Thinking and Writing about Lit

Essential Questions

  • What is literature?  What is its role in our personal lives and our culture?
  • What is criticism?  What is its role and function?
  • What should we consider when we write critically and analytically about literature?

Dialoging with the text

In class essay

Thurs 9/1
Introduction & Syllabus Overview

Collection of summer writing journals

Website, Google Classroom, and Remind

  • Setting up Remind (required either by text or email)
  • By text message, text 81010 and message @3da8b
  • By email, send an email to

HW:  Read over and sign syllabus and Oscar Wilde’s “The Critic as Artist”

Fri 9/2

Tues 9/6
Overview of the course

What does it mean to dialogue with a text?

Dialoging with Wilde and rules of how to act as a critic

HW:  Applying the rules to reading of Katherine Mansfield’s “The Garden Party”

Wed 9/7

Thurs 9/8
Discussing “The Garden Party”

In-class essay rubric

HW: Re-reading and adding to your annotations of “The Garden Party” paying attention to language, structure, and details

Fri 9/9
In-class response

HW:  Reading and annotating “Borges”

Mon 9/12

Discussing Borges

  • What are the main ideas of each lecture?
  • What questions do you have?  (Write two)
  • What impact does this have for you as a critic of literature?
  • How are Borges and Wilde in dialogue?

HW:  Jame Joyce’s “The Dead” in Dubliners

Tues 9/13
Working with Joyce

HW:  Writing the response on classroom

Wed 9/14

Further discussing Mansfield and Joyce

  • What new discoveries did you make about “The Dead” as you wrote your reading response last night?
  • What connections do you see thematically and stylistically between Joyce and Mansfield?

Overview of first portfolio and next two days

Choosing Mansfield or Joyce second piece

Thurs 9/15

Fri 9/16
Discussing pieces in small groups

  • Themes
  • Symbols
  • Motifs
  • Structure
  • Language
  • Modernist style

HW:  Work on portfolio responses

Mon 9/17
In-class work day

HW:  Submit response



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