West Chester University

Fall 2004and
Spring 2005

West Chester University

Spring 2003

Fall 2002

Spring 2002

Fall 2001






Course Information
  LIT 165 Syllabus
  LIT 165 Announcements
  LIT 165 Assignments
  WRT 120 Syllabus
  WRT 120 Announcements
  WRT 120 Assigmments

Notebook for Topics in Literature: Imaginary Worlds (Spring 2005)
  Adieu to Imaginary Worlds
  One Last Look at Imaginary Worlds
  Notes on 'Before the Law'
  Samuel Beckett Links
  Notes on 'Waiting for Godot'
  Approaching 'Waiting for Godot'
  Notes on 'Axolotl' by Julio Cortazar
  Notes on 'EPICAC' by Kurt Vonnegut
  DIRECTIONS: Independent Project
  Suggested Readings: Independent Project
  Utopia/Dystopia Links
  Character Analysis: Brave New World
  Analyzing the Brave New World
  Defining Utopia
  Embarking on the Brave New World
  A Critique of BRAVE NEW WORLD
  Dante Links
  Inferno: Final Destinations, Cantos XXXII-XXXIV
  Inferno: Malebolge, Cantos XVIII-XXXI
  Inferno: Questions/Analysis, Cantos XII - XVII
  Structure in the Inferno: Analysis, Cantos V - XI
  Inferno: Questions for Analysis, Cantos I - V
  Introducing Canto I
  Approaching the Divine Comedy
  Relating to Dante's Inferno
  Our Goals for Studying the Inferno
  Assignment Sheet: PAPER #1
  The Birthmark
  Leaf By Niggle
  Responses to Leaf By Niggle
  'On Fairy Stories' by J.R.R. Tolkien
  Notes on Ovid and 'Metamorphoses'
  Analyzing the Mythic Tales
  The Four Functions of Myth
  Myth and Metaphor
  Myth - Links
  Filtering the Introduction to 'Fantastic Worlds'
  'La Belle Dame Sans Merci' and 'The Zebra Storyteller
  Introducing the 'Imaginary Worlds' Theme
  Alice In Wonderland
  The Metamorphosis

Notebook for Effective Writing I (Spring 2004)
  Conference Schedule: 4/21 and 4/26
  Commentary: Following Up Your Response
  Critical Thinking and Commentary
  Casebook: Evaluating Sources
  What is Argument?
  Parts of an Argument
  Casebook Assignment Sheet
  Rubric for Evaluation of Writing
  Assignment Sheet: Essay#1
  Expressive Writing
  Short Stories About Identity
  Thoughts on Stories About Identity
  Poems About Identity
  Understanding the 'Rhetorical Situation'
  Mind-map: Identity

ENG Q20: Basic Writing (Fall 2004)
  ENG Q20 Syllabus
  Frederick Douglass Excerpt
  Propaganda Analysis
  How to Detect Propaganda
  George Orwell's Politics and the English Language
  Propaganda Analysis Exercise

Go Exploring
  Weblog for WRT 120
  Writing Assistance on the Web
  Blackboard at WCU
  WCU Homepage
  WCU's Francis Harvey Green Library

~~ Our Goals for Studying the Inferno ~~

1) To establish its relevance for us: our course theme, our concerns about our world today. Part of the fascination of literature, of the journey of reading old or ancient literature, is the discovery that people long ago felt what we feel now, thought about things we still think about now; their experiences, their visions, their feelings and thoughts still engage us. We can connect with the past through literature in a deep, unique way.

  • We'll consider the timeliness of its subject, its themes.
  • We'll form some questions that help us reflect meaningfully on our own time:
    o How do we define "sin"? Are we in agreement or disagreement with Dante?
    o What's our own "philosophy of punishment"?
    o Are we (individually, culturally, globally) in need of "salvation"? Do we define salvation differently than Dante does?
    o Where should we look for salvation, if we decide we're in need of it? (Religion? Science? Something other?)
    o We'll consider how Dante contributes to the "roundtable" discussion we've been inviting our authors to on the subject of "IMAGINATION" and "FANTASY."

2) To understand a little bit about the poem's "greatness"-its centrality in western literature. (John Ruskin called Dante "the central man of all the world." We'll try to understand why he might deserve such grand accolades.)

  • How do we define "great literature," generally? How does Dante fit the description?
  • We'll consider the medieval invention of the "self" and Dante's contribution; we'll observe the vividness of his portrait of the "individual" and the "contemporary" as proper subjects for serious art.
  • We'll consider why Dante's work was popular with all levels of society.

3) To note some of Dante's more significant influences.

  • Virgil
  • The Bible and "The Vision of St. Paul" (a Gnostic gospel)
  • St. Thomas Aquinas (Aristotle, Augustine)

4) A close reading, together, of the first portion of the book, to introduce significant themes and motifs. This may become lecture-heavy, but I'll be looking for your input as we step through the first several cantos. A literal understanding of the text and its relevance will be emphasized.

5) To form collaborative study groups to help you engage in an analysis of key cantos throughout the book.






Questions? Contact me.

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