Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session
The theme for this class is "American Revolution." We will read authors who record, on the one hand, the failures of the American revolution, with its dream of democracy and freedom for all, and on the other hand the potential for narrative to reenact that revolution successfully. In different ways, these authors overturn traditional or unethical authority through their literary innovations. Although certain classic American historical, political, and cultural issues will be at the center of our study--democracy, slavery, gender equity, social reform--we will concern ourselves primarily with literary strategies, with language and its uses. Essays will pursue close readings of the texts and develop students' abilities to think creatively and critically about fictional works.
This is a HASS-CI course. Like other communications-intensive courses in the humanities, arts, and social sciences, it asks students to produce 20 pages of polished writing in 3 assignments, one of which is a required revision, with a second revision optional. It also offers substantial opportunities for oral expression, through in-class reports, student-led discussion, and class participation. The class has a low enrollment that ensures maximum attention to student writing and oral expression. In cases where the enrollment rises above 18 students, a writing tutor will be available for consultation on drafts and revisions.
This course has been planned in conjunction with the MetaMedia Project at MIT to develop uses of electronic media in the humanities classroom. We will be exploring online texts, visual arts, film, and music in relation to the texts studied in class and will work with a database of materials that will support research, writing, and in-class presentations. No technical experience is necessary.
This is a discussion course where your attendance and participation in class are vital to your success and that of the group.
Plagiarism attacks freedom and integrity of thought and violates the trust of the academic community. Especially in a class that will depend to some extent on online research, you must know what constitutes plagiarism and avoid it. The Literature Department has formulated this statement and policy for all plagiarism cases:
Plagiarism--use of another's intellectual work without acknowledgement--is a serious offense. It is the policy of the Literature Faculty that students who plagiarize will receive an F in the subject, and that the instructor will forward the case to the Committee on Discipline. Full acknowledgement for all information obtained from sources outside the classroom must be clearly stated in all written work submitted. All ideas, arguments, and direct phrasings taken from someone else's work must be identified and properly footnoted. Quotations from other sources must be clearly marked as distinct from the student's own work.
MIT's academic honesty policy can be found on the Policies & Procedures site.