Lit 151 – Women Writers: The Twentieth Century
Fall 2000   MW 6:00-7:15   CLI G34
Instructor: Dr. Virginia Crank   Office: CLI 154   Phone: 654-4395 or
E-Mail:  or    654-4388
Office Hours: MWF 2:00-2:50

Course Descriptions: This course considers ways in which women have presented themselves and have been presented in texts from the mid-to-late nineteenth century to the present. Works will be primarily by women, from various communities and traditions. LIT 151 will focus on ways in which women have not only questioned the limits of traditional roles but also have created new ways to perceive, reflect, and transform their experience.

Required Textbooks and Equipment:
--Holdstein, Deborah H. The Prentice Hall Anthology of Women’s Literature.  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2000. (RVC bookstore)
--Atwood, Margaret. The Handmaid’s Tale. (any unabridged edition; RVC bookstore has a few copies, but you may find your own at a cheaper price)
--Loose-leaf paper folder for journal
--Blue or black ink pen

Course Requirements:
--Reading Response Journal (20%): For each story (or section of novel), you will write a journal response (that means one or more entries for every day of class). These informal journal responses allow you to write honestly about your reactions to and questions about each piece of literature and to begin to formulate your own ideas and interpretations. This journal will be in dialogue form; you will leave a 3-inch margin on each page of your journal to allow your classmates to respond to what you have written, adding to your own reactions, concurring with your reactions, answering your questions, etc. The response journal will be turned in each day, and you will be given a checkmark. Your journal will be evaluated only on the quality of your thinking, your effort to understand and interpret the stories, not on your writing ability or grammatical correctness. Each journal entry, for each story or section of a novel, should be at least one full page, which is approx. 350 words, handwritten (you don’t actually have to count!! Just fill a page.). Some evenings, you’ll be reading two stories or a story and a series of poems; for each story or group of poems, write a full page.
--Critical Essays (40%): You will write three short essays (2-4 pp. each); the first essay will be a report on an important historical event or movement or person in women’s history. I will hand out a list of topics for you to choose from. The other two essays will be literary analyses of stories from our reading list; you will be able to choose which stories to write about. You will be asked to find a specific point of interpretation in the text you have chosen and write an analytical essay about one specific element of the literature. See the course schedule for the specific due dates for these essays. I’ll give you a more detailed description of these assignments, and we’ll discuss them in class, after a week or two has passed.
--Exams (40%): In addition to a mid-term exam and a final, you will take one other exam during the semester. All exams will be essay exams and will ask you to use specific quotes and references from the texts to offer interpretations.

So your grade will be figured according to these point values:
                   Exam 1             100
                   Essay 1            100
                   Mid-term          150
                   Essay 2            150
                   Essay 3            150
                   Final                150
                   Journal            200

Other Policies:
· All papers must be typed, double-spaced, according to MLA format. You must not use any outside sources for the two literary analysis essay. You will, of course, need to use outside sources (and document them) for the history reports.
· Please use blue or black ink pen for all journals and exams.
· I DO NOT ACCEPT LATE WORK. All papers and journal entries are due on the dates indicated on the course schedule. I will grant extensions on paper due dates IF you contact me at least 24 hours prior to the due date.
· EXAMS AND JOURNAL ENTRIES CANNOT BE MADE UP. Please see me if an emergency arises.
· You are expected to come to class with the assignments read, ready to participate in class discussion. THIS IS NOT A LECTURE-BASED CLASS!!  I reserve the right to ask anyone to leave who is unprepared for class or not actively participating. I do not see it as my role in this class to tell you what to think about each piece of literature, to tell you what it “means.” I see it as my job to guide YOUR discussions of the various meanings and interpretations of each text.
· I have created an EdNet conference specifically for our class, and you are welcome to use that area to supplement our class discussion. All RVC students have EdNet accounts, and, if you are unfamiliar with EdNet, you can receive free training and tutoring through the PLC. I encourage each of you to join in asynchronous discussions of the literature, but I will not be requiring it.