English 1102: Composition II
School of Literature, Communication & Culture
Office: Skiles 307
Office Hours: TR 11:00 AM - 12:00 noon (and by appointment)
Office Phone: 404.894.7626 (use email)
Course Web Site: http://www.lcc.gatech.edu/~goodwin/s06/1102.html
English 1102 is a writing-intensive composition course that
aims to develop students'
- written and oral communication skills through a variety of
formal and informal writing and presentation assignments
- critical reading of literary and film texts, practices, and
material objects through a cultural studies perspective
- expertise in conducting research through sustained semester-long
- proficiency in electronic writing environments
"Making," yes, but also "human skill as opposed to what is natural" and
"an ingenious expedient, a maneuver, stratagem, device, contrivance,
trick" (OED). We will see how writers maneuver, devise, contrive,
and trick their readers and speculate about the inherent desire to change
life through narrative artifice. Prospero's and Conchis's magical godgames
will begin and end our study, while we thread our way through Borges's
labyrinths in the middle. The technological promise and nightmare of
virtual world-creation is the subject of Cronenberg's eXistenZ,
and we'll consider the film as an extension of Borges's fictive
experiments. As the course serves as an introduction to analysis and
interpretation, you will be required to write two papers and create a
digital group project. There will also be informal weekly writing online.
- Shakespeare, William. The Tempest. ISBN: 00393978192
- Borges, Jorge. Collected Fictions. ISBN: 0140286802
- Cronenberg, David (dir). eXistenZ.
- Fowles, John. The Magus. ISBN: 0316296198
- Handouts (to be distributed)
- Handbook (from your 1101 class)
The books will be available from the Engineers' Bookstore. You should
purchase a copy of eXistenZ on your own. We will not screen it in
Assignments Overview and Grading Distribution:
- Analytic Essay 25%
"Analysis" means to break something down into its constituent elements and
describe them and how they interrelate in order to make a claim about the
whole. I will ask you to write an analytic paper on The Tempest
that considers one aspect of it in detail and argues how this
aspect is important for the interpretation of the text. The Norton
Critical Edition we'll be reading has numerous example analyses, and we
will talk about some important passages and critical debates that you
might choose to write about. The target length is approximately 1200
words, and the paper is due on 2/9.
- Research Essay 35%
This semester-long project will ask you to identify a topic that is
suggested by the course (but does not have to be limited entirely to the
course texts) about artifice and narrative production. You will
submit a proposal to me by 2/27. After you have identified a suitable
topic, you will investigate what has been written about it, summarize that
research, and offer your own interpretation of the given issue. Sample
topics might include an investigation of the concept of the narrator and
paradox in Borges' short fiction, how levels of reality are mediated in
eXistenZ, and how Fowles' meditation on artifice relates to
The Tempest and Borges. We will spend considerable class time on
procedures and ways to choose a suitable topic for this paper. This brief
description will be supplemented with more specific information as the
class continues. It will be due on the final day of class. A working
estimate for length is approximately 3000 words.
- Group Oral Presentation 15%
You will work in groups of approximately five to present an electronic
collaborative project using tools that you will choose in consultation
with me (conventional HTML, MOO, web log, Flash, Inform, inter alia) that
will outline either a working or a potential game that explores some of
the problems and paradoxes of interpretation. More specific guidelines for
the group project will
follow. They will be presented to the class on 3/14 and 3/16.
- Class Participation 15%
You are expected to come to class prepared and willing to contribute to
class discussions. You should have something substantive to add to every
class discussion. Contributing little or nothing to the class
discussions will result in a very low class participation grade.
Questions are just as useful as comments. If quizzes are given, as is
entirely possible, they will be grouped under this portion of your grade.
Collaborative exercises such as peer review will also fall under class
participation. Excessive absences and/or tardiness will cause your class
participation grade to suffer.
- WebCT postings and Responses 10%
We will use the WebCT software for threaded discussions on various topics
and the occasional chat. The threaded discussions will allow us to extend
and refine our class discussions, and your thoughtful and consistent
participation in them is required.
Software/Computing Resources and Requirements:
You will be expected to have internet access for on-line discussions
and to retrieve assignments.
I expect you to come to every class on time with your reading, written,
assignments completed and prepared to participate in class discussions and
work. If a reading is available on-line, you must print it out and bring
it with you (any
exceptions I will let you know about beforehand). You are allowed up to
unexcused absences over the course of the semester. After that, each
absence will lower
your participation grade considerably. Every three tardies will count as
absence. Legitimate emergencies should be discussed with me on a
Office Hours and Communication:
Office hours are for you. Please do not hesitate to come and talk with
whatever is on your mind about the course. Students who come to office
are uniformly more successful than those who do not (this is also true of
courses, I believe). If you cannot make my regular hours, please see me
after class or
send me an email to make an appointment. I am most easily reached via
email, and I
will make every effort to respond to your emails with alacrity.
- Be civil in class and electronic discussions.
- Pay close attention to the attendance policy.
- Avoid disrupting the class by turning off any noise-making devices
before class and
staying alert and focused during.
- Keep materials that I return to you as well as copies on disk.
All work you turn in for this class must be your own work, with all
sources properly cited and acknowledged. All written assignments for this
course will be
turned in through the anti-plagiarism program "Turn It In."
The "Student Conduct Code of the Rules and Regulations" (Georgia
Technology General Catalog, Section XIX) states that "academic misconduct
is an act that
does or could improperly distort student grades or other student academic
offers the following descriptive list:
- Possessing, using, or exchanging improperly acquired written or
in the preparation of any essay, laboratory report, examination, or other
included in an academic course;
- Substitution for, or unauthorized collaboration with, a student in the
- Submission of material that is wholly or substantially identical to
that created or
published by another person or persons, without adequate credit notations
- False claims of performance or work that has been submitted by the
- Alteration or insertion of any academic grade or rating so as to
- Forgery, alteration, or misuse of any institute document relating to
status of the student.
The Code also notes that "while these acts constitute assured instances of
misconduct, other acts of academic misconduct may be defined by the
Consult the Honor Code online at http://www.honor.gatech.edu or in
Catalog for more information. Students who
engage in academic dishonesty may receive no credit for the assignment or
fail the course. In
addition, the instance will be reported to the Dean of Students who may
Students with Disabilities:
Any student who feels that he/she may need an accommodation for any
disability, please make an appointment to see the instructor during office
Students with disabilities should also contact Access Disabled Assistance
Tech Students (ADAPTS) to discuss reasonable accommodations. For an
with a counselor call (404) 894-2564 (voice) / (404) 894-1664 (voice/TDD)
or visit Suite
210 in the Smithgall Student Services Building. For more information visit
SCHEDULE OF READINGS AND ASSIGNMENTS (NB: This is tentative,
days" signify class days that are open in case we fall behind or need them
for something else. I will advise you about what will happen on those days
T: 1/10: Course Introduction
R: 1/12: "A Solar Labyrinth" (Handout)
T: 1/17: The Tempest
R: 1/19: The Tempest (cont.)
T: 1/24: The Tempest (cont.)
R: 1/26: The Tempest (cont.)
T: 1/31: Research Procedures
R: 2/2: Research Procedures (cont.)
T: 2/7: Peer Review
R: 2/9: Analytic Paper Due; Introduction to Borges
T: 2/14: "Tlön Uqbar, Orbis Tertius"
R: 2/16: "Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote," "The Circular
T: 2/21: "The Library of Babel," "The Garden of Forking Paths"
R: 2/27: "The Theme of the Traitor and the Hero," "Death and the Compass"
T 2/28: "Ibn-Hakam al Bokhari, Murdered in his Labyrinth," "The Two Kings
and the Two Labyrinths"
R 3/2: "The Aleph"
T: 3/7: eXistenZ
R: 3/9: eXistenZ (cont.)
T: 3/14: Group Presentations
R: 3/16: Group Presentations (cont.)
T: 3/20: Spring Break (Read Fowles)
R: 3/22: Spring Break: (Read Fowles, seriously!)
T: 3/27: Fowles
R: 3/29: Fowles (cont.)
T: 4/4: Fowles (cont.)
R: 4/6: Work Day
T: 4/11: Fowles
R: 4/13: Fowles
T: 4/18: Final Paper Discussion
R: 4/20: Peer Review
T: 4/25: Peer Review
R: 4/27: Final Paper Due