Great Works of Literature: TechnoLiterature
Engl 10, Section 3
T/R 9-10:15am, SH
413 348 Room change as of 2/3/10!!
Spring 2010
Satisfies Area C-2 (Letters)

A word about my furlough days....

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Dr. Katherine D. Harris
Office Hours
Wed 11:30-1:30 & via online tools
:  FO 220
Phone: 408.924.4475

Course Description  Course Objectives Course Policies   Grading Policy

Grade Distribution    Late Policy    Plagiarism    Required  Books


Course Description
Technology has completely overtaken our lives, from interaction between and manufacture of human beings to the use of technological tools on a daily basis. How has this shifted our culture, our literature, our legacy? This semester, we will explore literary representations of biotechnology (mad scientists!), society’s reactions to technological impositions (Luddites and punks!) and techno un-literature (hypertextual madness!). Along the way, we will discuss literary elements, historical context, readers’ reactions and the techno/digi/cyborg world of TechnoLiterature.

Official Description: Fiction, drama, and poetry for non-English majors. Emphasis on critical appreciation of various literary forms. Students will examine the interaction of analytical and creative processes in the production and perception of such works, and the significance of the historical and cultural contexts in which the works are created and interpreted. GE Area C-2 (Letters)

Student Learning Objectives & Goals
  1. Examine and recognize how significant works of poetry and fiction illuminate enduring human concerns;
  2. Respond to such works by writing both research-based critical analyses and personal responses in 3000 words of writing; and
  3. Write clearly and effectively.
  4. Understand the historical and cultural contexts in specific works of art were created; and
  5. Recognize the accomplishments of and issues related to women and diverse cultures reflected in such texts.

Required Books & Materials (Most available in library course reserves; See Reading List on Amazon)
  • Burgess, Anthony. A Clockwork Orange. 1962. 5th ed. New York: Norton, 1986. (ISBN 9780393312836)
  • Carter, Angela. The Passion of New Eve. London: Little, Brown Book Group/Virago Modern Classics, 1987. (ISBN 978-0199536221)
  • Jackson, Shelley. Patchwork Girl. Watertown: Eastgate, 1995 (ISBN 9781884511236) – CD Rom
  • Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus. 1818. 2nd ed. Ed. Susan Wolfson. New York: Longman, 2006. (ISBN 978-0321399533)
  • Sterling, Bruce, ed. Mirrorshades: A Cyberpunk Anthology. Berkeley: Ace Books, 1988. (ISBN 978-0441533824)
  • Stevenson, Robert Louis. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Other Tales. 1886. Ed. Roger Luckhurst. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008. (ISBN 978-0199536221)
  • Exam Booklets
  • Flash drive
  • Email account & account

Suggested (available in library course reserves):

  • Harmon, William and C. Hugh Holman. A Handbook to Literature. 11th ed. Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2008 (ISBN 9780136014393)
  • Hacker, Diana. A Writer’s Reference (or other writing handbook)
  • Dictionary, Collegiate-level
Grade Distribution
10% Class Discussion & Participation (SLO #1, 5)
15% Reading Responses (SLO #1, 2, 3)
15% Group Presentation & Short Essay (SLO #2, 3, 4, 5)

15% Final Essay (SLO #2, 3)
20% Mid-Term Exam (SLO #2)
25% Final Exam (SLO #2)


Class Discussion & Participation
This course studies the theme of technology in a variety of literary genres. Since we will build on our definition of "techno" and "literature" from the first day of class, your participation in each class meeting is imperative. Since this class is largely discussion-based, arrive to class prepared with the proper readings.

A student’s participation is assessed by his/her contribution throughout the semester. Use the following as guidelines for this portion of your final grade:

  • To earn a "C," do the minimum: read and prepare assigned readings so you are never at a loss if you are asked a question, but speak only when called upon, do "ordinary," plain-vanilla presentations and responses. This is the "bottom line" for getting a "C" in this part of the course.
  • To earn a "B," prepare assigned readings thoroughly, initiate discussions about them by asking good questions or suggesting ways to interpret readings, do presentations that reveal that you have done good additional work that you can make both interesting and meaningful to our discussions, and participate actively in those discussions.
  • For an "A," take it up another level entirely: prepare readings thoroughly, find and talk about connections among them and among other aspects of culture (then and now), take a real leadership role in class discussions, including working actively to get others involved in the talk, make your presentations and responses "sparkle" by bringing to them something really special in terms of your own contributions, interests, skills, and abilities to think in broad even interdisciplinary terms. Most of all, remember that an "A" indicates the very best grade a person can get; that should tell you what sort of work you need to do to earn the grade of "A."
  • If you miss class, contact a classmate for notes, reading assignments and handouts – or check our Course Website. (Please do not email me to ask "Did I miss anything important?")

    Reading Responses

    For each novel or poetry collection, you will produce a 1-2 page Reading Response (300-500 words) to the assigned readings and submit it via email by the assigned date and time. These will be used to stimulate your thoughts on the texts and to serve as ideas for your essays. To begin, choose a quote (if one has not been provided) from the week’s reading assignment and place it at the top of your document (properly formatted). Skip a line and begin writing about the significance of that quote to your thoughts about the literary text. Absolutely avoid using "I" in these writings.

    Each essay will receive a grade based on the quality of your response. Because these Reading Responses pertain to that novel and are not useful after the discussion has been completed, late Reading Responses will not be accepted. Students who write nothing or who write frivolously will not receive credit for the exercise. Please be aware that missing even a few of these essays will cause your final grade to drop significantly. (See handout: Tips for Writing Effective In-Class Essays.) One Reading Response will be the Plagiarism Tutorial; email your scores to me by Friday, 1/29, 5pm. I reserve the right to cancel or add weekly responses depending upon class performance.

    See tips for writing effective Reading Responses (pdf).

    Group Presentation & Short Essay
    Everyone will have an opportunity to present in a group on a literary work at some point during the semester. Each group member is responsible for his/her individual accompanying short essay which should be submitted prior to the start of the presentation. Each presentation will be graded on its effectiveness and clarity. To enhance your presentation, you may use handouts, digital information or dramatic performance. The Short Essay will be graded on standard English Department grading policy (see below). In addition to handing in a paper copy, your essay will be submitted to for verification. We will discuss both the presentation and the short essay at our second class meeting and will sign up for presentations.

    See detailed instructions here (pdf). See your group members here!


    Final Essay
    You will have several options for the Final Essay, ranging from creative to scholarly. No outside research will be required although you may certainly research primary sources or the historical aspects of a text, individual, theme, motif, etc. Thorough instructions will be discussed at a later date. My office door is always open to discuss potential topics, give web designing tutorials or workshop a draft.

    See detailed instructions here.

    Mid-term and Final Exams
    Each exam will consist of definitions, short answer and essay questions. Portions of the Final Exam will be comprehensive.


    Grading Policy
    The Department of English reaffirms its commitment to the differential grading scale as defined in the official SJSU Catalog ("The Grading System"). Grades issued must represent a full range of student performance: A = excellent; B = above average; C = average; D = below average; F = failure. Courses graded according to the A,B,C,NoCredit system shall follow the same pattern, except that NC, for NoCredit, shall replace D or F. In A,B,C,NoCredit courses NC shall also substitute for W (for Withdrawl) because neither NC nor W affects students’ grade point averages.

    In English Department courses, instructors will comment on and grade the quality of student writing as well as the quality of the ideas being conveyed. All student writing should be distinguished by correct grammar and punctuation, appropriate diction and syntax, and well-organized paragraphs.

    For your final grades, 100-90 is an A, 89-80 is a B, 79-70 is a C, 69-60 is a D, and below 60 is an F. Pluses and minuses are the middle of each range. In calculating the final grade, a set number will represent each letter grade; for example, B+ is 87.5, B is 85, and B- is 82.5.

    Course Policies
    Late Assignments/Essays
    Any late Reading Response will not be accepted. For all other assignments: If you cannot meet a deadline, you must contact me at least 72 hours prior to our class meeting to discuss the situation. If this is not done, for every day that an essay is late, you will be penalized one grade step: A becomes A-, A- becomes a B+, etc. The weekend will count as one day. Unless you have prior permission or the assignment specifically requests it, absolutely no assignment will be accepted via email.


    SJSU Academic Integrity Policy
    Students should know that the University’s Academic Integrity Policy is availabe at Your own commitment to learning, as evidenced by your enrollment at San Jose State University and the University’s integrity policy, require you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. The website for Student Conduct and Ethical Development is available at

    Instances of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. Cheating on exams or plagiarism (presenting the work of another as your own, or the use of another person’s ideas without giving proper credit) will result in a failing grade and sanctions by the University. For this class, all assignments are to be completed by the individual student unless otherwise specified. If you would like to include in your assignment any material you have submitted, or plan to submit for another class, please note that SJSU’s Academic Policy F06-1 requires approval of instructors.

    Avoiding Plagiarism
    Plagiarism is the unacknowledged use of somebody else’s words or ideas and is considered an instance of academic dishonesty that instructors must report. You commit plagiarism by
    • buying, stealing, or borrowing a paper;
    • hiring someone to write a paper;
    • building on someone’s ideas without providing a citation;
    • or copying from another source or using a source too closely when paraphrasing.

    In other words, submit only your own work. In addition, please know that submitting work from another course (recycling) is also against the Academic Honesty Policy. To learn how to cite sources accurately and forthrightly, consult your handbook. If you have any questions about when or how to document a source, do not hesitate to ask me for clarification. Turning in plagiarized work may result in immediate failure in the course and could result in dismissal from San José State University. See King Library’s definition, the University policy and a plagiarism tutorial: 

    Plagiarism checks will be performed by asking students to submit various written exercises or essays to, a service which scans documents for all references to Web sources and other essays. To sign up for Turnitin use the Class ID 3093409 and Password technolit.
    The instructor reserves the right to revise the requirements and to notify students of such revision in a timely manner. 

    Classroom Environment
    Respect your fellow students and I: Attend class, arrive on time (excessive tardiness will affect your participation grade) and do not partake in disruptive behavior. If you are late, wait for an appropriate moment to enter so you do not disturb the class. Turn off cell phones or put them on silent mode during the class period.
    Email is the best possible way to contact me (9am-5pm) and has the added bonus of recording our conversations. Please note that I will be unable to respond to emails on furlough days. When emailing me, please consider it a formal communication: include the appropriate salutation, your name and your question/comment. Know that long conversations over email are not fruitful merely because of the limitations of technology. If you have an extended question or dilemma, please visit me during office hours, schedule a phone conference or arrange for an online chat. I will amass a class email list and will occasionally send out information regarding our meetings or the readings. Please provide an email address that you check daily.


    General Information
    Course Website
    As we move along in the semester, course materials will be posted on the course website. After you have entered, simply click on our class title to print the current schedule or handouts, visit online resources, check my furlough days, print copies of lost documents, find the campus computer rooms, check my office hours, find writing help, discover local literary events or double-check the meaning of "plagiarism."
    SJSU Writing Center
    Visit me during office hours for help with your writing. For even further help, go to the Writing Center located in Clark Hall, Suite 126. Hours: Monday-Thursday 9:30-5:30 and Friday 9-12; Call for appointments at 924-2308 or go online at Work with tutors in a one-on-one environment.
    Library Liaison
    For library research questions, contact Toby Matoush, the English Department’s Library Liaison: (408) 808-2096 or . King Library has created an extensive and very useful list of the library’s resources specifically for English literature:
    Peer Mentor Center
    The Peer Mentor Center is located on the 1st floor of Clark Hall in the Academic Success Center. The Peer Mentor Center is staffed with Peer Mentors who excel in helping students manage university life, tackling problems that range from academic challenges to interpersonal struggles. On the road to graduation, Peer Mentors are navigators, offering "roadside assistance" to peers who feel a bit lost or simply need help mapping out the locations of campus resources. Peer Mentor services are free and available on a drop –in basis, no reservation required. The Peer Mentor Center website is located at .
    Student Technology Resources
    Computer labs for student use are available in the Academic Success Center located on the 1st floor of Clark Hall and on the 2nd floor of the Student Union. Additional computer labs may be available in your department/college. Computers are also available in the Martin Luther King Library. A wide variety of audio-visual equipment is available for student checkout from Media Services located in IRC 112. These items include digital and VHS camcorders, VHS and Beta video players, 16 mm, slide, overhead, DVD, CD, and audiotape players, sound systems, wireless microphones, projection screens and monitors.
    Campus Policy on Compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act
    If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 requires that students with disabilities register with DRC to establish a record of their disability. The DRC website is .





    Dr. Katherine D. Harris
    Last updated: 04/20/2010 10:49 AM
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