michelle being gothic

Illinois State University
English 160, Women in Literature
Sections 3 & 5
Spring 1996
Prof. Julie Shaffer

Office: STV 413U
Office Phone: 438-2364

Office Hours:
Tues & Thurs, 11am-1pm

Course Description, Texts, Assignments and Grades, Attendance and Paper Policy, Schedule

This course will revolve around a specific topic, Gothicism. We'll read novels, short stories, plays, and poems, by both men and women. As we examine these works, we will focus on ways Gothicism appears and what it suggests about women's relation to the home - whether the home be haven or prison. There is a lot of reading in this course and I will expect you to keep up. I will also expect you to participate in discussion, and doing so will comprise no small part of your grade.

The texts:

William Wycherly, The Country Wife

Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto

Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Mary Wollstonecraft, Maria, or the Wrongs of Woman

Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca

Toni Morrison, Beloved

Alice Walker, The Color Purple

There will also be a course packet and reserve materials at Milner Library.

return to top of page

Assignments: 2 papers and a final. You will also write very short papers frequently, week, engaging the texts in ways I'll explain as we go. I may also ask you to write informally on the presentation of women and the home in other media to which you're exposed in your out-of-class time: film, television, advertisements.

Grades: You will be graded not only on written work but on participation in class discussion as well. I will decide what kinds of assignments to give once I see the level at which you come into the class, so I can't give you an exact idea of the assignments or the exact breakdown of your grade now.

Attendance and Paper Policy: We will follow a modified version of the English Department's policy on attendance. According to that policy, you have one week of excused absences and one week of unexcused absences which you may take; beyond that, your grade falls. In this class, however, I do not differentiate between excused and unexcused absences. You have up to 2 weeks of absences to use as you will; beyond that, your grade will start to fall. If you have 3 or more weeks of absences, you may fail. This means that if you use up absences early because you choose to take days off, later absences due to illness will not be excused. This is absolutely not negotiable. Very late arrivals and very early departures will be counted as absences, as will coming to class unable to add to discussion due to utter unpreparedness - not having read the text, for example.

If you are absent on days on which we are writing essays in class or doing group work, in addition to being marked absent, you will receive a fail for that work. I do not allow make-up or extra-credit work. Other assignments handed in late will also adversely affect your grade unless you have discussed your need to hand a paper in late beforehand with me. Generally, papers handed in late will drop one full letter grade for each day they're late, and after one week, they will receive a failing grade. Plagiarism will result in a fail on the paper, a fail in the course, and action taken against you through the appropriate university channels. Newspaper reading, sleeping, and private conversation in class, along with any other rudenesses, will not be tolerated.

 return to top of page

Class Schedule 

Week 1, Jan. 16 & 18:

Course Introduction

William Wycherly, The Country Wife (play)

Week 2, Jan 23 & 25:

Wycherly, cont'd

Week 3, Jan 30 & Feb 1:

Delariviere Manley, "The Wife's Revenge" (short story; in packet)

Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto

Week 4, Feb 6 & 8:

Walpole, cont'd

Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Week 5, Feb 13 & 15:

Austen, cont'd

Week 6, Feb 20 & 22:

Mary Wollstonecraft, Maria, or the Wrongs of Woman

Week 7, Feb 27 & 29:

Wollstonecraft, cont'd

Victorian readings (in packet)

Week 8, Mar 5 & 7:

Victorian readings, cont'd

Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca

Week 9, Mar 20 & 22:

du Maurier, cont'd

Week 10, Mar 26 & 28:

du Maurier, cont'd

Week 11, Apr 2 & 4:

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, "The Yellow Wallpaper" (short story; in packet)

Susan Glaspell, Trifles (one act play; in packet)

Week 12, Apr 9 & 11:

Alice Munro, "Royal Beatings" (short story; in packet)

Toni Morrison, Beloved

Week 13, Apr 16 & 18:

Morrison, cont'd

Week 14, Apr. 23 & 25:

Morrison, cont'd

Alice Walker, The Color Purple

Week 15, Apr 30 & May 2:

Walker, cont'd

return to the top of the page
go to Julie Shaffer's list of courses taught
go to Julie Shaffer's home page

this site maintained by Julie Shaffer, e-mail: shaffer@uwosh.edu
last updated 21 Dec. 1998