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Narrative Genres

ENGL 103.401
TR 10:30-12

The purpose of this course is to present a variety of narrative genres and to discuss and illustrate the modes whereby they can be analysed. We will be looking at some shorter types of narrative: short story, the novella, and the fable, but also some extracts from longer works such as autobiography. While some the works will be from the Anglo-American tradition, a large number of others will be from European and non-Western cultural traditions and from earlier time-periods. The course will thus offer ample opportunity for the exploration of the translation of cultural values in a comparative perspective.

(a) readings; (b) written papers and reports; (c) exams and quizzes.
(a) Readings:
Details of the readings for each session are given below by date. You will be expected to read these texts in advance of the session in question and will be given credit for the quality (as opposed to quantity) of your questions and comments.
(b) written papers and reports:
There will be three paper assignments (each of no more than 5 pages): two short analytical papers which will consist of critiques of one or more of the works read in the class; the third will be a creative writing project involving the composition of a short narrative (with particular specifications).

The three short papers will be due by the dates identified on the course outline below.

(c) exams and quizzes:
There will be a final examination. It will consist of essay questions that will ask you to discuss different genres and the critical approaches that have been discussed in class. There will also be class quizzes on details in the readings.
The course will have a web-site for the posting of messages, but, equally important, to serve as a forum for participants in the class to share ideas about the readings with each other. The instructor and teaching assistants will also follow, and often participate in, these online discussions. Credit will be given for astute critical comments and probing questions.
Those students in the course who come to class regularly, do well on the writing assignments, and make comments on the readings in class, can expect to receive a grade of B (or perhaps B+). The award of the grade of A- or A will require a demonstration of excellence in some or all of the following areas:
exams and quizzes
paper writing
class discussion
website discussion participation
suggestions (in writing with description and explanation)
for new and/or alternative readings for the course
INSTRUCTOR: Professor Roger Allen, Asian & Middle Eastern Studies 840 Williams Hall; tel. 8-6337; e-mail: