Wednesday, January 30, 2008
One dead-line will change as a consequence: the Group Project Outline is now due in your February 4th or 6th tutorial. Otherwise, all is as it was.
A word regarding the reading schedule in relation to the Final Examination. Beside attending all lectures, the single most effective means of succeeding on the Final Examination is staying on top of the reading schedule. It will, I can say, be all but impossible--absent genius--to do well on the Final without having read smoothly & evenly throughout the Term.
Coming to lecture without having read the material is to be in the fog, interpretively speaking; and as literature studies are a training in extrapolating meaning (be it written, spoken or situational), cramming is all but worthless. On the other side of that coin, reading ahead of lecture (i.e. following the syllabus reading schedule) puts one in excellent position to do well on the Final Examination.
"A word to the wise doth suffice."
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Into the Valley of Death
Anger at vote-rigging has worked to rip a thin scab off many years of frustration at poverty, corruption and inequitable land ownership
From Saturday's Globe and Mail
January 26, 2008 at 12:28 AM EST
KIPKELION, KENYA — With the sun barely over the edge of the valley, the colours on the hills were muffled. The banana leaves were dull green, the sugar cane stalks pale yellow. And so the flames, when we saw them flare in first one house, then a second, then streets and streets on fire, were shocking, vivid orange, more alive than anything around.
Friday, January 25, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
For Monday's lecture, give some thought to what a Final Exam essay question based on the lecture on "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came"would look like.
"....the fact is that the Queen is....Commander-in-Chief and Canada's Head of State"...."A refusal to display loyalty and respect to the Queen where required by Canadian Forces' policy would not only be an expression of profound disrespect and rudeness but it would also represent an unwillingness to adhere to hierarchical and lawful command structures that are fundamental to good discipline."
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Sweeney Todd's name is seen in Victorian 'penny dreadful' newspapers and then 19th century melodrama, complete with his own catchphrase, "See how I polish 'em off!" .... This undercurrent of malevolence was compounded by the young Todd's bizarre interest in the instruments of torture displayed at the nearby Tower of London. To escape his parents' brawling, he lingered in the Tower's museum, where thumbscrews, racks and other macabre tools were displayed to discourage citizens from dissent.
Friday, January 18, 2008
[To my best recollection, the document was originally authored by Dr. Whatley of the Departments of English and Distance Education.]
Thursday, January 17, 2008
If this keeps up through the remainder of the Term, a question for bonus marks will be added to the Final Exam by way of respect.
For an account of the Charge, click here.
You can actually hear Tennyson himself reading the poem here (it is somewhat unstettling, actually, hearing a voice down through the ages) from a wax-recording arranged by another historic great; Thomas Edison.
In fact, speaking of great, here is the voice of one of the truly great: the angel of the Crimean War, the "Lady of the Lamp," Florence Nightingale.
Monday, January 14, 2008
Their new information poster is online here.
This long period of six weeks for the assignment allows for successive draughts to be worded and edited in seminar; both with peers and with the seminar instructor. The seminar instructer will provide you with a schedule for the dates of the draughts and discussion.
"Close Reading" in our context means reading the text carefully, paying attention first and carefully (i.e. closely) to the words and phrases: their diction, etymology, order, meter, metaphors, associations, and the like. It is starting with the particular before making remark on the general; letting, as far as possible, the poem speak to you before you speak to the poem.
When you have made notes and comments about the specifics, you can then write you discoveries up in essay form, and consider any conclusions about the author and his or her intentions and significance; historical, intellectual or æsthetic.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
The project creatively engages present-day Victorianism; either Victorian Cool, or Canadian Victoriana.
Victorian Cool includes
- Steampunk (e.g. the Steamboy anime, books like Gibson & Sterling's The Difference Engine, pop-culture artifacts like Victorian action figurines, etc.);
- Gaslight graphic novels (e.g. Batman: Gotham by Gaslight, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, etc.)
- Neo-Victorian movies (e.g. From Hell (i.e. on Jack the Ripper); Sweeney Todd; various Sherlock Holmes adaptations; etc.)
Canadian Victoriana presents aspects of the fact that Canada is a Victorian country.
- Our province (British Columbia) and its original capital city (New Westminster) were named by & in honour of Queen Victoria, and our current capital is named after & in honour of her.
- Our neighbouring province is named by her & in honour of her husband.
- Our nation's Confederation -- in 1867 -- was a Victorian event: in her parliament & with her involvement.
- Queen Victoria's father lived & administered the military in Canada for over a decade; the Duke of Kent lived for nearly thirty years with a French-Canadian mistress (Adelaide Dubus, with whom, in all likelihood, he had illegitimate offspring) until his 1818 marriage to another woman, who became Victoria's mother.
The project can take the form of a blog; a video-taped theatrical presentation, documentary, a short film, etc.; a written collection; or any creative form of presentation.
The objective is to give evidence of a creative engagement with and understanding of the Victorian character; as a means of better comprehending the period and cultural character of the Age under our present literary study.
On the last seminar day of term -- April 2nd or April 7th -- hand in along with the project any hard copy material -- scripts, blog URLs -- that you wish to have included in the grading.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Steampunk superheroes: who knew?
Friday, January 11, 2008
I came across this oblique & tendentious article in the Daily Telegraph on the predominance of women at the political head of England following on from Victoria's eminent sixty-four year regnancy:
Have you noticed that modern Britain is the most matriarchal society in the history of the world? The four most famous figures in the public service since the war have been women - the Queen Mother, the Queen, Diana, Princess of Wales and Margaret Thatcher.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
On this day in 1845 Robert Browning wrote his first letter to Elizabeth Barrett, so inciting one of the most legendary of literary love stories. The letter belongs to the 'fan mail' category -- the praise of a thirty-two-year-old up-and-comer for one just six years older and already internationally famous -- but it was more than just poet-to-poet. After commending "the fresh strange music, the affluent language, the exquisite pathos and true new brave thought," Browning confides that he is addressing "your own self," and that "for the first time, my feeling rises altogether."
- Iamb: a two syllable 'foot' or pattern - unstressed/stressed, or short/long. "Computer" is an iamb.
- Pentameter: a meter with five (Gr. = 'penta') feet (two-syllable pairs) in a line.
- Iambic Pentameter: a line of poetry, such as found in a sonnet or in blank verse, with five iambs. From Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, "But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks" is iambic pentameter.
- Trochee: opposite of an iamb: two syllable 'foot' or pattern - stressed/unstressed, or long/short. "Stephen" is an trochee.
- Anapest: a metrical foot of three syllables, unstressed/unstressed/stressed. " Called the 'galloping foot' because is reads as "quick-quick-hard." (SFU's motto -- Nous Sommes Prêts -- is an anapest.
- Dactyl: opposite of an anapest -- stressed/unstressed/unstressed. "Canada" is a dactyl.
- Spondee: a stressed/stressed foot. In sonnet 43, the penultimate line opens with a spondee: "Smiles, tears...."
- Anaphora: a repeated word or phrase. "I love thee..." is the anaphora in sonnet 43.
- Octave: the first eight lines of a sonnet.
- Sestet: the six lines concluding a sonnet.
I have put a link to a useful informal online guide to literary terms in the "Pertinent & Impertinent" link list. As always, use the Library for scholarly -- i.e. assignment -- research.
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
- Use only your SFU account for e-mail to the course Lecturer. All other e-mail is blocked by whitelist.
- E-mail (indeed, all communication) between Lecturer and student is a formal and professional exchange. Accordingly, proper salutation and closing is essential.
- Business e-mail is courteous but, of professional necessity, concise and direct. It rejects roundabout or ornate language, informal diction, and any appearance of what is termed in the vernacular, 'chat.'
- Customary response time for e-mail to the Course Lecturer and Teaching Assistants is two weekdays. E-mail on weekends will ordinarily be read the Monday following.
In general, course e-mail is dedicated to essential matters of Course business and avoids questions about lecture material, course reading, assignment criteria, or deadlines, which are all reserved for tutorials and office hours. Missed classes and deadlines do not need to be reported by e-mail: if a medical or bereavement exception is being claimed, the supporting documentation is handed in, along with the completed assignment, either in person or to the Tutorial Instructor's mailbox outside the Department Office.
Schedule of Readings
[Page numbers are from the Longman Anthology. The schedule is for your readings: lecture inevitably keeps to is own, cheerful, responsive & organic, timetable.]
Fanny Kemble 1140
Parliamentary Papers 1143
Henry Mayhew 1158
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
To George Sand x2 1198
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Aurora Leigh 1203
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
The Lady of Shalott 1235
The Charge of the Light Brigade 1291
The Higher Pantheism + Response 1327-8
On the Origin of Species .... 1357
John Henry, Cardinal Newman
from Apologia Pro Vita Sua 1390
Thomas Henry Huxley
from Evolution & Ethics 1398
Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came + Response 1427
A Christmas Carol 1464 (w.1520)
Our Society at Cranford 1522
The Withered Arm 1538
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
A Scandal in Bohemia 1556
from The Stones of Venice 1580-1590
Perspectives Victorian Ladies & Gentlemen 1626
Sarah Ellis 1632
John Henry, Cardinal Newman 1638
Queen Victoria 1651
Dover Beach 1662
Culture & Anarchy: from Sweetness & Light 1695
Week Seven to Week Nine
In the Year of Jubilee
Dante Gabriel Rosetti
The Kiss 1718
The Burden of Ninevah 1719
Goblin Market 1731
Robert Louis Stevenson 1840
Hilaire Belloc 1845
Without Benefit of Clergy 1860
Gunga Din 1882
Week Twelve and Week Thirteen
The Importance of Being Earnest 2003
Schedule of Assignment Due Dates:
Assignment details in "Pertinent & Impertinent" Links.
Nb: There is a four percent per day late penalty for all assignments, documented medical or bereavement leave excepted. For medical exemptions, provide a letter on a Physician's or Surgeon's letterhead which declares his or her medical judgement that illness or injury prevented work on the assignment. The letter must cover the entire period over which the assignment was scheduled and may be verified by telephone. For bereavement leave, simply provide, ex post facto, a copy of the order of service or other published notice of remembrance.
January 14th: Close Reading Project: release date.
February 4th or 6th: Updated Group Project Proposal due date.
February 25th: Close Reading Project: due date.
March 3rd: Mid-Term Essay topics posted.
March 31st: Mid-Term Essay due in lecture.
Week of March 24th & 26th: Unofficial Reading Break: No Lecture or Seminar .
April 2nd or April 7th: Group Project due date in-seminar.
April 12th 3:30-18:30: Final Exam.
There will be fourteen quizzes in Lecture throughout the Term: seven in the first half and seven in the second half. The quizzes will be given on random dates and at random times in the Lecture; on occasion twice in the same Lecture. Each quiz will have one question only, and the answer will be a gimmie. If all seven quizzes for the first half of Term are handed in to the Tutorial leader, the mark on the Close Reading assignment will be bumped up to the next letter grade in the scale. If all seven quizzes for the second half of Term are handed in to the Tutorial leader, the mark on the Final Exam will be bumped up to the next letter grade in the scale.
Research material is available on Library Reserve.
Nb: “Participation requires both attendance and punctuality ."
Expanded Office Hours: AQ 6094 -- Monday two thirty to five thirty, Tuesday ten o'clock to noon, Wednesday two thirty to three o'clock, Thursday ten o'clock to noon. Bring your coffee and discuss course matters freely. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org Use your SFU account for e-mail contact. Other e-Mail accounts are blocked by white-list.
Surveying, analysing, understanding and enjoying the vast empire of literature in the nineteenth century, concentrating on the material written under the majestic matriarch, Victoria Regina. Attendance and enagegment in lecture, discussion and exchange in seminar, careful and close reading of course material, and group study and presentation of contemporary Victorian cool are the requirements of the course.