21L.705 | Spring 2003 | Undergraduate

Major Authors: Oscar Wilde and the '90's


Work Expectations

  1. Attendance 

    Because we’ll do much of the work of this subject through discussions, naturally I’ll expect you to be actively here during class and to practice the skills of a good participant: informed attention, helpful contribution, generous and intelligent listening.

  2. Films 

    Come to one of the two screenings of Wilde, and to either the screening of An Ideal Husband (March), or to the screening of The Importance of Being Earnest .

  3. Papers 

    Each student in the class will be responsible for doing three papers for the seminar: one seminar paper, one paper of response, (analysis, evaluation, problematizing of the argument of the week’s readings: esentially a one-page set of questions to ask) and two strictly-factual papers, or “factoids,” of historical or cultural factuality.

The “response” component is trickier, if ostensibly simpler. As respondent, your job is to evaluate the argument, presentation, question, problematics of the readings, in order to lead us into discussions. You may critique, ignore, complement with other information; you may set a few questions for the discussion to follow.

The factoids are factual presentations, about 5 minutes long. They may or not be written and distributed.


Discussion in a seminar is much more important than the written work, to a ratio of 3 to 1. By “discussion” … well, see point 1 above. An “active” participant doesn’t talk ALL the time…..

Obligatory Inclusion

MIT Literature Statement on Plagiarism

Plagiarism–the 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 professor will forward the case to the Committee on Discipline. Full acknowledgement for all information received from sources outside the classroom must be clearly stated in all written work submitted. All ideas, arguments, and direct phrasings from someone else’;s work must be identifies and properly footnotes. Quotations from other sources must be clearly marked as distinct from the student’s own work. For further guidance on the proper forms of attribution, consult the style guides available on the MIT Website on Plagiarism.

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2003
Learning Resource Types
Activity Assignments