Three last things

Your final grades have been submitted and are wending their way through the system. Any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to get in touch.

There are still a number of assignments to be picked up in Hazen Hall 100. Yes the course is over, but you might still learn something from the comments that could be applied to future work, so please pick them up.

Lastly: classes are over and you can finally get back to reading for pleasure, not coursework. Just saw a review of a new novel about Lizzie Borden! Then, of course, there is Christina Ricci:


All the very best for the summer and the coming term. Hope to see some of you in future classes.

Postcolonial India

In class on Thursday we were discussing postcolonialism with respect to Rohinton Mistry’s “Squatter.” Coincidentally came across this article calling for a museum to remind and educate Indians and tourist alike about the realities of colonial rule:

Shashi Tharoor. “The need for a museum on British colonisation of India: The decolonisation of the mind is among the greatest challenges today’s Indians have to face.” Al Jazeera (12 March 2017).

The Times correspondent looking on at the sacking of the Kaiser Bagh, in a scene during the Indian Mutiny after the capture of Lucknow in India, March 15 1858 [The Print Collector/Getty Images]

Writing assignment #3

Length: 3–4 pages
Due: April 6, 2017

Choose any of our short story authors, and find another short story by them. Compare the newfound story, to the story we read and discussed in class, in terms of its use of between one and three selected literary practices.

Be sure to:

  • Define and reference literary terms as per Assignment #2.
  • Find three outside sources and refer to each of them at least once within your essay, either by direct quotation, or paraphrasing.

Some examples:

1. We discussed Poe’s “The Black Cat” in terms of i) the unreliable narrator, ii) the question of whether the events were supernatural or whether there was a rational explanation (both of which are within the Gothic), and iii) Poe’s belief that a short story should be intensely focused. Chose another story by Poe and compare it to “The Black Cat” in terms of any, or all three, of these aspects.

2. We discussed Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” in terms of i) its regionalism, ii) its being a Southern Gothic, and iii) its first-person plural point of view. Chose another story by Faulkner and compare it to “A Rose for Emily” in terms of any, or all three, of these aspects.

3. We discussed Chopin’s “Story of an Hour” in terms of i) its exploration of changes in women’s roles, ii) its limited omniscient narrator, and iii) the irony of the ending. Chose another story by Chopin and compare it to “Story of an Hour” in terms of any, or all three, of these aspects.

Reading about Omelas

Chris Lough. “Ursula K. Le Guin’s ‘The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas’ is Beautiful in Map Form.” (19 Nov. 2015): about the map I showed in class.

Mallory Ortberg. “The Sequel To ‘The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas’ No One Asked For.” The Toast. (14 Dec. 2015): this is the one I read aloud in class.

P. L. Thomas. “Le Guin’s ‘The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas’: Allegory of Privilege.” radical eyes for equity (5 July 2013).

Andrew DeGraff, Plotted: a literary atlas. Click here for larger image.


Writing assignment #2: research and thesis development

Due: March 2, 2017

[NB. Linda Hansen, Acting Head of Bibliographic and Collections Services at the UNBSJ library, will be visiting class on Tuesday February 21st to talk about library research. It is crucial to successful completion of this assignment that you attend, preferably with questions.]

There are two parts to this assignment:

  1. Choose one of the following plays from our anthology: A Doll’s House, The Importance of Being Earnest, or Blood Relations.
    • Develop a workable thesis about your chosen play. Note: you are not writing a whole paper about the play. Rather, you are developing a thesis for a theoretical paper that could be written, but won’t be. Have a look at the handout “Formulating questions,” and/or any of these useful websites about developing an effective thesis.
    • Use one or more literary terms from Abram’s A Glossary of Literary Terms and/or The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms (UNB sign-in required) in your thesis statement. Be sure to define the term(s) and properly reference the definition(s).
    • When you are finished, you will have a short paragraph that presents a workable thesis statement, including at least one literary term, and some indication of how your (theoretical) paper would develop in order to prove your thesis.
  2. Once (and only once) you have a workable thesis, compile a bibliography. Again, you are not actually writing the paper and so you do not need to read the resources. This is an exercise in i) doing library research and ii) creating a bibliography of appropriate sources, in correct MLA format.
    • Go to HWK Commons and settle down in front of a computer screen. Look up your chosen play. You will find that there are bazillion references. Start reading titles and abstracts and note any that sound like they might deal with the play in a way that relates to your thesis. You will see lots of interesting articles and books, but you will be able to discard most of them. Note only the ones that seem, on the basis of the title and/or abstract, to pertain to your thesis.
    • Once your research is finished, compile a “Texts cited” page (a bibliography) for your imaginary paper. Use proper MLA format.
    • Your references should include the following items:
      • at least three scholarly articles from academic journals
      • at least three chapters in scholarly edited books
      • at least three academic books
      • at least three electronic resources (not e-texts. Think hypertexts, web-sites on your playwright, &c.)
      • at least three theatrical reviews
  1. You now have two parts, a thesis statement and a bibliography of at least fifteen items. Put them into one document. Proof-read it, more than once, then hand it in and go enjoy the beverage of your choice.