Dr. L. Adam Mekler 
Hum212: 2 & 5
Spring 2013
Office:  Holmes Hall 228
Office Phone: (443) 885-4032
Email@Morgan: adam.mekler@morgan.edu
Class Homepage: http://l-adam-mekler.com/212links.htm
** Any revisions to this syllabus will be posted on our class page. **

Students MUST visit the class homepage regularly in order to remain current with assignments. All announcements posted on the web site are officially binding for all students, whether they attend class or not.  This is especially important for snow days or other unexpected cancellations of class.   Students are also responsible for all information posted on the web page, including but not limited to the attendance policy and the plagiarism policy, as well as all information transmitted during classroom discussion.

Go To Assignments For:
Jan/Feb March  April  May
Course Requirements

Required Texts:

Students are required to bring all necessary books with them to class. There will be periodic book quizzes, during which any students who don't have the assigned reading with them WILL lose a full point off the final average.  On-line versions are available for most readings, especially at the beginning of the semester, so economic hardship, while certainly a reality for many of us, does not constitute a valid excuse in this context.  Please come speak with me if you have any questions.

In addition to assigned readings and homework questions, which must be completed before coming to class, there will also be one (1) brief (1000 word minimum) critical response paper, one (1) museum response paper (500 word minimum), in addition to one (1) documented research paper (2500 word minimum), with at least six (6) documented secondary sources. You will also take part in a group presentation of a minimum thirty minutes to be given during the second part of the course.  There will also be a mid-term and a final examination.

All papers will follow MLA format: Typed, double-spaced, using parenthetical citations and a works cited page, including references made to the textbook.  The main point of the response papers is to allow you the opportunity to explore specific aspects of texts that you find interesting in terms of the literary terms we discuss:   metaphor, imagery, symbolism, setting, theme, etc. Basically, you will be exploring the ways in which use of such devices helps to develop the important themes of the works, etc., but the specific focus is largely up to you.  For the research paper ,  you will be required to use secondary sources to help support the argument you develop.

The museum response paper is a little more informal.  You will still follow proper MLA guidelines, but you will focus on a particular piece or exhibit that you saw, explaining in detail what it was that particularly interested you about it. Secondary source discussion is NOT necessary nor desired. Do Not Just Duplicate the Information Provided on the Little Plaque. That is Plagiarism and you WILL FAIL.  Just describe in your own words what YOU saw. A more detailed discussion of requirements can be found here .

Museum Paper  5%
Critical Response Paper 5% A: 90-100
Homework 10% B: 80-89
Class Participation/Attendance (See Policy ) 10% C: 70-79
Group Presentation  10% D: 60-69
Research Paper  20% F: 0-59
Mid-Term Exam  20%
Final Examination  20%

Reading List (Subject to Subtle Revision):
Jan 23 Course Introduction 

"The Humanities Today," xxv-xxvi 
European Background, 411-17 

28 Petrarch, 601-2
Shakespeare, 422 
Sonnet #18, 606 
Sonnet #130 

30 Sonnets, cont.
Feb 1
Shakespeare, Othello, Acts. 1-2, pp. 506-41

Shakespeare, Othello, Acts. 1-2, cont.

Shakespeare, Othello, Acts 3-5, pp. 542-99

Mitchell-Quarles Convocation

Shakespeare, Othello, Acts 3-5, cont.

11 Shakespeare, Othello, concl.
Discussion of Group Discussion Questions

13 American Perspective, 3-8 
African-American Literature, 101-5 
African-American Poetry, 133-35 
Phillis Wheatley, 136-37 
“On Being Brought From Africa” 
"To His Excellency George Washington"
Walker, “In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens” 

14 Frederick Douglass Convocation

15 Wheatley / Walker cont.

18 Equiano, Chs. 1-3, 193-217 
from Chs. 4 and 5, 

20 Equiano, cont.

21 MLK/Malcolm X Convocation

Douglass, 271-91

25 Douglass, 292-315

Author's Preface 
Editor's Introduction 
Chs. I-XI, 217-43 
March 1
Jacobs, Chs. XIV-XXX, 243-70

Narratives Wrap-Up

Mid-Term Review 
Last Day to Submit Excuses and Assignments for the First part of the Course 

Mid-Term Examination (See Review )

11 Mid-Term Examination, cont.

13 Asian Background, 753-56 
Wei, 757 
Dau, 760
Group Presentation

15 African Background, 715-19 
African Poetry, 721-23
Tshakatumba, 726
Peters, 727-28
Group Presentation

18 ** Spring Break **

20 ** Spring Break **

22 ** Spring Break **

25 Research Paper Discussion

27 Njau, 733, 735-36 
Pereira, 737, 740-41
Group Presentation
Critical Response Paper Due (1000 word min.)

Women's History Month Convocation

29 African Narrative, 749-50
Achebe, 795-96
Things Fall Apart (Part One), 1-125
Glossary of Ibo Words and Phrases, 211-12
April 1
Achebe, Things Fall Apart (Part One), cont.

Achebe, Things Fall Apart( Parts Two & Three), 129-209

Honors Convocation

Achebe, Things Fall Apart, concl.
Last Day to Drop Undergraduate Classes

European Narrative,  625-28
Kafka, 688-712 
Group Presentation
Research Paper Topics Due  

10 European-American Literature, 9-11
European-American Poetry, 13 

Dickinson, 14-15 
Frost, 16-17 
Roethke, 18-19
Group Presentation

Chopin, Chs. 1-20, pp.28-65

15 Chopin, Chs. 1-20, pp.28-65, cont.

17 Chopin, Chs. 21-39, pp. 66-99 

19 Native American Literature, 381-98
Group Presentation
Last Day to Submit Final Research Paper Topics 
** No Paper Will Be Accepted if Topic is Not APPROVED by Today **

22 Latin American Literature, 399
Borges, "The Garden of the Forking Paths," 402-7
Group Presentation

24 African-American Poetry, 133-35
McKay, 144, 147-48
Toomer, 149-51
Group Presentation

26 Hughes, 159-60, 164-65 
Angelou, 186-89 
Group Presentation
** I Love Morgan Day **

29 Wright, “Ethics of Living Jim Crow,” 316-24 
Group Presentation
May 1
Wright, “The Man Who Lived Underground,” 325-52 
Group Presentation

 African-American Theater, 107-11 
Wilson, Fences, Introduction, etc.
Act One, pp.1-58
Research Paper Due 

Wilson, Fences, Act Two, pp. 59-101

Final Exam Review 
Museum Paper Due
Final Day to Submit Excuses and Assignments for Second Part of Course

TBA Final Exam

Francesco Petrarch (1304-1374)

     It was the morning of that blessed day
     Whereon the Sun in pity veiled his glare 
      For the Lord's agony, that, unaware, 
       I fell a captive, Lady, to the sway 

  Of your swift eyes: that seemed no time to stay 
   The strokes of Love: I stepped into the snare 
    Secure, with no suspicion: then, and there 
    I found my cue in man's most tragic play. 

  Love caught me naked to his shaft, his sheaf, 
    The entrance for his ambush and surprise 
   Against the heart wide open through the eyes, 

    The constant gate and fountain of my grief: 
     How craven so to strike me stricken so, 
    Yet from you fully armed conceal his bow! 


William Shakespeare (1564-1616) 

Sonnet #18:  "Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?" 

     Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? 
     Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
     Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, 
     And summer's lease hath all too short a date: 
     Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, 
     And often is his gold complexion dimm'd; 
     And every fair from fair sometime declines, 
     By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd; 
     But thy eternal summer shall not fade 
     Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest; 
     Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade, 
     When in eternal lines to time thou growest: 
        So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, 
        So long lives this and this gives life to thee.


Sonnet #130: "My Mistress's Eyes are Nothing Like the Sun" 

     My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun; 
     Coral is far more red than her lips' red; 
     If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun; 
     If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head. 
     I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
     But no such roses see I in her cheeks; 
     And in some perfumes is there more delight 
     Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks. 
     I love to hear her speak, yet well I know 
     That music hath a far more pleasing sound; 
     I grant I never saw a goddess go; 
     My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
         And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare 
         As any she belied with false compare. 

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