English 3123: Illegitimate Shakespeare

Tanya Pollard

 

4113 Boylan 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, R 9-9:30, and by appt.

 

As one of the most canonical writers in the English language, Shakespeare is often identified as a figure of authority, establishment, and legitimacy.  His plays, however, frequently dwell on questions of illegitimacy, with a particular focus on the problem of illegitimate children.  Many of his plays feature characters described as bastards, and many others feature anxieties about sexual infidelity and its consequences.  This class will explore intersections in ShakespeareÕs plays between anxieties about illegitimate children and unauthorized literary production, especially the scandals associated with hybrid literary genres.

 

Week

Date

Assignment

Presenters

(& Responders)

1

8-29

Introduction

 

 

8-31

Much Ado About Nothing, Act 1

 

2

9-5

Much Ado About Nothing, Acts 2-3

 

 

9-7

Much Ado About Nothing, Acts 4-5

1 (3)

3

9-12

Measure for Measure, Acts 1-2

2 (4)

 

9-14

Measure for Measure, Acts 3-4

3 (1)

4

9-19

Measure for Measure, Act 5

4 (2)

 

9-21

No class

 

5

9-26

Troilus and Cressida, Acts 1-2

1 (3)

 

9-28

Troilus and Cressida, Acts 3-4

2 (4)

6

10-3

Troilus and Cressida, Act 5

3 (1)

 

10-5

Exam

 

7

10-10

Pericles, Acts 1-2

4 (2)

 

10-12

Pericles, Acts 3-4

1 (3)

8

10-17

Pericles, Act 5

2 (4)

 

10-19

Cymbeline, Acts 1-2

3 (1)

9

10-24

Cymbeline, Act 3-4

4 (2)

 

10-26

Cymbeline, Act 5

1 (3)

10

10-31

WinterÕs Tale, Acts 1-2

2 (4)

 

11-2

WinterÕs Tale, Acts 3-4

3 (1)

11

11-7

WinterÕs Tale, Act 5

4 (2)

 

11-9

Review

 

12

11-14

Research workshop

 

 

11-16

Exam

 

13

11-21

No class (Friday conversion day)

 

 

11-23

No class

 

14

11-28

research presentations and responses

1, 2 (3, 4)

 

11-30

research presentations and responses

2,3 (4, 1)

15

12-5

research presentations and responses

3,4 (1, 2)

 

12-7

Research paper due; peer-editing workshop

 

16

12-12

Last day of class; revised research paper due

 

Course Requirements and Expectations:

 

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. 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.

 

Texts

I have ordered Signet Editions of the plays on our syllabus at Akademos, the online college bookstore; you may purchase them 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.

 

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; 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. Any use of othersÕ ideas must be fully acknowledged in footnotes; speak to me if you are unsure about what this means.  Plagiarism is a serious offense, and will result in failing the class and being reported to the DeanÕs Office.

 

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%

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