English 640-001:  Shakespeare

Fall 2016, 3 credits

Course Description

This course surveys eight plays (two from each genre or "mode"—comedy, history, tragedy, and romance) in order to illustrate Shakespeare's development over time.  We will also read information on the historical background, selected historical documents, and criticism from a variety of theoretical approaches.  Requirements include a research paper in multiple stages, oral presentations, class participation, and a final examination. A lesson plan is an option for those who have or who are seeking teacher licensure at the secondary level. We will proceed "collegially"—with a high degree of interaction in a seminar format. The ultimate goal is to present your research paper at a conference after the conclusion of the course. Some of your papers may also be suitable for submission to student or professional journals.


Student Learning Outcomes

Content Knowledge

 The student will demonstrate knowledge of:

Skills in Analysis, Writing, and Communication

The student will:



I have placed the following books on reserve:  Stone's The Family, Sex, and Marriage in England, 1500-1800; Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy; Parker and Hartman's Shakespeare and the Question of Theory; Fike's A Jungian Study of Shakespeare: The Visionary Mode; and Russ McDonald's The Bedford Companion to Shakespeare and Shakespeare:  An Anthology of Criticism.  For these and other items on reserve, see http://library.winthrop.edu/search/pfike/pfike/1%2C1%2C2%2CB/frameset&FF=pfike+matthew&1%2C%2C2. In addition, DVD or VHS copies of all the plays in our course are on reserve.

Course Requirements--Student Learning Activities (Performance Measures)

Option #1:  Anyone may elect this option, but it is especially appropriate for those who wish to go on to a Ph.D. program.

Option #2:  This is an option only for those who have or who are seeking licensure as secondary school English teachers:

Grading System

You will be graded on a 100-point scale as follows:  A, 95-100; A-, 90-94; B+, 87-89; B, 83-86; B-, 80-82; C+, 77-79; C, 73-76; C-, 70-72; D+, 67-69; D, 63-66; D-, 60-62; F, 0-59. 

Attendance and Other Policies

Such policies as appear in this section should not be necessary in a graduate seminar; nevertheless, here they are in case we need them. 

Syllabus Change Policy

Here is the university's policy: "The version of your instructor's policy posted on her/his website, WebCT site, or www.turnitin.com site is the official policy statement for your class. This page may change during the semester, so make sure you check it frequently to keep up with changes."

Students with Disabilities

Winthrop University is committed to providing access to education.  If you have a condition which may adversely impact your ability to access academics and/or campus life, and you require specific accommodations to complete this course, contact the Office of Accessibility (OA) at 803-323-3290, or, accessibility@winthrop.edu. Please inform me as early as possible, once you have your official notice of accommodations from the Office of Accessibility.

Student Conduct Code

As noted in the Student Conduct Code:  “Responsibility for good conduct rests with students as adult individuals.” The policy on student academic misconduct is outlined in the “Student Conduct Code Academic Misconduct Policy” in the online Student Handbook (http://www2.winthrop.edu/studentaffairs/handbook/StudentHandbook.pdf). 

Handheld Devices

You may not use any electronic devices in class unless I give you specific permission or unless you have official accommodations from Services for Students with Disabilities.  See the College of Arts and Sciences' policy on handheld devices at http://www2.winthrop.edu/artscience/AppropriateUseApprovedPolicyMar2010.pdf

Format for Papers

Word-processed, double-spaced papers are required.  Only black print will be acceptable. Print only on one side of the page and do not use the draft function.  The margins should be 1.25".  If you use MS Word, the required font is called Courier New, 12-point (NOT Courier).  Put your name at the top of page one, number your pages, give your paper a title, and underline your thesis statement like this; boldface your topic sentences like this (note: the introduction and conclusion do not have topic sentences). Staple your pages together 1/2" from the upper left corner; do not use paper clips or bend the pages over at the top.  Use the MLA format (8th edition) to document all sources used, including the primary ones.  Even your preliminary assignments must have a list of works cited.  I will ask you to redo a paper if it is not in the proper format (the main thing is to use Courier New 12-point, which looks like this).  I do not accept electronic submission of written work, but you must send your researched draft to turnitin.com.