SUFFOLK COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE
SELDEN, NEW YORK
Catalog Number: EG 42 Course Title: Introduction to Literary Criticism
Instructor: Dr. Donald Gilzinger Semester: Spring 2002
Office: Islip 2E Office Hours: M: 10:45-12:15, T, Th 9:15-11:00
W, Th 12:15-1:00
Phone: 451.4369 [inc. voice mail] Other hours available by appointment
Or Dept. Office 451.4159
Web page: http://www2.sunysuffolk.edu/gilzind
Objectives of the course:
IN ORDER TO PASS THIS COURSE, YOU MUST HAVE LEARNED TO:
1. recognize, distinguish, and analyze the essential characteristics and types of literary criticism.
2. demonstrate understanding of the historical development and vitality of literary criticism.
3. strengthen your scholarly analytical reading skills through close reading of selected texts including
the novel, drama, short stories, and poetry.
4. strengthen your scholarly analytical writing skills.
5. practice literary criticism through a variety of writing activities, classroom and list serve discussions,
and web-based research.
5. write essays of literary criticism which demonstrate the following qualities: controlling purpose,
clear focus, adequate development, logical organization, and use of textual details to support purpose.
Your requirements for completion of the course:
1. complete five short critical essays (each essay will use a different critical approach to a selected
text or texts). All essays must be word-processed or typed double-spaced. LATE ESSAYS WILL BE
MARKED DOWN ONE FULL GRADE PER DAY. IF YOU DO NOT HAND IN ALL YOUR ESSAYS, YOU
WILL FAIL THIS CLASS.
2. take the midterm examination.
3. take the final examination.
Plagiarism is pretending that an idea is yours when in fact you found it in a source. You are
guilty of plagiarism even if you thoroughly re-write the source’s words. One of the goals of education is
to help you work with and credit the ideas of others. When you use someone else’s ideas, whether from
a book, a lecture, a web page, a friend’s paper, or any other source, and whether you quote words or
restate the idea in your own words, you must give that person/source credit with a citation. If you have
any doubts whether or how to cite a source, you should consult with me or with the staff in the Writing
Center, Islip 101.
Keep all material, including notes and drafts, which leads you to the final draft of your paper. If I
request a copy of one of your essays on disk, you must provide me with one. Be aware that proof of
authorship is your responsibility. If there is ever a situation wherein I suspect plagiarism, the burden is
yours to prove otherwise: that means guilty until proven innocent. Your plagiarism will result in your
automatic failing of this course and your being reported to the Dean of Students.
Procedure for grading:
Your final grade will be determined by my evaluation of your entire semester's work, with special
emphasis on completion of course objectives, including an average of your essay, quiz, and exam grades.
Regarding attendance and courtesy:
Attendance is mandatory. You may be absent three (3) times. I will drop you from the course
after four (4) absences (regardless of excuses) and give you a grade of W or F according to my
discretion. There are no exceptions, so please plan accordingly.
If you are late, you must assume personal responsibility to ensure that I alter the attendance
record at the end of class. I will not change the record at a later date. Two lates equals one absence.
You may not leave class before the end of the session. Other disruptions such as chatting,
eating, pagers/phones going off, passing notes, and sleeping are unacceptable.
ABSENCE IS NOT AN EXCUSE FOR FAILING TO COMPLETE ASSIGNED WORK; therefore,
it is your responsibility to acquire class notes and assignments when you miss a class.
Bressler, Charles. Literary Criticism: An Introduction to Theory and Practice. 2/e.
Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1999.
Shakespeare, William. The Tempest. Boston: Bedford, 2000.
Chopin, Kate. The Awakening. 2/e Boston: Bedford, 2000.
Madden, David. A Pocketful of Poems: Vintage Verse. New York: Harcourt, 1995.
Madden, David. A Pocketful of Prose: Vintage Short Fiction. New York: Harcourt, 1992.
Semester outline: (subject to adjustment as needed)
1. Introduction; READ: The Awakening, The Tempest, “Young Goodman Brown,” and
“My Last Duchess”
2. Criticism and literature; READ: Bressler 1-14; the rationale of criticism
3. Historical Survey of Pre-Contemporary Criticism READ: Bressler 16-34
4. Review of The Awakening, The Tempest, “Young Goodman Brown,” and “My Last
5. New Criticism or Formalism READ: Bressler 36-47, Marvell “To His Coy Mistress”
READ: Brower in Shakespeare 183-202
6. Reader Response READ: Bressler 62-76
READ: Treichler in Chopin 352-73
7. Structuralism/Post-Structuralism READ: Bressler 87-100 and 114-33
8. Psychoanalytic READ: Bressler 147-63
9. Feminist READ: Bressler 178-91
READ: Thompson in Shakespeare 337-47
READ: Showalter in Chopin 202-21
10. MID-TERM EXAM
11. Marxist READ: Bressler 210-22
READ: Blake handouts
12. Cultural Poetics/New Historicism READ: Bressler 236-47
READ: Takaki in Shakespeare 140-72
READ: Stange in Chopin 274-90
13. Postcolonialism/Cultural Studies READ: Bressler 263-71
READ: Seed handout
14. Gender Studies/Queer Theory READ: theory handout
READ: Whitman handout
READ: LeBlanc in Chopin 237-55
15. FINAL EXAM