Section 01 [HUM]
MWF 10:10 - 11:00 am.
3 Credits -- No Pre-Requisites
Pullman / Tri-Cities
SLN 03681 / 07894
Murrow W 55 / TWST 256
Introduction to Shakespeare
This course was created partly for non-English-majors who recognize that a university experience is not complete without at least one Shakespeare course but who may hesitate to enroll in a 300-level class they think will be filled with lots of literary and language virtuosi.
So, we'll read and see (primarily in the form of film clips) some Shakespeare plays, most of which will be selected by class vote. We'll give some attention to Tudor cultural studies and heretical consideration to the Authorship Controversy.
Why you want this course:
- You can finally work past the trauma of high school Shakespeare.
- Shakespeare essentially created our conception of what a human being is, of human psychology and human relationships. In other words, Shakespeare created us.
- How can you accept a university degree without having taken a Shakespeare class?
- Shakespeare shaped the English language more than anyone else, ever.
- It may be your last chance to master this key field of subtle literacy.
- Shakespeare cultivates sensitivity and sensibility. How much of that is in circulation these days?
- A guy who's been dead for four hundred years can make you laugh and feel something. That's a kind of miracle.
The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
Student Learning Outcomes:
At the end of the course, students should be achieved the following objectives. The Course Requirements detail how these outcomes will be addressed and evaluated in the class work.
- Students will gain exposure to basic terms in the study of dramatic literature, to Early Modern thought, poetic craft, and drama by poring over the works of one rather well-known English author.
- Students will increase intellectual maturation and clarification of their own values through examination of ideas and attitudes in literary/cultural contexts and especially through articulation of these in academic discourse.
- Students will develop skills in verbal analysis, critical thinking, and detection of subtlety through reading and communicating (in discussion and writing) about some tricky literature.
A significant part of at least your "job" of being a student this semester (but maybe also part of your life) is focusing on Shakespeare studies. Responsibly reading and studying Shakespeare can be demanding, but at least we have the opportunity to be doing it together as a learning community. The university provides a space and a time in which I, as instructor, do my best to craft an opportunity for engagement and learning (and, truth be told, the thrill of it all). In no strict numerical way, absences will end up affecting your final grade; but worse would be your general "absence": that is, approaching the class under the assumption that your education is a consumer product being served to you, that you can "multi-task" between class and your phone, that you can coast along with a cursory skimming of Sparknotes, that the experience should be reduceable to some kind of "study guide" (if it were, we wouldn't need to meet at all). Do you even have the capacity to be present and "plugged in" to the classroom experience? You will never realize how rewarding this can be unless you are.
Because classroom interaction is essential for this to be a valuable experience, and because occasional quizzes and homework writings will be exchanged and in-class voting will take place, absences will affect your grade regardless of reason. Here's the math:
I will frequently ask for relatively minor homework assignments to be turned in (or submitted electronically on the Angel system), designed primarily to stimulate subsequent discussion [although it will arise anyway because the readings are so provocative (i.e., cool)] and to practice conventions for writing about literature. At other times I will ask you to answer questions in writing in class, often ad lib responses to the reading before class discussion begins. Homework assignments and quizzes will receive numerical grades (points) and, although these writings cannot be made up (except for a couple optional writings that can take their place), the final semester totals will be curved if necessary.(30%)
Your presence will be required at two exams. No make-ups will be crafted for your convenience. Accompanying the in-class portions of each exam will be a written take-home essay turned in on the same day. Late essays will receive F grades; missing the exams or failure to turn anything in, even late, will result in an F for the course. (Each exam 30%)
Class participation and other service to the learning community will be expected (occasional group work, for example). (10%)
Some introductory advice about succeeding with homework and exams can be found here.
And here is an explanation of letter grades assigned to class work. No make-up exams or assignments will be constructed. No incompletes will be given.
Students with Disabilities:
I am committed to providing assistance to help you be successful in this course. Reasonable accommodations are available for students with a documented disability. If you have a disability and need accommodations to participate in this class fully, please either visit or call the Access Center (Washington Building 217; 509-335-3417) at the start of the semester to schedule an appointment with an Access Advisor. All accommodations must be approved through the Access Center. For more information contact a Disability Specialist on your home campus.
As an institution of higher education, Washington State University is committed to principles of truth and academic honesty. All members of the University community share the responsibility for maintaining and supporting these principles. When a student enrolls in Washington State University, the student assumes an obligation to pursue academic endeavors in a manner consistent with the standards of academic integrity adopted by the University. Any student plagiarizing on any assignment or cheating on any exam in this class will receive an F for the course and will be reported to the Office of Student Standards and Accountability, who remind us that Washington State University reserves the right and the power to discipline or to exclude students who engage in academic dishonesty. Cheating is defined in the Standards for Student Conduct WAC 504-26-010 (3). It is strongly suggested that you read and understand these definitions.
Safety and Emergency Notification:
Pullman: Washington State University is committed to enhancing the safety of the students, faculty, staff, and visitors. It is highly recommended that you review the Campus Safety Plan (http://safetyplan.wsu.edu/) and visit the Office of Emergency Management web site (http://oem.wsu.edu/) for a comprehensive listing of university policies, procedures, statistics, and information related to campus safety, emergency management, and the health and welfare of the campus community.
Here's what a couple students from several years ago thought you should know going into this class: http://www.wsu.edu/~delahoyd/shakespeare/strumpets.html.