English 149, T/R 1:30-2:45pm (Fall 2009)
Clark Hall 111

A word about my furlough days...

Dr. Katherine D. Harris
Office: FO 220
Office Hours: W11:30am-1:30pm
Phone: 408.924.4475
Email: katherine.harris@sjsu.edu

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Course Policies & Information


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Course Description:
The Romantic-era was perhaps one of the most intellectually and technologically productive eras in all of England: The Industrial Revolution forced citizens to abandon agrarian life and embrace an urban existence that was full of prostitutes, raw sewage, cholera and scientific experimentation. Literature during this time, 1785-1837, reflects the anxiety caused by this shift, but it also reflects an excitement about England’s potentially terrifying future. In Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein, our hero(es) embody all of these aspects of British life. For this reason, the course will center around the themes prevalent in Frankenstein but with a slight twist. In "TechnoRomanticism," we'll create our own modern, annotated version of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (complete with film references and any online links, e.g., YouTube, etc.). We'll read into the Romantic period through this 1818 text and then read Shelley's second novel, The Last Man, a very futuristic view of the nineteenth century. The course requires that we use Google Docs to create this annotated edition. No fears about technology, though – several tutorials and unending help will be offered. In the end, we will also be part of the "techno" in TechnoRomanticism.

Pre-requisites: Upper-division standing.

Course Learning Objectives
  • To promote awareness of the Romantic-era’s engagement in historical and cultural processes;
  • To examine the creative and textual production, dissemination and reception of Romantic-era literature;
  • To understand the relations between culture, history, and texts, including ideological and political aspects of the representation, economic processes of textual production, dissemination and reception, and cross-fertilization of textual representations by those of other arts: architecture, sculpture, music, film, painting, dance, and theatre.
  • To encourage close reading and understanding of Romantic-era literature.
  • To recognize and appreciate the importance of major literary genres, subgenres, and periods in the Romantic-era.
  • To respond imaginatively to the content and style of texts.
Required Texts (on reserve in King Library or see at Amazon Listmania):
Feldman, Paula, ed. The Keepsake for 1829. Toronto: Broadview, 2006. ISBN 1551115859
Mellor, Anne and Richard E. Matlak. British Literature 1780-1830. Wadsworth/Cengage Learning, 2006. ISBN 1413022537
Radcliffe, Ann. The Veiled Picture; or, The Mysteries of Gorgono. 1802. Ed. by Jack G. Voller. Valancourt Books, 2006. ISBN 0977784185
Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. 2nd ed. Ed. Susan J. Wolfson. New York: Longman, 2007. ISBN 0321399536
—. Last Man. Ed. Morton D. Paley. Oxford UP, 1998. ISBN 0192838652. OR 2008. ISBN 0321399536
Walpole, Horace. The Castle of Otranto. Ed. Laura Mandell. Longman, 2007. ISBN 0321398920

Google Account
Moodle Account

Working Email Address
Recommended Texts:
A Research Guide for Undergraduates in English & American Literature. MLA, 2006. ISBN 0873529243
MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers
. 7th ed. New York: MLA, 2009.
Hacker, Diana. A Writer’s Reference (or other writing handbook
Jackson, Shelly, Patchwork Girl. Eastgate, 1995. ISBN 9781884511236 – CD-Rom
Sheck, Laurie. A Monster’s Notes. Knopf, 2009. ISBN 0307271056
Dictionary, Collegiate-level


Grade Distribution
15% 10% Class Discussion & Participation
25% Reading Responses & Reflective Blogs
25% Digital Project Essays (9 total)
15% Oral Presentation on
The Last Man
35% 25% Final Project, Rationale & Presentation

Graduate students see additional requirements for projects
Class Discussion & Participation
This course traces the various political, social and cultural upheavals of the Romantic-era as reflected in  literature, politics and culture 1780-1837. Since our readings are organized under the principle of "radial reading" and our investigation of technology and Romanticism will build with each class meeting, your participation in every discussion is imperative. Please come to class prepared with the day’s readings and armed with interesting questions. Our meeting space is the technology-rich environment of the Incubator Classroom where we will respond to each other in online forums, evaluate electronic resources and share strategies, successes and failures in our scholarly adventures. The technology, though sometimes daunting, will actually enhance our discussions and has the capability to improve research as well as writing skills. It requires a commitment to participating, though. Media experimentation is welcome, encouraged even (Twitter, anyone?). If you find something relevant to our readings, please bring it in. This type of engagement will only enhance your participation grade. For further tips on performing well in class, see below.

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."
  • 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 & Reflective Blogs
    Over the semester, you will produce various types of weekly response: some prepared outside of class and others prepared in class. For Reading Responses, you will produce a a minimum of 300 words to the assigned reading for that week and post this entry to the proper Moodle Discussion Forum by 10am on the due date. These will be used to stimulate your thoughts on the texts and to serve as ideas for your essays. Because these Reading Responses pertain to that week’s readings and are not useful after the discussion has been completed, late Reading Responses will not be accepted.

    Every two weeks, we will work on our Digital Projects in a designated Digital Workshop Day. At the conclusion of that Digital Workshop, you will write a 300-word blog entry in Moodle that will act as a journal of your experiences. Questions will direct this writing.

    Each Reading Response and Reflective Blog is worth 8 points (total of 13). After each forum post or blog entry is submitted, I will email your point score for that entry as well make suggestions for improving your score. Students who write nothing or who write frivolously will not receive credit for the exercise.

    Digital Project Essays & A Word About Google Docs
    Because this course is premised on producing a (Post) Postmodern edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, each student will be responsible for annotating some chapters of the 1818 text. Traditional editing of this type requires much collaboration, editing and researching. We’ll do all of this; however, we’ll perform this in a digital environment. We will spend multiple days in the Incubator Classroom working on this Digital Project and learning Google Docs, our online platform. Each Digital Workshop Session is preceded by discussion days as well as 9 mini-essays/assignments spread throughout the semester: Timeline/Literary Historical Research Essay; Delicious Links Essay; Explication of a Poem; Analysis of a Minor Character; Investigating Mary Shelley’s Manuscripts, Journals & Letters; Review of Reviews; Adaptations; Keepsake Authors Mystery; and Peer Review. See the Assignments section for an overview of all assignments and access to the instructions for each assignment.

    Essay lengths range from 300 to 1000 words and will receive up to 11 points each. After submitting the essay for comments, you will integrate the assignment into your Digital Project. My comments are intended to help you revise the mini-essays for the final submission.

    Google Docs: Instead of only traditional course website, we will host all of our documents, links, web pages and more on Google Docs, a collaborative environment that allows multiple users to edit documents simultaneously. Google Docs contains programs that are similar to Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and FrontPage, but with less bugs. In addition, this atmosphere resides completely on Google’s server – this means that you can access our course documents from anywhere. Registering for and using Google Docs requires very little technical expertise; in fact, if you already have an email address, then you are qualified to use Google Docs. We will go through all of this during our first Digital Workshop. Moodle, a courseware platform (i.e., house) will hold our blogs and discussion fora comments.


    Oral Presentation on The Last Man (deleted assignment)
    For this Presentation, each student will research the production, illustrations, reviews, etc. of The Last Man and present those findings on an assigned day. A brief piece of writing (300 words) will be submitted to mark your presentation. Each Presentation will be graded on its effectiveness and clarity. There are no make-ups for missed oral presentations. We may revise the source of this oral presentation to include other Postmodern representations of Frankenstein, including A Monster’s Notes (2009) and Patchwork Girl (1995). We will discuss this at a later date. See the Assignments section for an overview of all assignments and access to the instructions for each assignment.

    Final Project, Rationale & Presentation
    At the Final Exam meeting day, you will present your Final Project to the class. The written Rationale will synthesize not only your scholarly adventures but also the theoretical and critical reasonings associated with your Digital Project. Your Reading Responses and Reflective Blog entries can help you with this Rationale. You must present in order to receive a grade for this project. See the Assignments section for an overview of all assignments and access to the instructions for each assignment.
    Graduate Students Only
    Graduate students will perform all of the same assignments as undergraduates. In addition, each graduate student is responsible for presenting on a text from the Related Texts column and moderating a discussion (20 minutes). In your Final Project, the Rationale will be appropriate to graduate-level work (10-15 pages) with research into secondary criticism. Your Proposal for this Final Project Rationale/Essay is due October 27. Plan to meet with me at least twice throughout the semester to discuss your progress. Further details will be discussed later.

    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
    Reading Responses and Reflective Blogs are not accepted late. If you cannot meet a Digital Project Essay deadline, you must contact me at least 48 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 2 points. 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.

    Course Moodle & Course Website
    Moodle is the our central location for the blog and discussion forum. The site is accessible by registered users with an enrollment key. We will have a tutorial from the Incubator Classroom staff on the first day of class to help acclimate to all of this technology. If you run into any technical problems while trying to FTP your documents to our classroom server or logging into Moodle from home, please contact the IC staff. Our Course Website will contain all handouts, references made during lectures and interesting things that you would like to add.


    SJSU Academic Integrity Policy
    Students should know that the University’s Academic Integrity Policy is availabe at http://www.sa.sjsu.edu/download/judicial_affairs/Academic_Integrity_Policy_S07-2.pdf . 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 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 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. 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 will result in immediate failure in the assignment and possible failure in the course and dismissal from San José State University. See King Library’s definition, the University policy and a plagiarism tutorial: www.sjlibrary.org/services/literacy/info_comp/plagiarism.htm 

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

    Class ID: 2932984
    Password: frank2009

    Classroom Environment
    Respect your fellow students and I: Arrive on time (excessive tardiness will effect 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, 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. 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.
    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 9-7 and Friday 9-1; Call for appointments at 924-2308 or go online at www.sjsu.edu/writingcenter  Work with tutors in a one-on-one environment. Make appointments online at the above website.
    Library Liaison
    For library research questions, contact Toby Matoush, the English Department’s Library Liaison: (408) 808-2096 or tmatoush@sjsu.edu. King Library has created an extensive and very useful list of the library’s resources specifically for English majors.


    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 http://www.sjsu.edu/muse/peermentor/ .


    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.


    Dropping and Adding Courses
    Students are responsible for understanding the policies and procedures about add/drops, academic renewal, etc. Information on add/drops are available at http://info.sjsu.edu/web-dbgen/narr/soc-fall/rec-298.html . Information about late drop is available at http://www.sjsu.edu/sac/advising/latedrops/policy/  Students should be aware of the current deadlines and penalties for adding and dropping classes.


    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: 12/17/2009 05:08 PM
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