The Romantic Age
Object: In an effort to understand the British Romantics' assessments of and responses to the cultural crises of their times, this class will consider the poetry and prose of the major writers of the period in relation to a variety of topics--social conditions, religious and intellectual movements, technological developments, etc. We will read, discuss, and write--all with the aim of discerning the strategies with which the Romantics met, evaded, or coped with the challenges of their age.
English Romantic Writers, ed. David Perkins
Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
Reading Journal: I expect you to keep a reading journal, wherein you can speculate on the assigned work's action, symbol, theme, character, etc., in a page or two. Although I'll read your journals only at your request, I'll conduct discussion and make up tests in the belief that you are keeping them.
Exams: There will be four scheduled exam throughout the semester, which will be made up of specific questions about the assigned works' action, symbol, theme, characters, etc. These exams will be designed to encourage and reward critical, close reading of the material. All assigned reading and everything discussed in class will be game for the test.
Papers: Two 3 pg. critical papers are required. Drawing on your reading journals and class discussions, you will be expected to write on a specific topic which I will supply one week before the due date. Papers which fail to directly address the assignment will not be given credit. Because I'm primarily interested in your responses to the reading and class discussion, all outside sources are forebidden. A late paper will be graded down half a grade for each calendar day late. I encourage you to see me during my office hours to talk over your paper ideas or anything else relevant to the course.
Plagiarism will not be tolerated. You should be familiar with the plagiarism section of The Hofstra Writer's Guide and the section on plagiarism in the Bulletin. An unintended plagiarism will result in a failure on a paper. An intended plagiarism--to be determined by the instructor--will result in a failure in the course.
Attendance and Participation: This is a discussion class, and so your attendance and participation are crucial to its success. If you feel that you cannot commit yourself to this time slot throughout the entire term, then you should drop. More than two absences will affect your grade. More than four will guarantee failure in the course. There is no extra credit.
Grades will be based on papers, exams, journals and participation. The Hofstra Bulletin defines grades as follows: "A--Indicates that the student's academic performance in achieving the objectives of the course was of honors level; B--Indicates that the student's academic performance in achieving the objectives of the course was distinctly above that required by the course; C--Indicates that the student's academic performance achieved the objectives of the course; D--Indicates that the student's academic performance was less than required by the course but was still sufficient to permit the student to receive full credit" (p. 51).