English 2110 World Literature, Spring 2017

Section 03: MW 2:00-3:15PM, Arts & Sciences 345

Section 04: MW 3:30-4:45PM, Arts & Sciences 345




Dr. Alex E. Blazer


Office Hours: MTW 1:15-1:45PM and 5:00-5:30PM, Arts & Sciences 330


Course Description


This section of world literature will interpret twentieth-century fiction and poetry from Western Europe, the Caribbean and South America, Africa, and the Middle East through cultural, ethical, and (sometimes) postcolonial lenses. This course's Academic Assessment page describes our outcomes:

The above specific outcomes for this course address, in part, the expected outcomes for the Core. Note: An additional student learning outcome concerning multiple ethical perspectives is currently under development at the departmental level. This course fulfills 3 semester hours of Area C. Humanities, Ethics, and Fine Arts in the core curriculum and assesses the following outcomes:

Course Materials


course textbooks (Amazon or GCSU Bookstore)

Achebe, Things Fall Apart

Allende, The House of the Spirits

Coetzee, Disgrace

Deigh, An Introduction to Ethics

Puchner, ed. et al., The Norton Anthology of World Literature, 3rd ed., Vol. F

required articles, poems, and short stories (GeorgiaVIEW)

course packet


Assignments and Grade Distribution


quizzes, 10%

You will take quizzes designed to make sure you're keeping up with the reading.

close reading paper, 15%

You will have the option to either individually write a 4 page close reading paper and give a 4-5 minute presentation analyzing a key passage in a single work of literature or pair up and collaboratively write a 6 page close reading paper and give a 5-10 minute presentation.

ethics paper, 15%

You will write a 5-6 page paper interpreting the ethical issue of a work of literature.

group project, 10%

You will divide into groups of 4-5 to research a novel or book of poetry, compose an annotated bibliography, and formally present their findings to the class

two exams, 25% each

You will take two exams, the first in class and the second take home, that require you to compare and contrast issues and themes among works of literature. Here's how to calculate your final grade.


Course Policies



We will use the course site for the syllabus schedule and assignment prompts; supporting documents include an attendance record, a course grade calculation spreadsheet, FAQ, a GeorgiaVIEW walkthrough, a guide to literary analysis, a research methods guide, and paper templates. We will use GeorgiaVIEW for assignment submission and the course packet (electronic course reserves); if you experience problems with GeorgiaVIEW, immediately contact support. Check your university email for course-related messages. Use an online backup or cloud storage service to not only save but also archive versions of your work in case of personal computer calamities.


Because this liberal arts course values contemporaneous discussion over fixed lecture, regular attendance is required. Any student who misses seven or more classes for any reason (excused or unexcused) will fail the course. There will be a one letter final grade deduction for every unexcused absence beyond three. I suggest you use your three days both cautiously and wisely; and make sure you sign the attendance sheets. Habitual tardies, consistently leaving class early, texting, and surfing the internet will be treated as absences. Unexcused absences include work, family obligations, and scheduled doctor's appointments. Excused absences include family emergency, medical emergency, religious observance, and participation in a college-sponsored activity. If you have a medical condition or an extracurricular activity that you anticipate will cause you to miss more than four days of class, I suggest you drop this section or risk failure. The university class attendance policy can be found here. You can check your attendance in GeorgiaVIEW > Course Work > Attendance.

MLA Style and Length Requirements

Part of writing in a discipline is adhering to the field's style guide. While other disciplines use APA or Chicago style, literature and composition follows MLA style. In-class exams, discussion board responses, informal/journal writing, and peer review may be informally formatted; however, formal assignments and take-home exams must employ MLA style. One-third of a letter grade will be deducted from a formal paper or take-home exam for problems in each of the following three categories, for a possible one letter grade deduction total: 1) margins, header, and heading, 2) font, font size, and line-spacing, and 3) quotation and citation format. A formal paper or take-home exam will be penalized one-third of a letter grade if it does not end at least halfway down on the minimum page length (not including Works Cited page) while implementing 12 pt Times New Roman font, double-spacing, and 1" margins. Each additional page short of the minimum requirement will result in an a additional one-third letter grade penalty. It is your responsibility to learn how to control your word-processing program. Before you turn in a formal paper, make sure your work follows MLA style by referring to the FAQ handout and using the MLA style checklist. Feel free to use these templates that are preformatted to MLA style.

Late Assignments

We're all busy with multiple classes and commitments, and adhering to deadlines is critical for the smooth running of the course. There will be a one letter assignment grade deduction per day (not class period) for any assignment that is turned in late. I give short extensions if you request one for a valid need at least one day before the assignment is due. I will inform you via email if I cannot open an electronically submitted assignment; however, your assignment will be considered late until you submit it in a file I can open. Because your completion of this course's major learning outcomes depends on the completion of pertinent assignments, failing to submit an assignment that is worth 15% or more of the course grade within a five days of its due date will result in failure of the course. Failing to submit a final exam or final paper within two days of its due date will result in failure of the course.

Academic Honesty

The integrity of students and their written and oral work is a critical component of the academic process. The Honor Code defines plagiarism as "presenting as one's own work the words or ideas of an author or fellow student. Students should document quotes through quotation marks and footnotes or other accepted citation methods. Ignorance of these rules concerning plagiarism is not an excuse. When in doubt, students should seek clarification from the professor who made the assignment." The Undergraduate Catalog defines academic dishonesty as "Plagiarizing, including the submission of others’ ideas or papers (whether purchased, borrowed, or otherwise obtained) as one’s own When direct quotations are used in themes, essays, term papers, tests, book reviews, and other similar work, they must be indicated; and when the ideas of another are incorporated in any paper, they must be acknowledged, according to a style of documentation appropriate to the discipline" and "Submitting, if contrary to the rules of a course, work previously presented in another course," among other false representations. "As plagiarism is not tolerated at GCSU, "since the primary goal of education is to increase one's own knowledge," any student found guilty of substantial, willful plagiarism or dishonesty will fail the assignment and the course. Here is how I have dealt with plagiarists in the past. This course uses plagiarism prevention technology from TurnItIn. The papers may be retained by the service for the sole purpose of checking for plagiarized content in future student submissions.

Passing or Failing of the Course

There are three ways to fail the course: failing to regularly attend class, plagiarizing, failing an assignment that is worth 15% or more of the course grade, be it from poor quality, lateness of submission, or a combination of poor quality and lateness. By contrast, students who regularly attend class, complete their work with academic integrity, and submit assignments on time will pass the course.

The Writing Center

The Writing Center is a free service available to all members of the university community. Consultants assist writers in the writing process, from conception and organization of compositions to revision to documentation of research. Located in Library 228, the Center is open Monday through Friday. Call 445-3370 or email for more information.

Additional Policies

Additional statements regarding the Religious Observance Policy, Assistance for Student Needs Related to Disability, Student Rating of Instruction Survey, Academic Honesty, and Fire Drills can be found here.


Course Schedule

Week 1

M, 1-9


W, 1-11

Western Europe

Celan, poetry (GeorgiaVIEW) [Romania/Ukraine]

Recommended: Poem Talk, Paul Celan's "Corona"

Week 2

M, 1-16

No Class: Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday

Recommended: King, "Beyond Vietnam" and "City Temple Speech"

W, 1-18

Conrad, Heart of Darkness (Puchner 14-78 or GeorgiaVIEW) [Poland/England]

In Class Activity: Closely Reading Conrad

Week 3

M, 1-23

Conrad, continued

MLA Style: Formatting and Quoting

W, 1-25

Deigh, Chapter 1 What Is Ethics? (Deigh 1-24 or GeorgiaVIEW)

Scholarly Journal Article on Celan or Conrad

In Class Activity: Annotations and Ethics of Conrad and Celan

Week 4

M, 1-30

South America & The Caribbean

Márquez, "Death Constant Beyond Love" (Puchner 986-92) [Colombia]

Naipaul, "One Out of Many" (Puchner 1006-28) [Trinidad/England]

W, 2-1

Kincaid, "Girl" (Puchner 1144-6) [Antigua/USA]

Díaz, "Drown" (Puchner 1240-8)

Díaz, "How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie" (GeorgiaVIEW) [Dominican Republic/USA]

Deigh, Chapter 2 Egoism (Deigh 25-55 or GeorgiaVIEW)

Recommended: Virtual Lit, Kincaid's "Girl"

Recommended: Lannan Foundation, Junot Díaz

In Class Activity: Ethical Conflicts

Week 5

M, 2-6

Neruda, poetry (Puchner 583-98 and Poetry Foundation) [Chile]

MLA Style: Citing

W, 2-8

Neruda, continued

Deigh, Chapter 3 Eudaimonism (Deigh 56-92)

In Class Activity: Neruda's Cultural Politics (3:30 Section Only)

Week 6


M, 2-13

Walcott, poetry (Puchner 939-76 and Poetry Foundation) [Saint Lucia]

Deigh, Chapter 4 Utilitarianism (Deigh 93-122)

Exam Topics

In Class Activity: Reading Ethics

W, 2-15

Walcott, continued

Recommended: BBC World Book Club, "Derek Walcott"

Week 7

M, 2-20

In Class Midterm Exam

W, 2-22

Allende, The House of the Spirits (Allende 1-114/Chapters 1 Rosa the Beautiful-3 Clara the Clairvoyant) [Chile]

In Class Activity: The Elements of Allende's House

Week 8

M, 2-27

Allende, continued (Allende 115-231/Chapters 4 The Time of the Spirits-6 Revenge)

Deigh, Chapter 5 The Moral Law (Deigh 123-156)

W, 3-1

Allende, continued (Allende 209-352/Chapters 7 The Brothers-10 The Epoch of Decline)

In Class Activity: The Elements of Allende's House (Redux)

Week 9

M, 3-6

Allende, concluded (Allende 353-481/Chapters 11 The Awakening through Epilogue)

Recommended: BBC World Book Club, "Isabel Allende"

W, 3-8

Wa Thiang'o, "Wedding at the Cross" (Puchner 1037-48)

Wa Thiang'o, "A Meeting in the Dark" (GeorgiaVIEW) [Kenya]

Deigh, Chapter 6 The Ethics of Self-Determinism (Deigh 157-95)

Week 10

M, 3-13

Achebe, Things Fall Apart (Achebe 1-74/Chapters 1-8)

Tyson, "Postcolonial Criticism" (GeorgiaVIEW)

In Class Activity: Igbo Custom and Culture

W, 3-15

Achebe, continued (Achebe 75-148/Chapters 9-16)

In Class Activity: Postcolonial Criticism

Week 11

M, 3-20

No Class: Spring Break

W, 3-22

No Class: Spring Break

Week 12

M, 3-27

Achebe, concluded (Achebe 149-209/Chapters 17-25)

Recommended: BBC World Book Club, "Chinua Achebe"

W, 3-29

Aidoo, "Two Sisters" (Puchner 993-1004)

Head, "The Deep River: A Story of Ancient Tribal Migration" (Puchner 1098-1104) [Botswana]

Deigh, Chapter 7 Practical Reason (Deigh 196-232)

In Class Activity: Developing the Ethics Paper

Week 13

M, 4-3

Coetzee, Disgrace (Coetzee 1-74/Chapters 1-9)

In Class Activity: Disgraceful Ethics, Part One

W, 4-5

No Class: Campus Closed Due to Threat of Severe Weather

Ethics Paper Due

Week 14

M, 4-10

Coetzee, continued (Coetzee 75-150/Chapters 10-17)

In Class Activity: Disgraceful Ethics, Part Two

W, 4-12

Coetzee, concluded (Coetzee 151-220/Chapters 18-24)

Week 15

M, 4-17

The Middle East

Mahfouz, "Zaabalawi" (Puchner 882-91) [Egypt]

Pamuk, "To Look Out the Window" (Puchner 1275-92) [Turkey]

W, 4-19

El Saadawi, "In Camera" (Puchner 1104-15) [Egypt]

Al-Shaykh, "The Women's Swimming Pool" (1165-71) [Lebanon]

Recommended: BBC World Book Club, "Nawal El Saadawi"

Week 16

M, 4-24

Darwish, poetry (Puchner 892-4 and Poetry Foundation) [Palestine]

Exam Topics

W, 4-26

Darwish, continued


M, 5-1

Exam Review

T, 5-2

Take Home Final Exam Due (3:30 Section)

W, 5-3

Take Home Final Exam Due (2:00 Section)