Eat, Look, Go:

Romanticism, Aestheticism, and the Sensualism of Travel

English 232, M 4-6:45pm (Fall 2011)
Health Building 405

Dr. Katherine D. Harris
Office: FO 220
Office Hours: W 11:30-1:30 + online tools
Phone: 408.924.4475
Email: katherine.harris@sjsu.edu

IntroductionsCourse PoliciesScheduleAssignmentsGoogle Groups
Romantics ResourcesBook History ResEnglish Dept.SJSU

Course Policies & Information


Printable Version (pdf)

Course Description:
The newly-established restaurant quickly became the preferred meeting place where critics, poets, artists, authors of the British Romantic Era discussed aesthetic standards. Then, they travelled abroad on the Grand Tour to discover the gustatory delights of foreign lands. Some returned from exotic locales with opium-induced, waking nightmares. Others indulged in dinner, opera, and artwork. Denise Gigante attributes this zest for taste to a quest for pleasure, a state of mind that the Romantics decidedly embraced. During the semester, we will read through, look at, map, and visualize the journey of the Romantic literary �(Wo)Man of Taste� through canonical and non-canonical authors alike, including Dorothy and William Wordsworth, Mary and Percy Shelley, Coleridge, DeQuincy, Wollstonecraft, Byron, Keats, Clare, Hogg, with quite a bit of visual pleasure included from Gilpin, Combe, Rowlandson, and Blake � all to reveal the relationship between aesthetic taste and appetite in Britain 1770-1837.
English Department Student Learning Objectives
Students shall achieve the ability to write complete essays that demonstrate advanced proficiency in all of the following:
  1. Read closely in a variety of forms, styles, structures, and modes, and articulate the value of close reading in the study of literature, creative writing, or rhetoric.
  2. Show familiarity with major literary works, genres, periods, and critical approaches to British, American, and World Literature.
  3. Write clearly, effectively, and creatively, and adjust writing style appropriately to the content, the context, and nature of the subject.
  4. Develop and carry out research projects, and locate, evaluate, organize, and incorporate information effectively.
  5. Articulate the relations among culture, history, and texts.
Required Books & Materials (most books available on course reserve; Amazon list of books)
Shelley, Mary.
Frankenstein. 2nd ed. Ed. Susan Wolfson. Longman, 2007.

Mellor Anne and Richard Matlak. British Literature 1780-1830. Wadsworth, 2005.
Gigante, Denise. Taste: A Literary History. Yale, 2005.
Gigante, Denise, ed. Essential Writings in Nineteenth-Century Gastronomy. Routledge, 2005.

Email & Google Groups Accounts
Unfailing Access to the Internet

Baker, Nancy L. and Nancy Huling. A Research Guide for Undergraduate Students. 6
th ed. MLA.
Gaull, Marilyn.
English Romanticism: The Human Context. Norton, 1988.
Harmon, William and C. Hugh Holman. A Handbook to Literature. Pearson/Prentice Hall. (any edition)
Morton, Timothy. The Poetics of Spice: Romantic Consumerism and the Exotic. Cambridge, 2006.
Semenza, Gregory Col�n.
Graduate Study for the 21st Century. Palgrave, 2005.


Grade Distribution

15% Class Discussion & Weekly Writings (SLO 1)
25% Presentation (SLO 1,2)
60% Final Project (SLO 3,4,5)


Class Discussion & Participation
Since this is a graduate course, you are expected to not only read the assignment material, but to also engage with it during class discussion in a thoughtful and provocative way. In other words, this class is really based on your interests rather than a basic lecture on British Romanticism. I encourage you to read around and through the literature, including some history in your Mellor & Matlak anthology. If you're interested in more literary history, see Marilyn Gaull's literary history of the period.

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: at every meeting, 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," at every meeting, 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: at every meeting, 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."

    Weekly Writings (posted to Google Groups)
    Each week by Monday 10am, you will post a 300-word writing to our Google Group. The Weekly Writing will act as a warm-up for class discussions and will focus discussion leaders on particular interests and questions offered by the class. Begin each Weekly Writing post with a quote from the readings. Your response to this quote can incorporate a close reading, your thoughts or any connections you�ve made among the literature. This writing is a moment for you to ponder, muse and contemplate the literature that we will read throughout the semester. No outside research is necessary. This is a moment for you to focus on the literature we're reading that week. Though these writings are somewhat informal, please remember to edit your writing for clarity, structure, and comprehension. Each Weekly Writing will be graded on an A-F scale for their ideas and explorations and will be sent to you privately.

    Discussion Leaders & Presentation
    At the outset of each class, I will introduce the day�s topic with a brief lecture. After that, to help encourage active participation, at least one student per week (depending on the number of students in the class) will be responsible for leading that week�s discussion. If there are several readings one week, select one or two on which to place the most focus. During your assigned week, you should prepare a brief presentation of the material (or of a particular aspect of the readings), and then pose provocative questions and possible answers to the class to evaluate and discuss. (PDF instructions available here.)


    Final Project & Presentation
    Your final project can take various forms according to your interests. These can range from a digital mapping project of Wordsworth and Coleridge's meanderings or a traditional 15-20 page essay based on a topic of your choosing that incorporates Romantic-era �texts� and secondary research. To help with progress on this project, a 300-word Proposal will be due November 7. The final project grade will be assessed based on your ability to convey a deeper line of thought and a thorough engagement with both primary and secondary texts. The final project will be due at the final exam meeting where they will be presented to (and applauded by) your colleagues. My office door is always open to discuss potential topics or workshop a draft. Use your weekly writings to keep track of your interests. See further instructions.
    Course Policies
    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.

    Late Policy
    Late Google Groups posts will not be accepted. Otherwise, if you cannot meet a deadline, you must contact me at least 72 hours prior to our class meeting to discuss the situation.

    Classroom & Online Environment
    Respect your fellow students and I: Arrive on time (excessive tardiness will effect your participation grade) and do not partake in disruptive behavior. We will all be respectful of each other in both our face-to-face and online communications. 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. You are welcome to use your laptop with the caveat that it is used to enhance our discussions.


    Email Protocols, Office Hours & Online Contact
    Email is the best possible way to contact me (9am-5pm) and has the added bonus of recording our conversations. When emailing me, please consider it a formal communication: include the appropriate salutation, your name, your question/comment, and be aware of tone. Know that long conversations over email are not fruitful merely because of the limitations of technology. If you have an extended question or dilemma that cannot be answered by our online materials, please visit me during office hours, schedule a phone conference, or arrange for an online chat/video chat. If I�m in my office, I will usually turn on Google Chat. You might also be able to get my attention on Twitter. If the email you submitted to MySJSU is not your primary email address, please let me know.

    Google Chat ID: drkatherineharris
    Skype ID: katherinedharris
    Twitter ID: triproftri


    Course Website
    As we move along in the semester, course materials will be posted on the course website. I will continue to add extra readings or things of interest to our online schedule. Let me know if you'd like to see other readings or projects added (or post to Google Groups). After you have entered, simply click on our class title to print the current schedule or handouts, visit online resources, print copies of lost documents, find the
    SJSU Writing Center, check my office hours, find writing help, 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. Call for appointments at 924-2308 or go online at www.sjsu.edu/writingcenter  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 toby.matoush@sjsu.edu. King Library has created an extensive and very useful list of the library�s resources specifically for English majors.


    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.


    Academic Integrity
    Your commitment as a student to learning is evidenced by your enrollment at San Jose State University. The University�s Academic Integrity policy, located at http://www.sjsu.edu/senate/S07-2.htm, requires 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 Student Conduct and Ethical Development website is available at http://www.sa.sjsu.edu/judicial_affairs/index.html.

    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 your assignment or any material you have submitted, or plan to submit for another class, please note that SJSU�s Academic Policy S07-2 requires approval of instructors. 


    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 http://www.drc.sjsu.edu.




    Dr. Katherine D. Harris
    Last updated: 11/15/2011 08:32 AM
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