5. Course Requirements
The class format will be a seminar, with lots of discussion and some lecture.
Your job is not to walk into the classroom as a blank slate, ready to write down what your professor says the literary works mean, so that you can spit it (or something you memorized from Spark Notes) back on an exam. Rather:
Present your own original, examined, organized reactions to the readings, carefully supported by direct quotations.
There are many "right answers" in literary interpretation, and some of them conflict with each other; however, diversity of interpretation is not the same thing as "anything goes"; nor does it imply that our job is to look up what the author says he or she wanted to accomplish.
Because an author's original words are the primary source for any literary interpretation, it should goe without saying that students should keep up with the readings. You will need some time to reflect on the readings in order to participate meaningfully in a collaborative learning environment, and to that end, some assignments are designed to encourage to you start you reading early.
- Even though it is *possible* to read "Puff, the Magic Dragon" as a celebration of marijuana culture, that possibility does not preclude other, possibly more productive, readings.
- Even though the the guy who wrote "Puff, the Magic Dragon" has gone on record denying the song has any drug-related meaning, that denial does not obliterate the significance the song has had for the drug subculture.
I will often send out bulk e-mails to the address on file for you in GriffinGate. If you check a different address more regularly, please use SHU's e-mail forwarding service so that you don't miss important updates.
The most important requirement is that you carefully read the assigned texts. All the other work will come much more easily if you are familiar with the works (and bring them to class with you, so that you can consult them during class).