ENGLISH 359: SCOTTISH CRIME FICTION
    TR, 11 am to 12:15 pm, HHH 323

PROFESSOR BOB NOWLAN
Office: HHH 425, Office Phone: (715) 836-4369
Office Hours: MW 1-1:30 pm, M 5:50-6:30 pm, W 4:20-5 pm, F 12-12:30 pm,
and By Appointment
ranowlan@uwec.edu
http://people.uwec.edu/ranowlan


    COURSE DESCRIPTION


    Scottish writers have long demonstrated a remarkable penchant for writing abundant, diverse, high quality crime fiction.  In this section of English 359 we will engage with a series of exemplary instances of this creative work, published over a span of time dating from the early 19th through the early 21st centuries.  


    Why writing of crime fiction has become so prolific in Scotland, and why crime fiction written by Scots or set in Scotland has become so widely popular among readers, Scot and non-Scot, especially with the rise of so-called ‘tartan noir’ over the course of the past three decades, continues a matter of considerable speculation and much loose conjecture, without anything close to a definitive answer yet proffered.  Certainly Scotland has generated an extraordinary quantity–and quality–of crime fiction, not only written by natives and residents of Scotland but also by others making use of Scottish settings, Scottish characters, and Scottish scenarios for their notable works of crime fiction, dating back to Shakespeare’s Macbeth (or The Scottish Play)–and beyond.  Dark romantic, gothic supernatural, mystically fantastical, and bizarrely black humorous literature set in Scotland, involving Scottish characters, and referencing Scottish myths and legends continues abundant, both produced from within Scotland–and produced outside of Scotland.  At the same time, specific Scottish regions and locales–such as, in particular, the Scottish Highlands, the Scottish Western and Northern Islands, Edinburgh, and Glasgow–by now maintain densely elaborate mystiques each their own.  Scottish crime fiction often draws upon and plays off of these kinds of associations, both alluding to and appropriating from as well as challenging and critiquing them.


    Why crime fiction–from Scotland, about Scotland, and within Scotland–has become so prolific, prominent, and popular we will explore, considering multiple possible explanations, while at the same time seeking to understand and appreciate each of the works of fiction we will take up independently, and in a wide array of other than Scottish contexts as well.  We will certainly consider how these novels, novellas, and short stories portray Scottish locations and histories, Scottish figures and events, Scottish customs and traditions, Scottish rituals and habits, Scottish modes of communication and interaction, as well as Scottish institutions and other forms of social organization.  Yet we will also consider how these same Scottish portrayals connect up with locations, histories, figures, events, customs, traditions, rituals, habits, modes of communication, and forms of social organization that persist widely outside of and far beyond Scotland.  And we will consider these works of fiction as achievements of interest and value each in their own right rather than as necessarily instances of an overarching Scottish commonality.    

    *

    Crime fiction and serious literature are, in fact, overlapping categories, existing along a complex and dynamic continuum, rather than standing discretely distinct.  After all, many works long represented as the greatest achievements in the history of world literature deal centrally with issues of crime and criminality, as well as with detection, apprehension and punishment, while many of these depend centrally on settings, atmospheres, and characters replete with mystery along with plots full of suspense and intrigue.  Macbeth is just one ready example of this connection.  


    We will pay particular attention to exploring what it means to conceive of the novels, novellas, and short stories we will read in this class as instances of ‘crime fiction’.  In doing so, we will inquire critically into what fictional representations of crime and criminality; of detection, apprehension, and punishment; and of mystery, suspense, and intrigue might tell us about the larger societies and cultures out of which they emerge, as well as about ourselves, and others who respond to their appeal.  


    Fictional representations of crime can indirectly, in mediated form, tell us a great deal about matters central to a society and culture.  Crime fiction engages both prevailing and countervailing notions of right and wrong, true and false, just and unjust, permissible and impermissible, acceptable and unacceptable, responsible and irresponsible, moral and immoral, sane and insane, admirable and despicable, welcome and unwelcome, sacred and profane, etc.  And crime fiction engages multiple differences, divisions, conflicts, and struggles surrounding each of these binaries.  Fictional representations of crime often deal centrally with relations between law and order (as well as between law and disorder), and between law and justice (as well as between law and injustice).  In addition, crime fiction certainly often also deals quite centrally with multiplicities, divisions, contradictions, and transformations in people’s identities.  What’s more, crime fiction, especially detective crime fiction,  is often centrally concerned with modes of knowing, learning, understanding, interpreting, and evaluating, as well as with complexities, challenges, and difficulties in knowing, learning, understanding, interpreting, and evaluating.


    Critical engagement with fictional representations of crime and criminality can enable readers to examine areas where particular societies, and their attendant dominant as well as subdominant cultures, contain seams, fissures, gaps, and ruptures, as well as to examine areas where collective emotional and psychological energy is invested, especially in the forms of anxiety, fear, panic, frustration, anger, and outrage, as well as, often simultaneously, in the forms of desire, temptation, fascination, excitement, and allure.  These representations, in specific works of crime fiction, can, moreover, enact imaginary, metaphoric, symbolic, and even, occasionally, allegorical resolutions of larger social and cultural tensions, conflicts, and contradictions (or they can provide imaginary, metaphoric, symbolic, or even allegorical refractions, dissolutions, or mystifications of the same).  

    *

    At the same time as crime fiction provides means to explore the preceding array of philosophical, political, sociological, and psychological issues, it is important to keep well in mind that crime fiction offers an enormous amount of appeal and often an enormous amount of satisfaction to its readers–indeed a great deal of reading pleasure–and it is certainly worthwhile to explore how this happens and why this is so.  Many readers (and I will admit I am one of them) find this kind of fiction, ironically or paradoxically enough, the most fun kind of fiction to read.  I hope you will enjoy what you read in this class this semester as well.

    *
        
    Multiple possible approaches to, interpretations of, and ways of appreciating each of the works of fiction we will read and discuss are viable.  I welcome that multiplicity, while, at the same time, in the spirit of detection, encourage each of you to accept the challenge–and to challenge each other–to put together convincing cases to support your readings of these novels, novellas, and stories.


    TEXTS

    The novellas Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson, and The Hound of the Baskervilles, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, are available as ebooks online through the following websites (among others):

Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde:  

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/s/stevenson/robert_louis/s848dj/; http://www.online-literature.com/stevenson/jekyllhyde/1/; http://etext.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/SteJekl.html; http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/42; and http://www.bibliomania.com/0/0/46/86/frameset.html

Hound of the Baskervilles:

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/3070; http://www.planetebook.com/The-Hound-of-the-Baskervilles.asp; http://www.planetpdf.com/ebookarticle.asp?ContentID=the_hound_of_the_baskervilles; and
http://manybooks.net/titles/doyleartetext02bskrv11a.html

Both are, in short, very easy to find on-line.


    I have ordered the following books through the UWEC Bookstore:

1.    James Hogg, Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner. Oxford University Press, 2010.  ISBN#: 978-0199217953.  [Any Unabridged Edition Will Be Fine.]

2.    John Buchan, The Thirty-Nine Steps.  Dover, 2010.  ISBN#: 978-0486282015. 
[Any Unabridged Edition Will Be Fine.]
                        
3.    Irvine Welsh, Trainspotting.  Norton, 1996. ISBN#: 978-0393314809. 
[Any Unabridged Edition Will Be Fine.]

4.    Anthony O’Neill, The Lamplighter.  Scribner, 2007.  ISBN#: 978-1416575320. 
[Any Unabridged Edition Will Be Fine.]

5.    Ian Rankin, Black and Blue.  Minotaur Books, 2009.  ISBN#: 978-0312586492. 
[Any Unabridged Edition Will Be Fine.]

6.    Val McDermid, A Distant Echo.  St. Martins, 2004.  ISBN#: 978-0312994839. 
[Any Unabridged Edition Will Be Fine.]

7.    Alan Guthrie, Slammer.  Polygon/Birlinn Limited, 2009.  ISBN#: 978-1846970979. 
[Any Unabridged Edition Will Be Fine.]

8.    Various, Shattered: Every Crime Has a Victim.  Polygon/Birlinn Limited, 2009.  ISBN#: 978-1846971273. 
[Any Unabridged Edition Will Be Fine.]

You may feel free to obtain copies of these books from any other source that works for you; they are widely available, and easily obtained, often at quite inexpensive prices, especially from on-line vendors such as www.amazon.com.  Any edition will do for each of these books, as long as it is not abridged.
 
    
    In addition, I initially ordered the following book as well from the UWEC Bookstore, but due to archaic restrictions upon from whom the UWEC Bookstore can (and cannot) order books and how so (which means it is much easier for an individual to order most course books, and at substantially lower prices, than it is for the bookstore to order the same), the UWEC Bookstore staff recommends that you order this online; many copies of multiple editions (including MP3 audio editions and kindle ebook editions that can be easily purchased and readily downloaded onto personal computers) are available from www.amazon.com; www.barnesandnoble.com, www.abebooks.com, www.alibris.com, www.powells.com, and www.amazon.co.uk–among multiple other such sites:

9.    Louise Welsh, The Cutting Room.  HarperCollins, 2005.  ISBN#: 978-0006395355. 
[Any Unabridged Edition Will Be Fine.]
    
    *

    I will supply copies of any additional texts we will be using this semester.


    SCHEDULE

Unit One

T 1/25: Introduction and Orientation.

R 1/27 and T 1/31: Discussion, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

    Read for R 1/27: Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

R 2/3, T 2/8, and R 2/10: Discussion, The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner.

    Read for R 2/3: The Initial “Editor’s Narrative.”

    Read for T 2/8: “Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner,” and Concluding “Editor’s Narrative.”

    * R 2/10: Interpretation and Reflection Journal #1 Assigned *

T 2/15 and R 2/17: Discussion, The Hound of the Baskervilles.

    Read for T 2/15: The Hound of the Baskervilles.  

T 2/22 and R 2/24: Discussion, The Thirty-Nine Steps.

    Read for T 2/22: The Thirty-Nine Steps.

    * R 2/24: Interpretation and Reflection Journal #1 Due *

    ** R 2/24: Group Projects for Class Conference Assigned **

Unit Two

T 3/1, R 3/3, and T 3/8: Discussion, The Lamplighter.

    Read for T 3/1: Prologue through Chapter XIV.

    Read for R 3/3: Chapter XV through Epilogue.

R 3/10, T 3/15 and R 3/17: Discussion, Black and Blue.

    Read for R 3/10: “Empty Canal” and “The Whispering Rain.”

    Read for T 3/15: “Furry Boot Town,” “Dead Crude,” “The Panic of Dreams,” and “North of Hell.”

    * R 3/17: Interpretation and Reflection Journal #2 Assigned *

T 3/29, R 3/31, and T 4/5: Discussion, Trainspotting.

    Read for T 3/29: “Kicking,”“Relapsing,” and “Kicking Again.”

    Read for R 3/31: “Blowing It” and “Exile.”

    Read for T 4/5:  “Home” and “Exit.”

Unit Three

R 4/7 and T 4/12: Discussion, Slammer.

    Read for R 4/7: “Part One: Narrative Exposure Therapy” and “Part Two: Confabulation.”

    Read for T 4/12: “Part Three: Cognitive Dissonance.”

    * T 4/12: Interpretation and Reflection Journal #2 Due *

R 4/14, T 4/19, and R 4/21: Discussion, The Distant Echo.

    Read for R 4/14: “Prologue” and “Part One.”

    Read for T 4/19: “Part Two.”

T 4/26, R 4/28, and T 5/3: Discussion, The Cutting Room.

    Read for T 4/26: Chapters 1-12.

    * T 4/26: Interpretation and Reflection Journal #3 Assigned *

    Read for R 4/28: Chapters 13-23 and Epilogue.

R 5/5, T 5/10, and R 5/12: Discussion, Shattered.

    Read for R 5/5: “Daddy’s Girl”; “Run, Rabbit, Run”; “Bye, Bye, Baby”; and “The Best Small Country in the World.”

    Read for T 5/10: “One Good Turn”; “With Tender Violence”; “The Road Taken”; and “Voices through the Wall.”

    Read for R 5/12: “Out of the Flesh” and “Zapruder.”

Sunday 5/15: Class Conference, Rooms and Times to be Announced.
 
R 5/19 by 12 noon: Interpretation and Reflection Journal #3 Due, in my English Department Mailbox, HHH 405.

    * AS POSSIBLE, IT WILL BE USEFUL TO READ AHEAD *

    ** THIS SCHEDULE IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE **

    *** THERE IS NO FINAL EXAMINATION IN THIS CLASS ***


    ORGANIZATION AND CONDUCT OF CLASS SESSIONS
    
    Class will proceed primarily by way of discussion, which I will direct, following a  variety of possible formats.  Periodically, and especially as we start to discuss a particular novel, novella, or collection of short stories, I will offer introductory remarks to provide an initial context, or framework, for our discussion.  I often, in addition, will prepare specific questions which I’ll share with you at the start of class (or beforehand) to initiate our discussion for a class period.  Also, I may at times play clips from film or television versions of some of the crime fiction we are reading and discussing, as well as play selections from music referenced in these books.  In addition, I may at times share webpages, maps, other visual guides, as well as yet further resources that will help us come to grips with references and allusions, as well as provide useful background, context, and perspective.  I will also seek to help you throughout the semester in making sense of specifically Scottish institutions and practices, personages and events, histories and locations, etc. referenced in the reading.  


    In order to make sure that everyone contributes to our collective discussion, and that we thereby benefit from everyone’s perspectives and insights, I will periodically call upon students in class to answer questions or to offer comments, and not just wait for volunteers.  We will also frequently work for short periods of time in small groups, while periodically I will ask students to come to class with previously written questions or comments, that you can draw upon and refer to, in order to spark our discussion.  Likewise, in order to achieve the same end, I may well periodically ask students to do some brief writing in class, including directly in relation to what your peers say or write.  


    UWEC MISSION AND GOALS OF THE BACCALAUREATE

    The following is the official mission statement of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, a mission which includes us all, and which each of us helps realize, bringing to bear our own distinct talents, abilities, knowledges, skills, backgrounds, and experiences:


    We foster in one another creativity, critical insight, empathy, and intellectual courage, the hallmarks of a transformative liberal education and the foundation for active citizenship and lifelong inquiry.


This is a mission to aspire to meet, and each of you has a vitally important role to play in helping us do so.
            

    The following, in addition, are the five most important, official goals all UWEC undergraduate courses are designed to help you meet, and this class aims to help you most in relation to the second of these goals:

    1.) Knowledge of Human Culture and the Natural World
    
    2.) Creative and Critical Thinking
    
    3.) Effective Communication
    
    4.) Individual and Social Responsibility
    
    5.) Respect for Diversity Among People

These goals require your striving to meet them.  Striving means learning actively and deliberately, completing assignments in a thorough and timely fashion, participating in class discussion, and making connections between what we do while meeting in class and what you do when engaged outside of the classroom.
                

    GENERAL EXPECTATIONS OF STUDENTS

    I expect students in this course to strive to become sincerely interested in learning about the subject matter of this course, and to be consistently intellectually serious as well as academically diligent in your pursuit of this learning.  I expect students to strive to bring actively and extensively to bear–in your essays and contributions to class discussion–insights you gain through your engagement with the texts and topics addressed as part of this course, and I expect you to strive at the same time to relate these texts and topics as closely and as fully as possible to subjects of genuine interest and concern in your own lives, past and present.  And I expect you to let me know right away when and if you have any questions or problems about any aspect of how you are doing in and with the course, so that I can do whatever I possibly can to help answer these questions and solve these problems.  In addition, you need to be ready to engage seriously, thoughtfully, and respectfully–at all times–with positions that you don’t necessarily agree with, and even with ones that you may find troubling.  After all, great works of art–including many great works of literature–are often created with the deliberate aim of disturbing, even shocking many people who will encounter these.  Often the intent is to provoke strong response, as well as thought–and action–that goes beyond what has become familiar, conventional, commonsensical, and, especially, merely “safe.”  You are capable of dealing with these kinds of challenges in an intellectually serious, mature adult manner–and I will expect you to do so.  
                                     

    SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS FOR THE COURSE GRADE

General Standards for Evaluation of Student Work

    In evaluating all work done for this course, I will take account of how carefully, seriously, intelligently, enthusiastically, and imaginatively students engage with the texts we read as well as with positions and arguments advanced by me and by each other. 

Attendance

    This course cannot contribute effectively to students' learning if students do not attend class.  What happens in class is an indispensable part of this course.  Therefore, the following attendance policy will apply, except for students who must miss an extended period of the semester due to an emergency for which they arrange an officially authorized absence from class (in the latter case, we will work together to make arrangements to help you make up for what you miss):

1.)    Students who exceed a maximum of three unexcused absences will suffer a penalty of a loss of one full letter grade for each additional unexcused absence.  An unexcused absence is one where you offer no reasonable excuse for missing, but choose this to be a day that you miss class.

2.)     Students should provide me with verifiable confirmation of a debilitating injury or illness, or of any other serious individual or family emergency, for the excusing of any further absences beyond the maximum of three unexcused absences.

3.)    In addition to the maximum of three unexcused absences, students may miss a maximum of two excused absences without suffering a grade penalty.  Six total absences will result in a loss of  two full letter grades.  Students who miss more than six classes total should withdraw from the course and enroll again in a subsequent semester; otherwise they will most likely receive a grade of F.

* Students are expected to arrive for class on time and to stay through the very end of class.  If you don’t do so, you won’t be counted as attending class.  In addition, you need to be awake, alert, and attentive while in class; this means you can’t expect to sleep or rest in class.  Again, if you do so, this will count as an absence from class.  And the same is true of doing other school work in class or attending to other–personal–matters irrelevant to what we are focusing on at that point in time in class (e.g., you should avoid text-messaging, or web-searching, or facebooking, or playing games on your cell phone, or checking out youtube while in class–just to mention a few common temptations).  *

** In addition, IT IS VERY IMPORTANT IN THIS CLASS THAT YOU COME TO CLASS HAVING DONE THE READING REQUIRED OF YOU PRIOR TO CLASS.  The quality of your own learning, and that of the rest of your classmates depends upon you taking this seriously and carrying it out conscientiously. **

Participation and Contribution

    As a discussion-intensive class, this one depends on your participation.   By raising questions, testing and trying out ideas, taking risks and making mistakes, you learn a great deal–and help others learn a great deal as well.  You learn through talking, not just talk to show what you have learned.  At the same time, however, talking which pulls us off on far-fetched tangents, which remains disconnected from and disengaged with the reading and the rest of the class, or which effectively silences others, is negative participation.  In other words, quality participation is key.  Quality class participation does not, moreover, involve merely asking questions of me and responding to my questions; quality class participation requires you to work to advance a serious and substantial discussion with your peers about the novels, novellas, and short stories we are reading–and about the issues these texts raise for our discussion.


    Contribution to the class certainly can extend beyond mere speaking in class: it may include a variety of ways in which you can bring to bear your insights to help yourself as well as the rest of us gain from the experience of this course.  Excellent writing can help make up for any limitations as far as participation in class goes.  At the same time, listening carefully, respectfully, and thoughtfully in class discussions is yet another important means of contribution.  And meeting and working with me outside of class can be an important means of contributing as well.


    If you want to do well here you must be consistently seriously, thoughtfully, and actively engaged with what we are here to focus on, in class; you must be consistently respectful of me, of your classmates, and of yourself as someone who is here to work and to learn; you must come to class consistently well prepared; you must consistently work well with others inside and outside of class–seeking to be helpful to your peers, in enabling their learning; you must attend class regularly and, in doing so, consistently follow the instructions, and directions, I give you; you must show, in your writing, that you are paying close and careful attention to what we are discussing in class, and working, assiduously, to learn from it; and, you must consistently strive to avoid becoming distracted, or distracting others, from focusing on the work we are in class to do.  You will receive three participation and contribution grades, corresponding to each of the three semester units: participation and contribution part one will be
worth 7.5% of the overall course grade, participation and contribution part two will be worth 7.5% of the overall course grade, and participation and contribution part three will be worth 7.5% of the overall course grade.  This will mean, therefore, that participation and contribution will be worth a total of 22.5% of the overall course grade.

Interpretation and Reflection Journals

    For each of the three semester units you will write an interpretation and reflection journal.  In this journal you will write a series of short essays, offering your interpretation of and reflection upon a single significant aspect of each of the texts read in that unit, or alternately your interpretation of and reflection upon a single significant issue raised by each of the texts read in that unit.  Your first interpretation and reflection journal will contain four short essays: one on Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, one on Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, one on Hound of the Baskervilles, and one on The Thirty-Nine Steps.  Your second interpretation and reflection journal will contain three short essays: one on The Lamplighter, one on Black and Blue, and one on Trainspotting.  Your third interpretation and reflection journal will contain four short essays: one on Slammer, one on A Distant Echo, one on The Cutting Room, and one on Shattered.


    Each short essay within each journal should cite concrete evidence from the text (the novel, novella, or collection of short stories) you are addressing to support a position for which you are arguing.  You should refer to in-class discussions as useful and relevant, and you may find it useful to refer to secondary sources that you research, although you do not need to do the latter.  The key here is to demonstrate compelling critical–and/or creative– thinking, and to articulate this clearly, cleanly, and precisely.  For each short essay, as part of each interpretation and reflection journal, you choose what specific aspect of the novel, novella, or collection of stories you write about (or, alternatively, what issue raised by the novel, novella, or collection of short stories you write about).  If you are uncertain of what to choose, work with an issue that came up in class discussion, or that I myself suggested, in class, is one worthwhile to take up and explore in interpreting and reflecting upon this novel, novella, or collection of short stories.  Whatever you do choose, plan time to narrow your focus, as the narrower your chosen topic, the more likely you will be able to write effectively about it in a short space.  Be sure as well to write each essay in stages–including sufficient time for generating ideas, planning, drafting, developing and modifying, redrafting and revising, and editing and proofreading,  A longer essay is not necessarily a better one.  I estimate that in writing each short essay you should aim to cover a maximum of between 5 and 7 double-spaced typed pages (or a maximum of approximately 1250 to 1750 words), although this is just a rough guideline; you may write shorter or longer and still do well.  


    Interpretation and reflection journals should be typed, double-space, on standard, letter-sized white paper, with standard margins, a common font, and a print size of no smaller than 11 points as well as no larger than 13 points.  Pages should be numbered, your name should be on the first page, and you are responsible for stapling these pages together.  Observe rules and conventions for Standard Written English, including MLA style for documentation of sources.  No need to write an overall introduction or conclusion for each journal; simply number each short essay (or journal entry) within the overall journal.


    I will hand out official journal assignments on the dates mentioned in the schedule section of this syllabus above, as a reminder of what you need to do and by when, with perhaps some suggestions of possible topics to focus on for each novel, novella, or collection of short stories (and some possible recommendations of how effectively to approach doing so).  But you don’t need to wait for these assignments to be distributed in class, as you can start working on each journal entry (each short interpretation and reflection essay) as you are reading and beginning to think about each novel, novella, or collection of short stories.  Knowing what you will be doing with each graded writing assignment throughout the semester, from the very beginning, should allow you to work on these at your own pace, as long as you don’t procrastinate too much.  Each of these three journals will be worth 17.5% of the overall course grade, for a combined total worth 52.5% of the overall course grade.

Group Project

    Students will divide into seven groups, of four to five students, with each group responsible for an extended interpretation of and critical commentary on a single novel (or novella) from the class reading.  In doing so, your group will make use of, and bring to bear, any one or more of the following:

1.    An additional novel (or novella) from the same author.

2.    Research into the author’s life and times, and/or his own relationship to/his own perspective on his writing.

3..    Research into adaptations of the same novel (or novella) in other forms, such as film.

4.    Research into actual/historic persons, places, and events represented in the novel (or novella).

5.    Research into serious issues addressed in the novel, or novella, especially in a (modern) Scottish context.

6.    An additional novel (or novella) from a comparable Scottish author.

7.    Research into other works of literature, music, art, architecture, film, television, etc. significantly alluded to in the novel (or novella).


    Alternately, students, within their project group, may devise a dramatic enactment, of a key scene or passage from the novel (or novella) as a short play, and/or as part of a short film, which may involve some modification as well as adaptation of the original source material in order to better convey its spirit, and make compelling commentative, and interpretive, points about the original novel or novella.


    One group will work with Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, one group will work with Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, one group will work with Hound of the Baskervilles, one group will work with The Thirty-Nine Steps, one group will work with The Lamplighter, one group will work with Black and Blue, and one group will work with Trainspotting.


    Students will sign up for project groups on or around February 24 at which time I will give you more detailed instructions for what to do, and how to do it, as part of your final group project.  Group projects will be presented at a class conference Sunday May 15, room and times to be announced; presentations of group projects should aim for a maximum of 30 minutes in length, to be followed by a maximum of 15 minutes of discussion.  I will ask each group to meet with me at least once in the process of working on your project to discuss how it is going and to offer my feedback, although you may feel free to consult with me much more often, individually and collectively, in the process of preparing this project for presentation.  I will also grade students individually, and offer each of you the opportunity to share your assessments with me of how you, and the other members of your group, did in working on this project; I will take these assessments into account in determining grades for this assignment.  The grade for the final group project, as part of the class conference, will be worth 25% of the overall course grade. Students will have the opportunity to earn extra credit for attending and participating in discussion of presentations from other project groups besides their own; details about this opportunity will be explained later.

Plagiarism and Academic Honesty

    Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are serious offenses.  They not only undermine the goal of learning but also are exploitative of the work of others.  Deliberate dishonesty in written work as part of this course will result in a failing grade.  In addition, plagiarism may result in further disciplinary action on the part of the University administration, ultimately including expulsion from the University.  Also, if you directly echo someone else’s thoughts as articulated in the course of class discussion you should add the last name, followed by the letters CD (for class discussion), followed by the date, in a parenthetical citation right after the end of the sentence, viz: (Nowlan, CD, 2/24/11).

Late Work
            
    Late papers will lose credit unless you have made arrangements ahead of the time with me to turn in these papers late due to a serious personal or family problem.  Alternately, if you provide a reasonable explanation why you are late shortly after the paper is due, you won’t suffer any grade penalty.  It is best to talk with me directly about this, and to make sure to do so within a week’s time of the due date at the absolute latest.  I do understand that at times real problems come up for all of us, no matter what we might intend or prefer.   


    CONFERENCES/EXTRA HELP

    I encourage you to meet with me in conference during office hours or at another mutually convenient time to discuss any issue of interest or concern related to what we are doing in this course.  Learning that takes place in conferences can be equally as important, and at times even more important, than what takes place in class.  Please do not hesitate to meet with me during office hours or to ask for an appointment at any time you think this might be helpful; making myself available for conferences with you outside of class is part of my responsibility as your teacher.  Moreover, I always sincerely do welcome getting to know and work with my students outside as well as inside of class.  I am ready to do whatever I can to help you in your understanding of issues addressed in discussions and readings, as well as to help you in your writing for and participation in this course.  I want to make sure that I do all that I can to help you succeed in this course and I want to help you, as far as I can, to gain as much out of it as possible through your participation in and work for it.  You may also feel free to write me via e-mail, and to call me–or leave a message for me on the answering machine–at my office.  Keep in  mind “my office hours” are for you, and I would rather talk with you during my office hours than do anything else, so please do not worry about “disturbing” me in coming to talk with me.   These office hours are time that I have set aside to meet, talk, and work with you.


    * Any student who has a disability and is in need of classroom accommodations, please contact both the instructor and the Services for Students with Disabilities Office, Old Library 2136; for more information on the services the latter office provides you, check out their webpage: http://www.uwec.edu/ssd/index.htm *


    CONCLUSION

    In the interest of accountability–me to you–I am here providing you weblinks: 1.) to my statement of philosophy as a college teacher: http://people.uwec.edu/ranowlan/philosophy.htm and 2.) to my autobiographical profile: http://people.uwec.edu/ranowlan/PROFILE_.htm.  You are also welcome to check out 3.) my myspace page, http://www.myspace.com/insurgentseanmurphy, and to look me up 4.) on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1755562371 [If you are interested in becoming facebook or myspace friends, feel free to contact me about that.]  In addition, you can find 5.) my professional vita (the academic equivalent of a resume) at: http://people.uwec.edu/ranowlan/VITA.htm.  I encourage you to check these sites out; it is useful for you to know who your teacher is, what he’s about, and where he’s coming from–and I like to be open, honest, and forthright with you about all of that.  I look forward to a great semester working together with you!