English 2110 World Literature, Spring 2017

Section 02: TR 9:30-10:45 a.m., Online

Section 03: TR 11:00-12:15 p.m., Online




Dr. Alex E. Blazer


Office Hours: TR 12:30-1:45 p.m. and 5:00-5:30 p.m. by appointment


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:

This online section of the course will require weekly participation via discussion board responses completed outside of scheduled class time, small group activities completed via videoconference during scheduled class time, and weekly large group chats via videoconference during scheduled class time. Assignments include a close reading paper, an ethics paper, a research bibliography, a midterm exam, and a final exam.


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, 4th ed., Vol. F

required articles, poems, and short stories (GeorgiaVIEW)

course packet


Assignments and Grade Distribution


close reading paper, 15%

You will have the option to either individually write a 4-5 page close reading paper that analyzes a key passage in a single work of literature or pair up and collaboratively write a 6-7 page close reading paper.

ethics paper, 20%

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

research project, 10%

You will have the option to either individually research a novel or book of poetry or work with two or three other students to collaboratively research the work and present your findings to the class. Individual annotated bibliographies will consist of 10 sources while group annotated bibliographies will consist of 20 sources.

two exams, 25% and 30% each

You will take both a midterm exam and a final exam that require you to compare and contrast issues and themes among works of literature. Use this spreadsheet to calculate your course grade.


Course Policies



We will use the course site for the syllabus schedule and assignment prompts; supporting documents include an participation 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; if you experience technical issues with GeorgiaVIEW, contact the Center for Teaching and Learning for support at or 478.445.2520. We will use Zoom for online small group activities and large class chats during the scheduled class time. 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.


Our course includes three kinds of participation: making a comment or asking a question in the large class lectures and discussions conducted virtually over Zoom during the scheduled meeting time, active engagement in small group activities conducted virtually over Zoom during the scheduled meeting time, and 100-200 word posts in the GeorgiaVIEW discussion board that respond to assigned reading outside of the scheduled class time but by Sunday of the week in which the questions were posted. Each week with two meeting days, you are required to participate twice: 1-2 Zoom sessions and 0-1 discussion posts. Each week with one meeting day, you are required to participate once: either a Zoom session or a discussion post. I encourage you to participate in all the available ways. If you do not turn on your Zoom video, or if you do not fulfill the minimum participation in a given week, then your weekly participation is considered zero. You can receive two zeros without penalty. However, for each week of non-participation beyond two, you will receive a one-third letter grade deduction on your final course grade. You can check your participation here.

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. Assignments such as 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. Before you turn in a formal paper, make sure your work follows MLA style by referring to 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 five days of its due date may result in failure of the course. Failing to submit a final exam or final paper within two days of its due date may 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 and Graduate Catalog define 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 may 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 participate in 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 participate, complete their work with academic integrity, and submit assignments on time will pass the course. You can calculate your final course grade here.

Writing Center

Writing consultants will work with any student writer working on any project in any discipline. To learn more about Writing Center locations, hours, scheduling and services, please go to If you have questions about the Writing
Center, send an email to

Additional Policies

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


Course Schedule

Week 1

R, 8-13


Week 2

T, 8-18

Western Europe

Celan, poetry (GeorgiaVIEW) [Romania/Ukraine]

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

R, 8-20

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

Small Group Activity: Closely Reading Conrad

Week 3

T, 8-25

Conrad, continued

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

MLA Style: Formatting and Quoting

R, 8-27

Small Group Activity: Annotations and Ethics of Conrad and Celan

Week 4

T, 9-1

South America & The Caribbean

García Márquez, "Death Constant Beyond Love" (Puchner 986 or 909) [Colombia]

Naipaul, "One Out of Many" (GeorgiaVIEW) [Trinidad/England]

R, 9-3

Kincaid, "Girl" (Puchner 1144 or 1043) [Antigua/USA]

Díaz, "Drown" (Puchner 1240 or 1150)

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

Small Group Activity: Ethical Conflicts

Week 5

T, 9-8

Neruda, poetry (Puchner 589 or 604 and Poetry Foundation) [Chile]

MLA Style: Citing

R, 9-10

Neruda, continued

Deigh, Chapter 3 Eudaimonism (Deigh 56-92)

Small Group Activity: Neruda's Cultural Politics


Week 6


T, 9-15

Walcott, poetry (Puchner 939 or 886 and Poetry Foundation) [Saint Lucia]

Deigh, Chapter 4 Utilitarianism (Deigh 93-122)

Exam Topics

Small Group Activity: Reading Ethics

R, 9-17

Walcott, continued

Recommended: BBC World Book Club, "Derek Walcott"

Week 7

T, 9-22

Midterm Exam Due

Writing Day / Expanded Office Hours

R, 9-24

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

Small Group Activity: The Elements of Allende's House

Week 8

T, 9-29

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

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

R, 10-1

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

Small Group Activity: The Elements of Allende's House (Redux)

Week 9

T, 10-6

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

Recommended: BBC World Book Club, "Isabel Allende"

R, 10-8

Wa Thiang'o, "Wedding at the Cross" (Puchner 1038 or 936)

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

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

Week 10

T, 10-13

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

Tyson, "Postcolonial Criticism" (GeorgiaVIEW)

Small Group Activity: Igbo Custom and Culture

T, 10-15

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

Small Group Activity: Postcolonial Criticism

Week 11

T, 10-20

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

Recommended: BBC World Book Club, "Chinua Achebe"

R, 10-22

Aidoo, "Two Sisters" (Puchner 993 or 916)

Head, "The Deep River" (Puchner 1098 or 997) [Botswana]

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

Small Group Activity: Developing the Ethics Paper

Week 12

T, 10-27

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

Small Group Activity: Disgraceful Ethics, Part One

R, 10-29

Ethics Paper Due

Writing Day / Expanded Office Hours

Week 13

T, 11-3

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

Small Group Activity: Disgraceful Ethics, Part Two

R, 11-5

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

Week 14

T, 11-10

The Middle East

Mahfouz, "Zaabalawi" (Puchner 881 or 863) [Egypt]

Pamuk, "To Look Out the Window" (Puchner 1275 or 1170) [Turkey]

R, 11-12

No Class: Professor at Virtual Conference

Week 15

T, 11-17

El Saadawi, "In Camera" (Puchner 1104 or 1003) [Egypt]

Al-Shaykh, "The Women's Swimming Pool" (Puchner 1165 or 1077) [Lebanon]

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

R, 11-19

Darwish, "Identity Card" (Genius) and poetry (Poetry Foundation) [Palestine]

Exam Topics

Week 16

T, 11-24

Darwish, concluded

R, 11-26

No Class: Thanksgiving Holiday


R, 12-3

Final Exam Due (11:00 Section)

F, 12-4

Final Exam Due (9:30 Section)