylvia Plath’s poetry collection, Ariel:

  1. Daddy
  2. Lady Lazarus
  3. Morning Song
  4. Elm
  5. Medusa
  6. Death and Co.
  7. Munich Mannequins

 

(Soft copy to be submitted on Jan 21, 5pm, via Turnitin, hard copy to be submitted in class on January 23)

 

Jan 23:              Writing about Poetry

Required reading:

  • Eaglestone, Robert. “Metaphors and Figures of Speech” in Doing English: A Guide for Literature Students. London and NY: Routledge, 2000. 91-102.
  • Bennett and Royle. “Voice,” and “Figures and Tropes” in An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory. London and NY: Routledge, 2009. 68-87.

 

Critical Terms: theme, image and metaphor, voice, trope, figures of speech

 

 

Jan 25:              Critical Reading of Ariel and Workshop of Writing Assignment #1

Discussion of selected book chapters of Harold Bloom’s Bloom’s Modern Critical Views: Sylvia Plath

Workshop of Writing Assignment #2

 

Jan 28 (Sun):      Writing Assignment #2 Write a 350-word essay of one short stories in any of the following

fiction in Selected Short Stories of Franz Kafka:

  1. The Metamorphosis
  2. The Judgement
  3. In the Penal Colony
  4. A Hunger Artist
  5. Josephine the Singer and the Mousefolk

 

(Deadline: January 28, 5pm, soft copy to be submitted via Turnitin, hard copy to be submitted in class on January 30)

 

Jan 30:             Writing about Fiction

Required reading:

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

Critical Terms: narrative, plot, character

 

Feb 1:               Critical Reading of Franz Kafka’s Fiction and Workshop of Writing Assignment #2

Discussion of selected book chapters of Harold Bloom’s Bloom’s Major Short Story Writers: Franz Kafka

Workshop of Writing Assignment #2

 

Feb 6 & 8:         Critical Framework I: Literature and Ideology

Required reading:

  • Bennett and Royle. “Ideology” in An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory. London and NY: Routledge, 2009,199-206.

Recommended readings:

  • Tyson, Lois. “Marxist Criticism” in Critical Theory Today: A User-Friendly Guide. London and NY: Routledge, 2006, 53-82.

Critical Terms: dialectical materialism, ideology, hegemony, interpellation, discourse, class analysis

 

Feb 13 & 15:      Critical Framework II: The Unconscious and The Uncanny

Required reading:

  • Bennett and Royle. “The uncanny” and “Desire,” An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory. London and NY: Routledge, 2009. 34-41; 178-186.

Recommended readings:

  • Tyson, Lois. “Psychoanalytic Criticism” in Critical Theory Today: A User-Friendly Guide. London and NY: Routledge, 2006. 11-52.

Critical Terms: uncanny, unconscious, id, ego, super-ego, repression, transference, trauma

 

Feb 20 & 22:      Critical Framework III: Deconstruction

Required reading:

  • Lois Tyson, “Deconstructive criticism,” Critical Theory Today: A User Friendly Guide. New York: Routledge, 2006. 249-280.

Critical Terms: differance, trace, binary opposition, logocentrism, aporia

 

Feb 27 & Mar 1: Critical Framework III: Sex and Gender

Required reading:

  • Bennett and Royle. “Sexual Difference” An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory. London and NY: Routledge, 2009. 152-160.

Recommended reading:

  • Tyson, Lois. “Feminist Criticism” in Critical Theory Today: A User-Friendly Guide. London and NY: Routledge, 2006. 83-134.

Critical Terms: feminism, patriarchy, sexual politics, essentialism, constructionism, ecriture feminine

 

Mar 6 & 8:         Critical Framework IV: Postcolonialism

Required reading:

  • Bennett and Royle. “Racial Difference,” and “The Colony,” An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory. London and NY: Routledge, 2009. 206-222, 248-257­.

Recommended reading:

  • Excerpts from Ania Loomba’s Colonialism/Postcolonialism, pp.1-71, 171-180, 229-236.

Critical Terms: colonialism, postcolonialism, racial politics, mimicry, Orientalism, subaltern

 

Writing a Scholarly Essay and Thesis

Critical Approaches, Formulating Your Argument

                       Writing longer researches (journal article/thesis)

Mar 13 & 15:     NO CLASSES: Reading and Writing Break

 Writing Assignment #3

  1. Choose ONE between your first two writing assignments (on poetry and fiction)
  2. Read the section or chapters in either Harold Bloom’s Bloom’s Modern Critical Views: Sylvia Plath or Bloom’s Major Short Story Writers: Franz Kafka relevant to your chosen writing assignment to help you expand your analysis.
  3. Rewrite and expand your analysis of your chosen text (1,500 words) by applying any of the theoretical frameworks that have been discussed in the class.
  4. Submit the soft copy of your Writing Assignment #3 on Turnitin on March 15, 5pm, and 4 hard copies (anonymized) in class during your scheduled workshop date.

Final Paper Proposals

Final Papers should be about ONE of the following books:

  1. Poetry: Sylvia Plath, Ariel, New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1965.
  1. Short Fiction: Franz Kafka, Selected Short Stories of Franz Kafka. Translated by Willa and Edwin Muir, Introduction by Phillip Rhav. New York: Random House, 1952.

Your final paper proposals should outline how you plan to expand your writing assignment #3 into a final paper for the course. This should include an analysis of at least FIVE of Sylvia Plath’s poems in Ariel (for those who will be writing on poetry) and at least THREE of Franz Kafka’s short stories in Selected Short Stories of Franz Kafka (for those who will be writing on fiction).

Final paper proposals should be in the form of a sentence outline of 1.) your main argument or your thesis statement for your planned final paper (which is a minimum of 5,000 words); 2.) your thematic focus (what trope of analysis that unites and organizes your chosen texts); 3.) a brief rundown of your analysis for each of the poems, 4.) preliminary bibliography.

Submit the soft copy of your Final Paper Proposals #3 on Turnitin on March 15, 5pm, and 4 hard copies (anonymized) in class during your scheduled workshop date.

These two should be submitted as one docx file on Turnitin.

 

Mar 20, 22 & 27:            Workshop of Final Writing Assignments

Mar 29-Apr 5:     No classes: Writing of your Final Paper Draft (3 meetings).

Apr 6, 2018, 5 pm: Submission of Final Paper Draft via Turnitin (5pm)

Apr 7, 2018, 7 pm: You will receive via your DLSU email the two final paper drafts from your classmates that you will peer review.

 

April 10 & 12:    Consultation and Peer Review

Submission of printed copies of Final Paper Draft in class.

Submission of Peer Review via email (piocos.carlos@gmail.com), April 10, 5pm.

You will receive three attachments from your DLSU email, which includes two comments and feedbacks from your two peer reviewers and your instructor by April 10, 2018, 5pm. You will use this for the revision of your Final Paper Draft

 

April 17 and 19:  No Class (Finals Week): Revision of Final Paper Draft

April 19, 5 pm: Submission of soft copy of your Revised Final Paper via Turnitin, and hard copy on the instructor’s pigeonhole at the Literature Department.

 

TURNITIN Details:

Class ID: 17151115

Enrolment Key: villanelle

 

Course Evaluation:

3 Short Writing Assignments=      20%

  • Writing Assignment #1= 5%
  • Writing Assignment #2= 5%
  • Writing Assignment #3= 10%

Final Paper Draft=                       25%

Peer Reviews=                            10%

Revised Final Paper=                  25%

Attendance and Participation=        20%

 

Course Requirements:

  1. Short Writing Assignments

You will write three short writing assignments throughout this course. These writing exercises will serve as your training in writing longer critical essays for this course and for your entire Literature program. Your first and second writing assignment should be no more than 350 words, while your third writing assignment should be no more than 1,500 words. They should display your critical engagement and analysis to the object of your research, which can be either or both literary and academic texts. You should be able to showcase clarity in your prose while also demonstrating the depth of your critical analysis within the constraint of the word limit. For this, you need to be able to: 1.) articulate your main argument; 2.) support by citing and analyzing the given texts, and 3.) document your sources properly.

  1. Final Paper Proposal

You should submit a paper proposal on March 15, 2016. A paper proposal is a one or two pages of plan for a longer final paper to be submitted at the end of the semester. It should be in the form of a sentence outline. It should provide details on what you plan to write for your final paper: a tentative main argument, an outline of preliminary supporting claims and analyses of both a critical concept from an academic text and a critical engagement of literary texts, list of works that the student plans to analyze, and a tentative bibliography.

The final paper proposals should be both an expansion of the student’s writing assignment #3, which should include an outline of the analysis of at least FIVE of Sylvia Plath’s poems in Ariel (for those who will be writing on poetry) and at least THREE of Franz Kafka’s short stories in Selected Short Stories of Franz Kafka (for those who will be writing on fiction).

  1. Final Paper Draft

You are required to submit a 6,000-word essay (around twenty pages, double spaced) based on the approved paper proposal that he or she has earlier submitted. The final paper draft should be about Sylvia Plath’s Ariel or Selected Short Stories by Franz Kafka. You must use secondary research materials to further examine the texts of the authors that they chose and the issues and problems that came out from the discussions. You must follow MLA style guide to document his or her sources. For information, consult the website: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/. . Deadline: April 6, soft copy to be submitted via Turnitin and hard copy at instructor’s pigeonhole at Literature Department

  1. Peer Review

You need to review and evaluate two of your classmates’ final paper drafts. You will be graded according to how critical and comprehensive your comments and suggestions are to your fellow authors’ work. You need to 1.) electronically edit and put comments on two final paper drafts by using Microsoft Word’s track changes function, 2.) fill out evaluation forms for your peer review. An accomplished blind peer review forms and your feedback on your fellow classmates’ final paper drafts should be submitted to your instructor’s email on April 10, 5pm.

  1. Revised Final Paper

You should be able to revise the draft of your final paper according to suggestions and feedback coming from your instructor and your two classmates who will act as your blind peer reviewers. In cases where you do not wish to follow certain comments and feedbacks from your reviewers, you need to be able to respond sufficiently why you chose to disregard them. Deadline: April 19, soft copy to be submitted via Turnitin and hard copy at instructor’s pigeonhole at Literature Department.

6. All writing assignments, final paper proposals, draft and revised versions of final paper should be submitted as docx. file on turnitin.

 

 

Class policies:

  1. On excessive absences

You are required to attend all class sessions, come to class on time (seeing quizzes are conducted right at the start of the meeting, 9:15am sharp) and actively participate in discussions. You must come to class prepared, bringing the assigned readings at hand (printed/hard copy) 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 are not given points for attendance (obviously!), and it only gives you privileged to make up for the graded activities that you missed and being excused for.

 

  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; 3.) the instructor can use your gadget in front of the class (explore your social media, respond to the messages you are receiving, etc.; 4.) it will be delivered to Student Disciplinary Transformation Office (SDTO) which you can claim by 5pm on the day.

 

  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 English 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: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/

 

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

You must complete ALL requirements to pass this course. This means that you need to garner 70% of all the requirements in the course (attendance and class participation, quizzes, critical summaries, teaching module and teaching demo). Late submission of any of these requirements will only be accepted under exceptional circumstances, and is subject to deduction in marking. If you have a good reason to request for an extension, you must email the instructor a week in advance

 

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

 

Course Instructor:

Dr. Carlos Piocos III

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

Consultation Hours: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 1-5 PM

Email: piocos.carlos@gmail.com | carlos.piocos@dlsu.edu.ph

Website: www.carlospiocos.com