Jane Austen's Writing Desk

Jane Austen’s Writing Desk

Syllabus: “The course syllabus is a general plan for the course; deviations announced to the class by the instructor may be necessary” (OVPI for Instruction)

Course Description: In this course we will engage in a leisurely and thorough examination of Jane Austen’s published and unpublished work. In addition to the novels most readers are familiar with (Northanger Abbey, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, and Persuasion) we will also read Austen’s juvenilia. Along the way, we’ll be reading quite a bit of literary criticism, much of which can be found in the Norton Critical editions that I’ve asked you to purchase. After we read Pride and Prejudice, we’ll be looking closely at that novel’s popular afterlife in literary fiction and fan fiction, so we’ll be reading Longbourn, fan fiction, and at least one other Austen-inspired novel. We’ll also have a class visit from Sonia Kamal, the author Unmarriageable,  which resets Pride and Prejudice in contemporary Pakistan. At the very end of the semester, we’ll be looking at Jane Austen’s presence elsewhere in the public sphere, focusing on fan fiction, but also looking at Austen inspired illustration, art, and crafts.

Attendance: More than three unexcused absences prior to midpoint will result in your being dropped from the roll. After three absences over the course of the semester, your final grade will be negatively effected. I also expect you to come to class on time; late arrivals will be noted.

Assignments must be read before the day they are to be discussed: Go over the literature attentively and, if necessary, repeatedly. Please don’t just skim the material. I would suggest that you keep an informal reading journal in which you note any questions about the assignment, as well as your responses to the material; you should also take copious notes within your texts.

Exams and Essays: I will not give make-up exams or accept late essays. If a pressing emergency arises, please contact me prior to the due date, if at all possible.

Internet Resources: There are several internet sites which should be of interest to you; the internet can serve as an invaluable resource if you use it wisely. If you do use material from the internet, please cite it appropriately by date of access and web site location. Please refer to the MLA Handbook for specifics. I have several websites and blogs listed on the Post-Austen Materials page.

A Culture of Honesty: Although all of your papers can be completed without recourse to outside sources, you may on occasion want to consult critical works. According to the Office of the Vice President for Instruction, “All academic work must meet the standards contained in ‘A Culture of Honesty.’ Students are responsible for informing themselves about those standards before performing any academic work.” Please visit the OVPI website for more information. Suspected cases of plagiarism will be turned into the appropriate campus authorities.

Buying essays over the internet is not a wise use of its resources. I am aware of the pertinent sites and will periodically check them for available essays on the material covered in this class.

Listserv: I’ll be creating a class listserv as the best means to contact you about changes to the schedule and assignments. You should use the list to pose questions about the course and to set up study groups for the exams.

Listserv Address: TBD

Office Hours: Please note my office hours. I urge you to make use of them; I’ll be there every week just to answer questions, talk about papers, the reading, how the class is going, etc. If you need to speak with me and you can’t make it to my office hours, talk to me after class about scheduling an appointment.

End of term course evaluations: At the end of the semester, you’ll be asked to complete an online evaluation of this course. Please do take the opportunity to respond to the course and its content. The English department now participates in the online system. At the end of the semester, you’ll be asked to visit the Franklin College’s secure site to record your evaluation.