English 3123: ShakespeareÕs Women

Tanya Pollard

 

2304 James Hall

TR 9:30-10:45

E-mail: Tpollard@brooklyn.cuny.edu

Web: http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/english/tpollard

Office: 3108 Boylan

Phone: 718-951-5000 x 6216

Hours: T 10:45-11:15 and by appt.

 

Shakespeare is best known for his moody male tragic protagonists such as Hamlet, Lear, Othello, and Macbeth. In genres beyond tragedy, though, female characters mobilize and shape the action, especially in the arenas of sex and family. Critics have often described these areas as the domestic sphere, but when birth bestows both economic and political power, the domestic is never private. This class will explore some of ShakespeareÕs irreverent, outspoken, and transgressive female characters, and will examine their place in a canon written, acted, and produced entirely by men. In particular, we will consider womenÕs responses to threats such as accusations of infidelity, banishment, prostitution, rejection, and apparent deaths.

 

Week

Date

Assignment

Presenters

(& Responders)

1

8-28

Introductions

 

 

8-30

Much Ado About Nothing, Act 1

 

2

9-4

Much Ado About Nothing, Acts 2-3

 

 

9-6

Much Ado About Nothing, Acts 4-5

1 (3)

3

9-11

No class

 

 

9-13

Measure for Measure, Acts 1-2

2 (4)

4

9-18

No class

 

 

9-20

Measure for Measure, Acts 3-4

3 (1)

5

9-25

Measure for Measure, Act 5

4 (2)

 

9-27

AllÕs Well that Ends Well, Acts 1-2

1 (3)

6

10-2

AllÕs Well that Ends Well, Acts 3-4

2 (4)

 

10-4

AllÕs Well that Ends Well, Act 5

3 (1)

7

10-9

Exam

 

 

10-11

Pericles, Acts 1-2

4 (2)

8

10-16

Pericles, Acts 3-4

1 (3)

 

10-18

Pericles, Act 5

2 (4)

9

10-23

Cymbeline, Acts 1-2

3 (1)

 

10-25

Cymbeline, Acts 3-4

4 (2)

10

10-30

Cymbeline, Act 5

1 (3)

 

11-1

WinterÕs Tale, Acts 1-2

2 (4)

11

11-6

WinterÕs Tale, Acts 3-4

3 (1)

 

11-8

WinterÕs Tale, Act 5

4 (2)

12

11-13

Review

 

 

11-15

Research workshop

 

13

11-20

Exam

 

 

11-22

No class

 

14

11-27

research presentations and responses

1, 2 (3, 4)

 

11-29

research presentations and responses

2,3 (4, 1)

15

12-4

research presentations and responses

3,4 (1, 2)

 

12-6

Research paper due; peer-editing workshop

 

16

12-11

Last day of class; revised research paper due

 

Course Requirements and Expectations:

 

Texts

I have ordered Signet Editions of the plays on our syllabus at Akademos, the online college bookstore; you can link to its listing for this course at Shakespeare 2 . You may also purchase these editions of the plays elsewhere if you prefer, or you may use other editions.  Bringing a hard copy of the play to each class session is a requirement: if cost is an issue, you will find copies in the library.

Hybrid/online component

This course, like all English Department electives, is hybrid/partially online.  This means the course counts for 4 weekly credit hours, 3 of which will take place in live classroom meetings, and 1 of which will take place online, in Blackboard.  Our online work-hours will consist of regularly posting short essays on BlackboardÕs discussion boards Š 4 close reading essays, and 1 research essay proposal, per student Š as well as posting brief responses to other studentsÕ essays and proposals.  Further details on these assignments will be provided in handouts, which are also available on Blackboard.

Attendance

Because your contributions to class discussion are a central part of your work for this course, attendance is crucial.  If you miss more than three classes, your overall grade will drop; at six absences, you will fail the class. Punctuality is also crucial. Missing part of class Š whether through arriving late, leaving early, or leaving the room during class Š will count as one-third of an absence.

 

Participation

Learning is a collaborative process, which works best when each of you engages fully with the texts and with each other.  To this end, I will expect you to participate actively in class discussions, and you will be required to present ideas for class discussion on a rotating basis.  Your contributions will determine a significant portion of the semesterÕs grade. In order to build a classroom atmosphere of courtesy and concentration, please avoid behavior that is disrespectful and interferes with othersÕ learning, including rudeness, talking while others are speaking, and ringing from cell-phones, pagers, watches, etc. Uses of electronic devices will not be allowed in class; you may read texts online out of class, but you must bring hard copies to class for easy reference for discussion.

 Writing

Over the course of the semester you will write four short essays (500-600 words each) and one research paper proposal, all to be posted in Blackboard and accompanied by in-class presentations; the short essays will carry out a close reading of a passage from the reading assigned for the day you present. You will also write five short responses to other studentsÕ essays and proposals, consisting of one observation and one question, also to be posted in Blackboard. In addition, by the end of the semester you will write one longer (8-10 page) research paper. All written work should have a central claim that is well argued, clearly written, and directly supported by close readings of textual passages; the research paper will also incorporate, and respond to, at least three secondary sources. Lateness will result in lowering of the grade by one-third of a grade per day. All written work must be submitted in order to pass the course. Any use of othersÕ ideas must be fully acknowledged in footnotes; see University policy on Academic Integrity below.

 

Coursework and grading:

Regular brief quizzes

10%

4 essays, posted online, 5% each

20%

Presentations, participation, and online responses

20%

Midterm exam

15%

Final exam

15%

Final research project (5% proposal, 5% draft, 10% final)

20%

 

 

 

University Policy on Academic Integrity:

The faculty and administration of Brooklyn College support an environment free from cheating and plagiarism. Each student is responsible for being aware of what constitutes cheating and plagiarism and for avoiding both. The complete text of the CUNY Academic Integrity Policy and the Brooklyn College procedure for policy implementation can be found at www.brooklyn.cuny.edu/bc/policies. If a faculty member suspects a violation of academic integrity and, upon investigation, confirms that violation, or if the student admits the violation, the faculty member

must report the violation.

 

Disability Services:

In order to receive disability-related academic accommodations students must first be registered with the Center for Student Disability Services. Students who have a documented disability or suspect they may have a disability are invited to set up an appointment with the Director of the Center for Student Disability Services, Ms. Valerie Stewart-Lovell at (718) 951-5538. If you have already registered with the Center for Student Disability Services, please provide your professor with the course accommodation form and discuss your specific accommodation with him/her.

 

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