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Course Information

Instructor Info:L. Brown Kennedy
Office Extension x5509
Lise Sanders
Office Extension x5650
TA Info:Martha Krausz
Bob McGarry
Sarah Brewer
Term: 2013F
Meeting Info: Tuesday Thursday
02:00 PM - 03:20 PM Franklin Patterson Hall (FPH) 102
02:00 PM - 03:20 PM Franklin Patterson Hall (FPH) 102

In her 1924 essay "Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown," Virginia Woolf observed, "On or about December, 1910, human character changed." Drawing inspiration from Woolf's famous phrase, this course focuses on modes of redescribing personhood in the work of James Joyce and Virginia Woolf, placing their writings in the larger context of British culture between the First and Second World Wars. In addition to reading texts by these two foremost modernists to explore their experiments with form and voice, we will also read lesser-known writers whose work is in conversation with the modernist canon. Themes to be addressed include the disjointedness and fragmentation of modernity; war, violence, and trauma; gender, sexuality, and the nation. Frequent short responses and a substantial research paper will be required. This course is designed for students concentrating in literature, history, and cultural studies, and prior coursework in literary studies is strongly recommended.

Evaluation Criteria:

This is a reading- and writing-intensive course based primarily on lively and informed discussion. Students will be expected to attend and participate fully in all class sessions; absences will negatively affect your final evaluation as well as your ability to share in the collaborative project of the course. Timeliness is expected: after one warning, if you are more than 15 minutes late to any class session, you will be marked absent. Two unexcused absences will result in no evaluation. In case of severe illness or emergency, a contingency plan for completing the course may be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.

This course will require at least eight to ten hours a week of preparation and work outside of class time. This time commitment includes reading (and often re-reading) assigned course texts; taking careful and detailed notes; seeking out appropriate secondary sources where needed; and preparing, revising, and polishing written work.

Please come prepared with written comments on each day’s readings; these contributions will form the basis of our class discussions. If you have read and considered the material carefully, there will be no such thing as a stupid question. On the first day we discuss a given text, a one-page Moodle post highlighting key themes and questions will be required, for at least eight posts by the end of the semesterYou may post for any day we are discussing the text, but you must post for the reading on that day by midnight the night before.

 In addition, two formal essays are required: a 4-6 page close reading, and a 10-12 page research paper, with a draft to be revised in conjunction with a peer review workshop. A prospectus and annotated bibliography will be expected well in advance of the final paper draft deadline. Deadlines are noted below. With the exception of the Moodle posts, hard copies of all assignments are expected.

The three main essays are due to Brown Kennedy's box in EDH, in the HACU Office.

In addition to the formal essays for the course, students will also be expected to choose one session for which they will write a 1-2 page critical response paper and present their response to the class. This presentation will involve selecting a scholarly article in advance and providing a critical explication of its key points. In this way we will build a collective bibliography over the course of the term.

NB: With the exception of the critical response for oral presentation and the draft of the final paper, students may take one automatic extension of 72 hours on any of the writing assignments; otherwise, barring emergencies, late papers will not be accepted. Any student who is two writing assignments behind at any point in the semester will not receive an evaluation. In order to receive an evaluation, the final portfolio must be complete and handed in by the deadline stated on the syllabus. Final portfolios will consist of the ten one-page Moodle posts (printed out at the end of the semester); the critical response paper and notes for presentations; the close reading assignment; the prospectus, outline, annotated bibliography and draft(s) of the final research project; peer commentaries; and the final version of the research project, substantially revised.

Incomplete Policy

Incompletes are permitted only in emergencies, and only when negotiated in advance. Here is an excerpt from the College policy on incompletes (available in Non Satis Non Scire):

To record an incomplete, both student and faculty member will fill out the appropriate form to record the new negotiated deadline by which the student will complete all remaining work for the course. That date will not exceed the first day of the spring semester for a fall incomplete, and June 30th for a spring incomplete.

If the negotiated deadline passes without the faculty member receiving and recording the completed work from the student, the incomplete will be converted to a "No Evaluation." Faculty have one month from the negotiated date to evaluate the work.

Students experiencing exceptional circumstances that could make it difficult to adhere to any part of this policy should immediately be referred to CASA for assistance with accommodating circumstances.

Sensitivity and Respect

The classroom is a place of academic discussion and scholarly engagement, but just as the personal is political, the intellectual can also be personal. All course participants should feel comfortable expressing their views in an atmosphere of respect. In particular, please be aware of your peers' preferred names and pronouns and use them in class.

The following is an excerpt from Hampshire's antidiscrimination and harassment policy (available at

Discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, age, color, national origin, religion, sex (including sex stereotyping), sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, genetic information, transgender status, or military service (henceforth, the “Protected Factors”) is in conflict with the mission of the College and is strictly prohibited by its Policy. Hampshire College is strongly committed to building an inclusive environment and will not tolerate any actions of any individual that violate this Policy.

A Note on Plagiarism

Plagiarism – passing off another person's words as your own – is a serious infringement of scholarly ethics, and necessitates disciplinary action on the part of the School Dean and the Advising Office. Please see the accompanying handout for further details, and cite sources diligently in your written work.

Office Hours/Contact Information

Brown Kennedy: Wednesdays 1:30-4:30 & by appointment; FPH G12; ext. 5509;

Lise Sanders: Wednesdays 9:30-12:30 & by appointment; ASH 103; ext. 5650;

Additional Info:

Required Texts

James Joyce, Dubliners, ed. Robert Scholes (Penguin/Viking – ISBN: 0140247742)

James Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, ed. Seamus Deane (Penguin – ISBN: 0142437344)

James Joyce, Ulysses, ed. Hans Walter Gabler (Vintage – ISBN: 0394743121)

Dorothy Sayers, Gaudy Night (Harper – ISBN: 0062196537)

Rebecca West, The Return of the Soldier (Penguin – ISBN: 014118065X)

Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own (annotated Mariner/Harcourt edition – ISBN: 0156030411)

Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway (annotated Mariner/Harcourt edition – ISBN: 0156030357)

Virginia Woolf, The Waves (annotated Mariner/Harcourt edition – ISBN: 0156031574)

Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse (annotated Mariner/Harcourt edition – ISBN: 0156030470)

Recommended Texts

Don Gifford, Ulysses Annotated (University of California Press – ISBN: 0520253973)

Wayne Booth et al. The Craft of Research (University of Chicago Press – ISBN: 0226065669)