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ENGLISH 1AA3 Lit. in English: Longer Genre

Academic Year: Spring/Summer 2017

Term: Spring

Day/Evening: E

Instructor: Dr. Sarah Brophy


Office: Chester New Hall 331

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 22243

Office Hours: Thursday, 5-6 pm, CNH 331

Course Objectives:

A selection of longer literary texts (i.e. novels, plays, and graphic narratives) will be studied, with attention how they imagine identity, place, belonging, memory, and survival. Students will be introduced to the elements of the various genres and to a variety of interpretive approaches. Considerable emphasis will be placed on the development of critical skills in reading and writing.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Required Texts:

1)         First-Year English and Cultural Studies Handbook, 2016-17 (online)

2)         Robert Louis Stevenson, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. (Oxford)

3)         Shelagh Delaney, A Taste of Honey. (Methuen)

4)         Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God. (Harper)

5)         Tomson Highway, Kiss of the Fur Queen. (Anchor)

7)         Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis, Volumes I and II. (Pantheon)

8)         Judith Thompson, Palace of the End. (Playwrights Can Press)


Recommended Texts:

M.A. Abrams and Geoffrey Harpham.  A Glossary of Literary Terms.  Ninth Edition.

Lester Faigley, Roger Graves, and Heather Graves. The Little Penguin Handbook, Second Canadian Edition

Method of Assessment:

Assignments and Due Dates:

Essay One                   Value: 15%     500 words; due in tutorial on Tuesday May 23         

Essay Two                    Value: 30%     1000 words; due in tutorial on Tuesday June 6         

Tutorial Participation      Value: 20%     10% for tutorial participation; 10% for tutorial assignment  

Final Exam                   Value: 35%     2 hours; in-lecture on Thursday June 15

Assignment guidelines and essay topics will be distributed in tutorial.

Since September 1982 the McMaster grading scale has been as follows:



Equivalent Grade Point

Equivalent Percentages







































0-49 -- Failure



Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Course Policies for 1AA3

1) Attendance and Participation:  Active, thoughtful, and respectful participation in lectures and tutorials is expected. Students are required to read the course materials carefully and to keep up with the schedule. If you miss a class, be sure to catch up by asking one of your peers to share their notes with you. At the end of the semester a list of key terms will be posted on Avenue to Learn for your reference as you prepare for the final exam.

2) Tutorials start on Thursday, May 4. Students are expected to attend every tutorial and to be prepared to discuss the course material in a thoughtful, informed, and respectful manner.

3) A Note on the Content: Several of the texts on our syllabus bear witness to traumatic histories. Your instructors are committed to supporting your learning as we engage with these materials. Keep an open mind about what these stories have to offer and feel welcome to approach Dr. Brophy and/or your TA for additional guidance.

4) Essay Policy:  Late essays will be penalized one grade per day late up to 7 days. For example, a B+ paper handed in two days late would be lowered to a B-.  Saturday and Sunday are included in the calculation of days late. After seven days the grade is zero. TAs are not authorized to grant deadline extensions. Students must contact their Faculty Office to make arrangements before any deadline extensions can be considered. Students are expected to retain copies of all work submitted for the course.

5) Consultation:  Brief, logistical questions may be handled via email. If you wish to discuss course content and/or your written work in detail, please visit your T.A. during their posted office hours. You are also welcome to drop by during Dr. Brophy’s office hour (Thursdays 5-6 pm, CNH 321). Students are encouraged to use the discussion board on Avenue to Learn to extend conversations beyond class time, and Dr. Brophy will serve as the moderator for this online forum. 

6)  Students will be asked to complete a course evaluation at the end of the term.


Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:

English 1AA3E: Longer Genres

Dr. Sarah Brophy

Spring 2017




I:  Introduction to Critical Reading Skills: Self and Society in Two Modern Urban Texts

May 2:             Introduction to the course

May 4:             Stevenson, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

May 9:             Strange Case, cont’d; start Delaney, A Taste of Honey

May 11:           Delaney, A Taste of Honey

May 16:           Film screening: A Taste of Honey


II: Quests, Migrations, and Other Journeys

May 18:           Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God; plus, “How Do I Write an English Essay?”

May 23:           Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

May 25:           Highway, Kiss of the Fur Queen

May 30:           Highway, Kiss of the Fur Queen


III: Remembering/Resisting War: Twenty-First-Century Visions

June 1:             Satrapi, Persepolis (Volumes 1 and 2) 

June 6:             Satrapi, Persepolis; plus, “How Do I Study for an English Exam?”

June 8:             Thompson, Palace of the End

June 13:           Thompson, Palace of the End; Exam Review

June 15:           Final Exam (in-class)

Other Course Information:

Accessibility and Accommodations for Students with Disabilities:

            This note supplements the University’s policy, described above. I assume that all of us learn in different ways, and that the organization of any course will accommodate each student’s learning differently. For example, you may process information by speaking and listening rather than visually. Please talk to me and to your TA as soon as you can about your individual learning needs, including any Student Accessibility Services arrangements, so that we can work together in this course to accommodate you. Meanwhile, slides will be available to everyone on Avenue to Learn in both a fully illustrated and a low graphics, black and white version. The responsible use of technology is expected: please take care to minimize distractions, and, if you would like to audio-record my lectures, please contact me to ask for permission. Even if you do not have a documented disability, we are always glad to consult about your learning processes and to help you identify resources on campus; useful supports include the English and Cultural Studies Departmental Writing Tutors as well as McMaster’s Student Success Centre, which provides academic skills support for all students.