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2021 Spring

ADVANCED SEMINAR IN SHAKESPEARE - LIT320/LIT520 Spring 2021


Course
Andrew Giarelli
For information about registration please contact our admissions.

We'll start by closely reading selected sonnets and comedies from the 1590s, the climactic decade of the Elizabethan era. Then we'll closely read selected tragedies and one romance from the early 17th century, the dawn of the Jacobean era. We'll pay attention not only to the socio-historic context but also to the long history of Shakespeare criticism.

Advanced Seminar in Shakespeare

Course code: LIT 320/520

Semester and year: Spring 2021

Day and time: Mondays 14:45-17:30

Instructor: Andrew L. Giarelli, Ph.D.

Instructor contact: andrew.giarelli@aauni.edu

Consultation hours: Tuesdays 12:00-14:00 on MS-Teams

 

Credits US/ECTS

3/6

Level

Advanced

Length

15 Sessions

Pre-requisite

TOEFL iBT 71 (undergrad) /TOEFL iBT 80 (grad)

Contact hours

42 hours

Course type

BA/MA Required/Elective

1.   Course Description

“He was not of an age, but for all time!” – Ben Jonson[1]

 

So far Ben Jonson, Shakespeare’s admiring rival, has been right. That is partly why reading Shakespeare is so challenging and rewarding. How shall we understand his love sonnets, for example? By our understandings of “love”, or by his? How did he – or his culture, many contemporary critics would say instead – understand “love”? Or – in his plays – history, or gender, or nationhood, or religion, or our very concepts of the self and the universe? How do we accomplish an understanding of Shakespeare’s writing within the context of his culture? Is that even possible, or worth trying to do? Are there other ways to read Shakespeare, and what were and are they? If nothing else, we ought to start with a little humility, given all those questions.

We will start by closely reading selected sonnets from the 1590s, the climactic decade of the Elizabethan era. Then we will closely read one comedy, two histories, two tragedies and one romance from the early 17th century, the dawn of the Jacobean era. We will pay attention not only to the socio-historic context but also to the long history of Shakespeare criticism.

2.   Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:

  • closely read selected sonnets and plays from the 1590s, in other words during the climactic years of Elizabethan England
  • closely read some of the tragedies and one of the romances, written at the dawn of the subsequent Jacobean era.
  • Understand the main threads of Shakespeare criticism, including modernist and postmodern/postcolonial approaches.
  • Understand the socio-historic context of the works.

3.   Reading Material

Required Materials (for both undergrad and grad students)

Primary Works:

Shakespeare, William.

                                                          

Articles:

  • Auden, W. H. “The Joker in the Pack.” In Brodhead, Richard and Mack, Maynard (eds.), y, Carol Thomas. Shakespeare's Middle Tragedies: A Collection of Critical Essays. New York: Prentice Hall, 1993, 75-90.
  • Frye, Northrop. “The Argument of Comedy.” In Grande, Troni Y., and Garry Sherbert, editors, Northrop Frye's Writings on Shakespeare and the Renaissance, vol. 28. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2010, 3–13. Also in Lauter, Paul, Theories of Comedy. New York: Doubleday (Anchor Books), 1964, 450-60. URL: https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/view/12290257/northrop-frye-the-argument-of-comedy-facultad-de-humanidades

 

Recommended/Required Materials

Note: These readings are recommended for undergraduate students and required for graduate students. All materials are available on NEO.

  • Anderson, David. K. The Tragedy of Good Friday: Sacrificial Violence in King Lear. ELH 78:2 (Summer 2011), 259-86.
  • Baldo, Jonathan. “Exporting Oblivion in The Tempest.” Modern Language Quarterly 56:2 (June 1995), 111-34.
  • Cohen, Derek. “History and the Nation in ‘Richard II’ and ‘Henry IV’.” Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900 42:2 (Spring 2002), 293-315.
  • Dubrow, Heather. “Shakespeare's Undramatic Monologues: Toward a Reading of the Sonnets.” Shakespeare Quarterly, 32:1 (Spring 1981), 55-68.
  • Fineman, Joel.”Shakespeare's "Perjur'd Eye.” Representations 7 (Summer, 1984), 59-86.
  • Foakes, R.A. “Playhouses and Players.” In Braunmuller, A.R. and Hattaway, Michael, eds. The Cambridge Companion To English Renaissance Drama, 2nd Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. Chapter 1, 1-52.
  • Forker, Charles R. “Unstable Identity in Richard II,” Renascence 54:1 (2001), 3-21.
  • Kernan, Alvin B. “Othello: An Introduction.” In Harbage, Alfred (ed.), Shakespeare: The Tragedies. New York: Prentice Hall, 1965, 351-60.
  • Knight, G. Wilson. “King Lear and the Comedy of the Grotesque.” In Harbage (ed), Shakespeare: The Tragedies, 123-138. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1964.
  • Neely, Carol Thomas. “Women and Men in Othello: 'what should such a fool/Do with so good a woman?'” Shakespeare Studies 10 (1977), 133-58.
  • Sanchez, Melissa “Seduction and Service in The Tempest. Studies in Philology 105:1 (Winter 2008), 50-82.
  • Straznicky, Marta. “Shakespeare and the Government of Comedy: Much Ado About Nothing.” Shakespeare Studies 22 (1994), 141-72.

4.   Teaching methodology

Classes will consist of lectures and discussions. Your participation grade is based on substantive participation – I do ask individual students about the readings in class, and my method is to select a piece of text and to ask an individual student, for starters at least, to work through that text with me. I also ask graduate students questions about assigned critical readings, of which there are approximately one per Session (see above).

5.   Course Schedule

Date

Class Agenda

Session 1

Feb. 8

Topic: Introduction: Shakespeare and His Culture; The Sonnet Tradition

Description:

Reading: (in-class) Sonnets 8, 15, 18, 20

Assignments/deadlines:

Session 2

Feb. 15

Topic: Shakespeare's Sonnets and The Elizabethan/Jacobean

 Stage

Description:

Reading: Sonnets 60, 62, 73, 76, 94, 111, 116, 138

Grad Reading: Heather Dubrow, “Shakespeare’s Undramatic Monologues: Toward A Reading of the Sonnets,” Shakespeare Quarterly 32(1): 55-68.

Optional Reading: Foakes, R.A. “Playhouses and Players.” In Braunmuller, A.R. and Hattaway, Michael, eds. The Cambridge Companion To English Renaissance Drama, 2nd Edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. Chapter 1, 1-52.

Assignments/deadlines:

Session 3

Feb. 22

Topic: Comedy

Description:

Reading: Much Ado About Nothing, Acts I-III

Assignments/deadlines:

Session 4

March 1

 

Topic: Comedy

Description:

Reading: Much Ado About Nothing, Acts IV-V

Undergraduate and Graduate reading (all): Northrop Frye, “The Argument of Comedy.”

Grad reading: Straznicky, Marta. “Shakespeare and the Government of Comedy: Much Ado About Nothing.” Shakespeare Studies 22 (1994), 141-72. Assignments/deadlines:

 

Session 5

March 8

Topic: History

Description:

Reading: Richard II, Acts I-II

Assignments/deadlines:

Session 6

March 15

Topic: History

Description:

Reading: Richard II, Acts III-V

Grad Reading: Forker, Charles R. “Unstable Identity in Richard II,” Renascence 54:1 (2001), 3-21

Assignments/deadlines:

Session 7

March 22

Topic: History

Description:

Reading: Henry IV, Part 1. Acts I-III

Assignments/deadlines:

Session 8

March 29

Topic: History

Description:

Reading: Henry IV, Part 1. Acts IV-V

Grad Reading: Cohen, Derek. “History and the Nation in ‘Richard II’ and ‘Henry IV’.” Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900 42:2 (Spring 2002), 293-315.

Assignments/deadlines: Essay 1 due on NEO via Turnitin at 11:59 p.m. Friday, April 2.

April 5

NO CLASS: Easter Holiday and Mid-Term Break

Session 9

April 12

Topic: Tragedy

Description:

Reading: Othello, Acts I-II

Grad Reading: Kernan, Alvin B. “Othello: An Introduction.” In Harbage, Alfred (ed.), Shakespeare: The Tragedies. New York: Prentice Hall, 1965, 351-60.

Assignments/deadlines:

Session 10

April 19

Topic: Tragedy

Description:

Reading: Othello, Acts III-V

Undergraduate and Graduate reading (all): Auden, W. H. “The Joker in the Pack.” In Brodhead, Richard and Mack, Maynard (eds.), Shakespeare's Middle Tragedies: A Collection of Critical Essays. New York: Prentice Hall, 1993, 75-90.

Grad reading: Neely, Carol Thomas. “Women and Men in Othello: 'what should such a fool/Do with so good a woman?'” Shakespeare Studies 10 (1977), 133-58.

Assignments/deadlines:

Session 11

April 26

Topic: Tragedy

Description:

Reading: King Lear, Acts I-III

Assignments/deadlines:

Session 12

May 3

Topic: Tragedy

Description:

Reading: King Lear, Acts IV-V

Undergraduate and Grad Reading (all): Snyder, Susan. “King Lear: A Modern Perspective.” In The Tragedy of King Lear. Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine, eds. Washington, D.C.: Folger Shakespeare Library, 1996-2000.

Grad Reading: Anderson, David. K. The Tragedy of Good Friday: Sacrificial Violence in King Lear. ELH 78:2 (Summer 2011), 259-86. (Available through JSTOR)

Assignments/deadlines:

Session 13

May 10

Topic: The Romances

Description:

Reading: The Tempest, Acts I-III.

Assignments/deadlines:

Session 14

May 17

Topic: The Romances (Conclusion) and Final Exam Review

Reading: The Tempest, Acts IV-V.

Grad reading: Sanchez, Melissa E. “Seduction and Service in The Tempest. Studies in Philology 105:1 (Winter 2008), 50-82.

Assignments/deadlines:

1)   Essay 2 due on NEO via Turnitin at 11:59 p.m., Friday May 21.

2)   Final Exam posted at end of class and due on NEO at 11:59 p.m., Sunday, May 23.

6.   Course Requirements and Assessment (with estimated workloads)

Assignment

Workload (average)

Weight in Final Grade

Evaluated Course Specific Learning Outcomes

Evaluated Institutional Learning Outcomes*

Attendance and Class Participation

42

25%

Commitment to class discussions and evidence of critical thinking about texts.

1,2,3

Essays

60

40%

Ability to apply on paper the same tactics of attentive, close reading for nuances of meaning that we will hone in class.

1,2

Reading Quizzes

18

10%

Ability to answer fact-based questions designed to test whether student has done the assigned reading.

1,2

Final Exam

30

25%

Ability in a time-limited setting to synthesize insights developed over the semester into one or more cohesive essays comparing several of the works studied.

1,2

TOTAL

150

100%

 

 

*1 = Critical Thinking; 2 = Effective Communication; 3 = Effective and Responsible Action

7.   Detailed description of the assignments

Assignment 1: Class Participation: This is where you will not only show that you are carefully reading the works assigned, but also where you will develop and practice the skills you will use in your essays (see above). I will ask each of you questions designed to elicit hard thinking about the text in front of you, at least until and if we develop a pattern of full participation in the class.

Assessment breakdown

Assessed area

Percentage

Critical thinking

50

Commitment to class discussion

50

Assignment 2: Essays: Each essay must be approximately 1600-2000 words (2000-3000 for graduate students), about one of Shakespeare's works or one or more sonnets studied during the period leading up to which the essay is due. Your first essay must be about one of the works studied in Sessions 1-8, and your second about one of the works studied in Sessions 10. For the first essay, I shall offer topic suggestions, though you are not required to follow my suggestions (however, if you choose to pursue your own topic, I would like to discuss it with you beforehand). For the second essay, you will come up with your own topic.

Assessment breakdown

Assessed area

Percentage

Factual Knowledge of text

20

Clear Writing and Correct Grammar, Punctuation, Syntax

20

Correct MLA Style

10

Incisive, persuasive textual analysis

50

Assignment 3: Reading Quizzes. I will give the reading quizzes on selected dates, unannounced. Each will be worth 1 percent of your final grade. You cannot make up missed reading quizzes because their nature does not allow for a make-up, as noted below in General Requirements and School Policies: the grade for these is 0.

Assessed area

Percentage

Proof that you have read the text

100

 

Assignment 4: Final Exam. The final exam will consist of short answers and a choice of essay questions designed to get you to synthesize the thinking you have developed all semester into cohesive literary analysis of texts.

Assessed area

Percentage

Factual knowledge of texts

25

Critical thinking displayed in essay answers

50

Clear writing and correct grammar/punctuation/syntax

25

 

8.   General Requirements and School Policies

General requirements

All coursework is governed by AAU’s academic rules. Students are expected to be familiar with the academic rules available in the Codex and Student Handbook and to maintain the highest standards of honesty and academic integrity in their work.

Electronic communication and submission

The university and instructors shall only use students’ university email address for communication. It is strongly recommended that any email communication between students and instructors take place in NEO LMS.

Each e-mail sent to an instructor that is about a new topic (meaning not a reply to an original email) shall have a new and clearly stated subject and shall have the course code in the subject, for example: “COM101-1 Mid-term Exam. Question”.

All electronic submissions are carried out through NEO LMS. No substantial pieces of writing (especially take-home exams and essays) can be submitted outside of NEO LMS.

Attendance

Attendance is required. Students who are absent 35 percent of classes will be failed (or administratively withdrawn from the course if most absences are excused). Students might also be marked absent if they miss a significant part of a class (by arriving late or leaving early) as specified in the syllabus.

Absence excuse and make-up options

Should a student be absent from classes for relevant reasons (illness, serious family matters), s/he must submit to the Dean of Students an Absence Excuse Request Form supplemented with documents providing reasons for the absence. The form and documents must be submitted within one week of the absence. If possible, it is recommended the instructor be informed of the absence in advance. Should a student be absent during the add/drop period due to a change in registration this will be an excused absence if s/he submits an Absence Excuse Request Form along with the finalized add/drop form.

Assignments missed due to unexcused absences cannot be made up which may result in a decreased or failing grade as specified in the syllabus.

Students whose absence has been excused by the Dean of Students are entitled to make up assignments and exams provided their nature allows for a make-up. Students are responsible for contacting their instructor within one week of the date the absence was excused to arrange for make-up options.

Late work: No late submissions will be accepted – please follow the deadlines.

Electronic devices

Electronic devices (phones, tablets, laptops…) may be used only for class-related activities (taking notes, looking up related information, etc.). Any other use will result in the student being marked absent and/or being expelled from the class. No electronic devices may be used during tests or exams.

Eating is not allowed during classes.

Cheating and disruptive behavior

If a student engages in disruptive or other conduct unsuitable for a classroom environment of an institution of learning, the instructor may require the student to withdraw from the room for the duration of the activity or for the day and shall report the behavior to the Dean.

Students engaging in behavior which is suggestive of cheating (e.g. whispering or passing notes) will, at a minimum, be warned. In the case of continued misbehavior the student will be expelled from the exam and the exam will be marked as failed.

Plagiarism and Academic Tutoring Center

Plagiarism is “the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own original work.” (Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 2nd Edition, Random House, New York, 1993)

Turnitin’s White Paper ‘The Plagiarism Spectrum’ (available at http://go.turnitin.com/paper/plagiarism-spectrum) identifies 10 types of plagiarism ordered from most to least severe:

  1. CLONE: An act of submitting another’s work, word-for-word, as one’s own.
  2. CTRL-C: A written piece that contains significant portions of text from a single source without alterations.
  3. FIND–REPLACE: The act of changing key words and phrases but retaining the essential content of the source in a paper.
  4. REMIX: An act of paraphrasing from other sources and making the content fit together seamlessly.
  5. RECYCLE: The act of borrowing generously from one’s own previous work without citation; To self-plagiarize.
  6. HYBRID: The act of combining perfectly cited sources with copied passages—without citation—in one paper.
  7. MASHUP: A paper that represents a mix of copied material from several different sources without proper citation.
  8. 404 ERROR: A written piece that includes citations to non-existent or inaccurate information about sources
  9. AGGREGATOR: The “Aggregator” includes proper citation, but the paper contains almost no original work.
  10. RE-TWEET: This paper includes proper citation, but relies too closely on the text’s original wording and/or structure.

 

As the minimum policy the types of plagiarism from 1 through 8 results in the failing grade from the assignment and must be reported to the Dean. The Dean may initiate a disciplinary procedure pursuant to the Academic Codex. Allegations of bought papers and intentional or consistent plagiarism always entail disciplinary hearing and may result in expulsion from AAU.

If unsure about technical aspects of writing, students are encouraged to consult their papers with the tutors of the AAU Academic Tutoring Center. For more information and/or to book a tutor, please contact the ATC at: http://atc.simplybook.me/sheduler/manage/event/1/.

Students with disabilities

Students with disabilities are asked to contact their instructor as soon as possible to discuss reasonable accommodation.

9.   Grading Scale

Letter Grade

Percentage*

Description

A

95 – 100

Excellent performance. The student has shown originality and displayed an exceptional grasp of the material and a deep analytical understanding of the subject.

A–

90 – 94

B+

87 – 89

Good performance. The student has mastered the material, understands the subject well and has shown some originality of thought and/or considerable effort.

B

83 – 86

B–

80 – 82

C+

77 – 79

Fair performance. The student has acquired an acceptable understanding of the material and essential subject matter of the course, but has not succeeded in translating this understanding into consistently creative or original work.

C

73 – 76

C–

70 – 72

D+

65 – 69

Poor. The student has shown some understanding of the material and subject matter covered during the course. The student’s work, however, has not shown enough effort or understanding to allow for a passing grade in School Required Courses. It does qualify as a passing mark for the General College Courses and Electives.

D

60 – 64

F

0 – 59

Fail. The student has not succeeded in mastering the subject matter covered in the course.

* Decimals should be rounded to the nearest whole number.

Prepared by and when: Andrew L. Giarelli, Ph. D. Nov. 6, 2019

Approved by and when:

 

[1]

 

 

            “To the memory of my beloved, the Author,” from Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies, 1623, aka the “First Folio” edition)

Here is the course outline:

1. Lesson 1: Shakespeare and His Culture; The Sonnet Tradition

2. Lesson 2: Shakespeare's Sonnets and the Elizabethan/Jacobean Stage

3. Lessons 3-4: "Much Ado About Nothing" Supplementary Material

4. Lessons 5-6: Richard II

5. Essay 1 Ideas

6. Weeks 10-11: King Lear

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