M-W, Boyden Hall, 218, 12:20 – 1:35
Instructor: Melissa Freitas
Office: Burnell common area
Office hours: M-W-F, 8:00 – 9:00 and by appointment
In western cultural narratives, the Caribbean islands are portrayed as a sun-soaked, idyllic place where pleasure, luxury, and abundance are the norms of daily existence; however, history and literature offers us a more complicated story. Students will begin the semester by establishing a foundational knowledge of colonial and postcolonial frameworks as well as literary analysis techniques. Then, we will proceed to tackle the challenging issues of identity, gender, social and economic status, language, and religion through work of native born, expatriate, and Caribbean-American authors.
This class will encourage students to embrace intellectual processes such as exploring, questioning, interpreting, and (respectfully) arguing. As an instructor, I’m far less invested in hearing students give right or wrong answers than I am in engaging in a meaningful, open ended conversation with them about what we’re reading. In order to facilitate these discussions students will complete various writing tasks such as regular journaling, Blackboard discussions, and informal in-class writing assignments and group activities. In addition to these assignments, students will write one formal, researched essay in which they will argue for a thesis of their own devising.
Required Texts and Materials
The one book you must purchase for this course is The Oxford Book of Caribbean Short Stories. You will also be required to download and print out a number of texts that I will make available to you as either PDFs or internet links on Blackboard. You should also have access to a handbook that covers MLA citation. (Whatever you used for your ENGL 101 and 102 courses will be just fine.)
You should also purchase/have access to:
A Blackboard 9 account
A working BSU email address
A binder and folders for organizing handouts and drafts
A stapler and staples or paperclips
A portable USB drive
All students are expected to regularly attend class and actively participate; Students who miss more than six class meetings will fail the course for the semester. (This applies to any and all absences throughout the semester. There are no excused or unexcused absences.)
Your syllabus will be kept up to date and clearly outlines which assignments may or may not be turned in via email or made up. If you do not attend class on a date when I have scheduled such an assignment, you will not be allowed to hand it in at a later time.
If you are absent from class, it is your responsibility to check your syllabus to see what you missed that day and what is expected from you on the day you return to class. I am available by email if you have any questions. I do not accept absence as an excuse for coming to class unprepared.
Your syllabus clearly states what materials you need to bring to class in order to participate on any given day. If you do not come prepared (i.e. you do not have your book(s), handouts, an assignment or a draft that is due, etc.) then you cannot earn credit for any work we do that day.
Exceptions to this policy may be made at the instructor’s discretion, and will be limited to major events such as serious illness/ injury, hospitalization, the death of an immediate family member or a car accident. I will require appropriate documentation in order to make an exception.
Tardiness: Class begins promptly at the time stated on your syllabus. If you arrive more than fifteen minutes late, you will be unable to earn credit for any in-class work on that date.
In order to receive credit for a class period you must be present for the entire class. If you leave early, then your grade will be affected as though you had arrived late.
Formatting: All of your work must be typed and double spaced;…