Irish Comic Writers
English 5371.001 Fall 2010
Professor Paul Cohen
Flowers Hall 359 245-7685 email@example.com
Office Hours: M-Th 3:30-4:30, Th 6:00-6:30, and by appointment
Course Web site: http://www.english.txstate.edu/irish/irish.html
The Irish have produced many of the funniest books in the language. We will try to discern the special characteristics of Irish literary humor and their relationship to Irish culture. Starting with Sterne, Wilde, Synge, and Joyce, we will then focus mostly on postwar works. We will also watch some movies.
The Department of English has adopted student learning outcomes for all its degree programs. These outcomes are available for review at www.english.txstate.edu/resources.
Laurence Sterne: Tristram Shandy
Oscar Wile: The Importance of Being Earnest (film)
John Millington Synge: The Playboy of the Western World
Samuel Beckett: Watt and Waiting for Godot
Flann O'Brien: At Swim-Two-Birds and The Third Policeman (in The Complete Novels)
Roger Boylan: Killoyle
Martin McDonagh: The Cripple of Inishmaan and The Lieutenant of Inishmore
You will only read excerpts from Tristram Shandy. You can read those excerpts, The Playboy of the Western World, excerpts from Joyce’s Ulysses and Finnegans Wake, and Waiting for Godot online, if you prefer. The links are on the syllabus at our course site. I would still recommend buying them, so that you can use them in class (very helpful) and keep them. They are all great and enjoyable works, and any graduate student in literature should have them.
You will need to use the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing, 3rd Edition, for your research paper. You may not use the 2nd Edition or the MLA Handbook.
REQUIREMENTS: You will write a critical essay of at least 750 words on an assigned topic, due by noon on September 26, for 25% of your course grade. You will write a research paper of at least 2,000 words, due by noon on November 19, for 50% of your grade; you may choose your own essay topic, subject to my approval, and I will suggest some possibilities. You will submit a final examination essay on December 11 for the remaining 25% of your grade.
GRADING POLICY: The three essays will primarily test your ability to think and write, and not to repeat course material. The high grades will go to the most convincing, most imaginative, most accurate, most thorough, and most effectively written essays. This is a graduate English course, and poorly written essays will not pass, regardless of their content. If you are not fully confident of your ability to write clear and error-free prose, I strongly urge you to visit the Writing Center in Flowers Hall G09 well before the first essay examination.
ATTENDANCE: I will expect you to attend all classes, and to arrive no later than the appointed time. Each class meeting constitutes more than 7% of the course.
ACADEMIC HONESTY: You are expected to follow the University Honor Code, which may be found at http://www.txstate.edu/effective/upps/upps-07-10-01-att1.html. Follow the rules about plagiarism which you learned in first-year English, and which are available in practically any college writing handbook. Plagiarism, whether deliberate or not, will result at least in a grade of 0 for the work in question, and, depending upon the nature and severity of the infraction, perhaps in a grade of F for the course.
STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS: Students who need special accommodations (as documented by the Office of Disability Services) should identify themselves at the beginning of the term. The Department of English is dedicated to providing these students with necessary academic adjustments and auxiliary aids to facilitate their participation and performance in the classroom.
CLASS SCHEDULE (subject to change):
August 26: Introduction and electronic resources
September 2: Laurence Sterne: Tristram Shandy
Vol. I, Chapters 1, 8-9, 12-15, 20-21, and 24-25
Vol. II, Chapters 1, 6-11
Vol. III, Chapter 20
Vol. IV, Chapters 9-15, 23-25
Vol. V, Chapters 1, 16-26
Vol. VI, Chapters 37-40
Vol. VII, Chapters 1-9
Vol. VIII, Chapters 6, 13
Vol. IX, Chapters 4, 14-20, 25-33
September 9: Oscar Wilde: The Importance of Being Earnest (film)
September 16: John Millington Synge: The Playboy of the Western World
September 23: James Joyce: Ulysses (excerpts)
September 30: James Joyce: Finnegans Wake (excerpts)
October 7: Mary Ellen Bute: Passages from James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake (film)
October 14: Samuel Beckett: Watt
October 21: Samuel Beckett: Waiting for Godot
November 4: Flann O’Brien: The Third Policeman
November 11: Roger Boylan: Killoyle
November 18: Martin McDonagh: The Cripple of Inishmaan and The Lieutenant of Inishmore
December 2: Graham Linehan (films)