English 311: Honors Seminar

Michael Gamer

Class Meets: Wednesdays, 2-5

Office: 203 Bennett Hall, ph: (215) 898-7346

Course Homepage: http://www.english.upenn.edu/~mgamer/Teaching/311


Course Description:

This seminar is the first of the new Honors program, and will be provide us with a venue to discuss your own research work while you prepare your Honors essays. For this reason the course will have a dual function. First, it will serve as a venue for discussing issues that arise with larger projects. As a result, we will spend some time working with library and computing staff, as well as discussing five common texts during the semester. Second, it will act as a workshop for your works-in-progress--where we will read and help one another as we move toward finishing our projects. Our aim will be to understand the fundamentals of real literary research, and to produce an essay of substantial length on a literary or linguistic topic, written under the supervision of an outside faculty adviser.



Bram Stoker, Dracula (Norton Critical Edition). ISBN 0-393-97012-4.


Articles and/or Book chapters:

1. Stephen Arata, "The Occidental Tourist," Victorian Studies 33:4 (1990), 621-45

2. Christopher Craft, "'Kiss Me with Those Red Lips'," Representations 8 (1984), 107-130.

3. Judith Halberstam, from Skin Shows, pp. 86-106.

4. Jani Scandura, "Deadly Professions," Victorian Studies 40:1 (1996), 1-30.


Course Calendar:


January 9 and 16: Discussion of Dracula. For January 9th read the Craft and Scandura, for January 16th the Arata and Halberstam.


January 23: No class. Those up for January 30 should get their materials to us now.


January 30, February 6, 13: First set of workshops. Think now about when you'd like to volunteer. For these, I'd like you to provide a short prospectus of what you see the project as being, and a chunk of prose. On January 30 will be Akiva Fox, Alex Wong, and Jonathan Petts. On February 6 will be Sarah Murphy, Suzy Berger, Laura Chu, and Afia Ofori-Mensa. On Februrary 13 will be Melissa Torres, Rudy Ramirez, Brenner Thomas, Yaran Noti, and Elizabeth Ketels.


February 20: No class. Those up for January 30 should get their materials to us now.


February 27, March 6, 20 (note no class March 13): Second set of workshops. For these we'll need something approaching a full draft. On Feb 27 we'll have Sarah Murphy, Jonathan Petts, and Brenner Thomas. On March 6 will be Suzy Berger, Akiva Fox, Yaran Noti, Melissa Torres, and Elizabeth Ketels. On March 20 will be Afia Ofori-Mensa, Rudy Ramirez, Alex Wong, and Laura Chu.


March 27: No class. Those of you who want another workshop -- we can arrange between us to meet if you'd like.




By March 6: You should hand a draft of your thesis to your outside reader.


By April 1: Final theses due to me and outside readers and to me. On this day, we'll have a bit of a celebration.


By April 15: Your outside reader and I will return your theses along with a decision about whether the thesis will receive Honors. Whether you receive Honors or not will not affect your grade in English 311. In cases where your reader and I both agree (either Honors or no Honors), the thesis will end there without revision. In cases where your reader and I are split, we will send the thesis to the Undergraduate Executive Committee. It is possible that either of us may ask you for revisions to the thesis -- in this case you'll need to resubmit by April 22. Last year a number of outside thesis directors required this.


At the senior majors party (usually May 1st, but perhaps earlier this year): we'll announce the Honors recipients. You should plan to attend this party, since it will be in your Honor.