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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Leroy F Searle
C LIT 211
Seattle Campus

Literature and Culture

Study of literature in its relation to culture. Focuses on literature as a cultural institution, directly related to the construction of individual identity and the dissemination and critique of values.

Class description

[REVISED, 9-4-09] This lecture course provides a critical introduction to the study of literature and culture, with texts drawn from several languages, cultures and traditions. All reading is in English. At the center of the course are five literary texts (one play and four major novels) and selected poetry by Canadian, English, American, German, French and Spanish poets. The course will focus primarily on historically important texts, with numerous assignments for discussion sections on learning to analyze and write about literary texts. The course will be intellectually demanding, but there are no pre-requisites.

Assigned texts are the following

William Shakespeare, King Lear (Norton Critical Edition) Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (Norton Critical Edition) Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter (Norton Critical Edition) Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina (Penguin) Selected essays and poems in a course reader

There will be several short written assignments and brief weekly reading quizzes. The course carries "W" course credit, in keeping the requirements in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The discussion sections are designed to provide you with opportunities in smaller groups to develop your ideas and explore the material assigned in greater detail.

Student learning goals

Reading and analysis of major literary texts

Discussion of critical issues concerning literature and culture

The required writing assignments will foreground reading and thinking about texts.

General method of instruction

Lecture with required discussion sections

Recommended preparation

No prerequisites

Class assignments and grading

Writing assignments on specific problems related to critical reading. Weekly brief quizzes on reading and lectures. Optional final examination on assigned reading: anyone satisfied with the grades earned throughout the quarter can opt to skip the final.

Evaluation of written assignments Participation in lecture section and discussion section Grades on weekly reading quizzes


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by Leroy F Searle
Date: 09/04/2009