Dr. Perdigao

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Spring 2012

Dr. Perdigao

class time: M W F 10:00 am

office hours: M W 4:00-5:30 pm

and by appointment

office: 626 Crawford

phone: 321-674-8370

email: lperdiga@fit.edu

website: my.fit.edu/~lperdiga
Required Texts:

Michael Meyer, The Bedford Introduction to Literature, 9th ed. (Bedford/St. Martin’s; ISBN: 9780312539214)

Jeffrey Eugenides, The Virgin Suicides (Picador; 9780312428815)

In this course, we will examine various literary forms—fiction, poetry, drama, and film—with a focus on issues of identity. In these texts, we will investigate how writers represent the self, how they use language to articulate race, class, gender, and sexual orientation, and, ultimately, find meaning. As we explore the relationship between language and identity, we will examine how memory reconstructs experience and revises the notion of the self. In your papers, you will draw on the connections between the works, using different approaches to better understand what is at stake in each of these works of self-discovery and “othering.” As readers and writers, we will look at what these literary worlds tell us about our own lives and how we see ourselves.

Policies and Procedures


First essay 20%

Second essay 20%

Third essay 20%

Presentation 10%

Quizzes 10%

Final exam (Tuesday, May 1 from 1-3 pm) 20%

Each essay consists of 3-4 pages written in MLA format and includes a works cited page. All essays must be typed; use a standard 12-point font (about 250-300 words per page). Essays are due at the beginning of class on the due dates. Students are required to submit their papers to www.turnitin.com on the assigned date; failure to submit the paper to turnitin.com on the due date or to turn in the hard copy the following class could lead to a failure of the assignment. Our class ID is 4701307 and the password is Buffy.
For the presentation you will select a text to present to the class, a text that connects with/expands on issues we have discussed this semester. Consider offering this text as an addition to the syllabus, a “recommended” reading for COM 1102: Writing about Literature. This text might be a short story, a poem, a play, a song, a film, a television episode, a piece of artwork—anything that represents one or many of the issues that we have discussed. You will have 10-15 minutes (for an individual or a pair) to present your text, your “lesson” (a way of reading it/offering connections to other texts), to the class. If you select a scene from a film, keep the scene to about 5 minutes so that you have time to discuss your close reading. The text you select may directly connect to one of the works we have discussed or more broadly speak to a larger theme.
A quiz will focus on the assigned reading(s). As regular attendance is mandatory, make-up quizzes are unlikely.

Academic Dishonesty will be handled in accordance with Humanities and Communication Department policy. Cheating and plagiarism will result in failure of assignment and/or failure of course and will be reported to the Dean of Students and recorded in your permanent student file. Dishonest conduct may lead to formal disciplinary proceedings. Be certain that you are familiar with Florida Tech’s academic dishonesty policy (http://www.fit.edu/current/documents/plagiarism.pdf).

Cell phone policy: If your phone rings, if you try to make an outgoing call or text messages are sent or received (translation: basically any variation of playing with your phone when you should be paying attention), you are responsible for bringing donuts (or an acceptable alternative) to the following class.
Attendance is required. Absenteeism and tardiness will adversely affect your final grade. If you miss more than 25% of the classes, you run the risk of failing the course. You are responsible for all of the work that you miss.

1/9 Introduction

1/11 Critical Strategies (2041-2064)

1/13 Reading and the Writing Process (2065-2098)

Writing about Fiction (52-71)

Plot (72-73; 78-81)


1/16 Martin Luther King Jr. Day—no class

1/18 Andre Dubus, “Killings” (103-116)

A.L. Bader, “Nothing Happens in Modern Short Stories” (116)

1/20 Character (121-122 [top]; 123-126)

Flannery O’Connor, “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” (442-460)

Claire Kahane, “The Function of Violence in O’Connor’s Fiction” (493)

Setting (184-186)


1/23 William Faulkner, “A Rose for Emily” (90-98)

Faulkner, “On ‘A Rose for Emily’” (98-99)

A Sample Close Reading, A Sample Student Response (99-102)

1/25 Point of View (212-217)

Amy Bloom, “By-and-by” (632-637)

Symbolism (262-265)

E. Annie Proulx, “55 Miles to the Gas Pump” (567-568)

1/27 Mordecai Marcus, “What Is an Initiation Story?” (288)

David Updike, “Summer” (379-384)

Susan Minot, “Lust” (339-346)

Questions for Writing, Samples (384-391)


1/30 Brian Aldiss, “Super-Toys Last All Summer Long” (online at my.fit.edu/~lperdiga)

Gail Godwin, “A Sorrowful Woman” (39-44)
2/1 Style, Tone, and Irony (329-333)

Mark Twain, “The Story of the Good Little Boy” (603-607)

2/3 Tim O’Brien, “How to Tell a True War Story” (346-356)


2/6 Margaret Atwood, “Happy Endings” (624-627)
2/8 Short Fiction
2/10 Short Fiction


2/13 Writing About Poetry (790-798)

Richard Wakefield, “In a Poetry Workshop” (1350)

Ezra Pound, “In a Station of the Metro” (861)
2/15 Billy Collins (1158-1165), “Marginalia” (787-788); “Introduction to Poetry” (764)

First essay due: hard copy due in class, document submitted to www.turnitin.com

2/17 T.E. Hulme, “On the Differences between Poetry and Prose” (863)

Charles Simic, “In the Library” (1265-1266)

Wilfred Owen, “Dulce et Decorum Est” (852-853)


2/20 Presidents Day—no class

2/22 Word Choice, Word Order, Tone (799-805)

Mark Jarman, “Ground Swell” (online at my.fit.edu/~lperdiga)

2/24 Billy Collins, “Building with Its Face Blown Off” (1176-1177)

“On ‘Building with Its Face Blown Off’: Michael Meyer Interviews Billy Collins” (1177-1180)


2/27 Figures of Speech (864-875)

Sylvia Plath, “Mirror” (879-880)

Claribel Alegría, “I Am Mirror” (1301-1303)

2/29 Symbol, Allegory, and Irony (888-895)

Jim Stevens, “Schizophrenia” (881)

Octavio Paz, “The Street” (1310-1311)
3/2 Sounds (916-930)

Langston Hughes (1129-1139), “Lenox Avenue: Midnight” (1143-1144)

Patterns of Rhythm (946-953)

Hughes, “Song for a Dark Girl” (1144)


3/5 Spring Break—no class

3/7 Spring Break—no class

3/9 Spring Break—no class


3/12 Hughes, “Formula” (1142-1143)

Poetic Forms (970-997)

Open Form (1000-1005)

3/14 Poetry
3/16 No class


3/19 Poetry
3/21 Poetry
3/23 Reading Drama (1363-1365)

Elements of Drama (1381-1384)

Beyond Realism (1759-1763)

Richard Orloff, Playwriting 101: The Rooftop Lesson (1813-1820)


3/26 Drama

Second essay due: hard copy due in class, document submitted to www.turnitin.com
3/28 David Auburn, Proof (handout: 1969-1996 [Act I])


3/30 David Auburn, Proof (handout: 1996-2017 [Act II])



4/2 Drama
4/4 Big Fish
4/6 Big Fish


4/9 Jeffrey Eugenides, The Virgin Suicides (1-44)
4/11 VS (45-110)

4/13 VS (110-165)


4/16 VS (165-211)

4/18 VS (212-243)

Third essay due: hard copy due in class, document submitted to www.turnitin.com
4/20 VS


4/23 VS
4/25 Conclusions


5/1 Final exam (1-3 pm)

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