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Instructor: Dr. Robert Martínez
Office: Coleman 3371
E-mail: rlmartinez@eiu.edu
Course Time: MWF 11-11.50 AM, Coleman 3150, Spring 2016
Office Hours: MW 2-4 PM, TH 1-2 PM, and by appointment
Class Web: www.martinezliteraria.com/new3809

Course Description:
English 3809 (3-0-3 credits, Group 3C) is a study “in fiction, poetry, and drama published since 1950 in one or more of the following countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland).”

In this course, we will explore the exciting genesis of new fictions and art forms that emerged in Britain after World War II. Specifically, we will look at how the punk explosion of 1976 serves as a galvanizing force that transforms not only contemporary British life but also Western society at large. Students will learn about the variety of economic, political, and social crises of our contemporary times (e.g., the political violence in Northern Ireland, the rise of Thatcherism, the eruption of race riots, the fears of nuclear warfare and the advent of global terrorism) as well as new developments in literary and artistic styles (e.g., radical experiments in postmodern and feminist writing, film, and thought; new developments in music after punk; startling criticism of race and “Britishness” through postcolonial theory). 

Not only will we study British writers, but we will also consider how other British artists use mediums such as drama, film, video, and music to explore and evaluate the vast socio-political and economic changes to their environment. Writers, filmmakers, and artists covered in the course may include J. G. Ballard, Angela Carter, Sarah Kane, David Mitchell, Mike Leigh, Derek Jarman, Sally Potter, and of course generous selections of contemporary music from the Sex Pistols and The Clash, to Joy Division and The Smiths, to Radiohead, Portishead, the Arctic Monkeys, Chvrches, and Roots Manuva. Students will emerge from this course with a wider understanding of the intellectual, social, theoretical, and popular forces at work that have shaped our present moment.

This course is writing intensive and requires a shorter analysis paper, a research term paper, several online forum posts and in-class writing exercises, active class discussion, and midterm and final examinations.  This course actively aims to prepare students to meet EIU’s university learning goals of critical thinking, writing and critical reading, speaking and listening, quantitative reasoning, and responsible citizenship. [This course is "Writing Intensive" and appeals to the following department themes: Identity & Culture; Law & Social Justice; Genre, Form & Poetics; Science & the Environment; Education & Society; Media, Technology & Popular Culture.]

Course Learning Goals:

Required Texts:

Note: You are required to do all assigned reading for this course.  The texts listed above are available from Textbook Rental (TRS).  Other required readings will be available online via our course page on D2L.  Online readings must be brought to class on the day the material is discussed.  You must either print out the document(s) or use your laptop, iPad, Kindle, or Nook to view them.  Using Smartphones to view readings for class discussion is not acceptable.

Required Films:

Required Music:

Content Warning:
Contemporary, and especially postmodern, texts often use violence and disturbing misappropriations of sex (rape and other forms of sexual abuse) as a way to get readers’ attention and tell stories that represent realities and challenges they see in their worlds.  Some of our texts may prove either emotionally painful for or morally offensive to you.  If you’re unwilling to read such material, please consider switching to another course.  If you consider this literature worth reading but find yourself upset by it, always feel free to talk to me during my office hours, and to bring up your concerns during class if you’re comfortable.

Required Attendance, Materials & Editions:

Attendance in English 3809 means that you are present in class each day in both body and mind—that is, I expect you to come to class each day having completed any required reading or listening or viewing assignments and ready to share your thoughtful, considered ideas.  Missing class and not completing assignments are not acceptable.  If you become ill or experience family or personal difficulties beyond your control, then you must notify me of your absence as soon as possible.  Not completing daily assignments and not contributing to class discussion will result in poor participation grade scores.  If you miss more than three (3) classes, your final course grade will be penalized: starting with the fourth (4th) absence, a “+” or “-” will be deducted from your final course grade.

All assignments, unless otherwise specified, are to be completed in Times New Roman 12-point font, double-spaced, using MLA format.

Specific Assignments:
All papers should be double spaced, in 12-point, Times New Roman font, with 1” (top/bottom) and 1.25” (left/right) margins.  Make sure to include your name, course name, professor’s name, and date on the front page; a title for your paper; and your name and page numbers in the headers of the paper. Submit all work electronically, in Microsoft Word format, in D2L Dropbox. 

A Note about Plagiarism:
Plagiarism is the intentional or unintentional use of someone else’s ideas, words, or work as your own.  If you use or refer to ideas or work other than your own, you must acknowledge the source and author of those ideas/that work and document it properly using MLA format (Purdue MLA guide: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/).  Plagiarism is an Honor Code violation at EIU, and offenders will be referred to the EIU Office for Student Standards.  Failure to cite any outside sources or critics will constitute plagiarism.

Grading Scale:

Most assignments will receive letter grades.  For shorter assignments, the following check-mark system will be used:

Student Academic Integrity:
Students are expected to maintain principles of academic integrity and conduct as defined in EIU’s Code of Conduct (http://www.eiu.edu/judicial/studentconductcode.php).  Violations will be reported to the Office of Student Standards.

Disability Services:
If you are a student with a documented disability in need of accommodations to fully participate in this class, please contact the Office of Student Disability Services (OSDS).  All accommodations must be approved through OSDS.  Please stop by Ninth Street Hall, Room 2006, or call 217-581-6583.

Student Success Center:
Students who are having difficulty achieving their academic goals are encouraged to contact the Student Success Center (www.eiu.edu/~success) for assistance with time management, test taking, note taking, avoiding procrastination, setting goals, and other skills to support academic achievement.  The Student Success Center provides individualized consultations.  To make an appointment, call 217-581-6696, or go to 9th Street Hall, Room 1302.