southern women writers
(an online course)*

ENGL A466:W01
Summer 2013

Loyola University New  Orleans  
Southern women

This information was posted 27 March 2013; all material here remains subject to change.

In this course, we will examine the traditions and texts of women writers in the southern region of the United States. By close readings and writing about these authors from different historical periods, from different economic and racial backgrounds, writing in a variety of genres, we will try to understand how writing as a southerner and as a woman shapes one's work and achievement. We will also try to get some insight into the assumptions that have shaped these individuals' personal and cultural experience as southerners, as women, and as writers. In the process, we will read works by some of the most distinguished writers of the twentieth century--including Eudora Welty, Alice Walker, and Ellen Douglas, as well as lesser known writers like Julia Peterkin, Doris Betts, and Elizabeth Keckley, along with some writers of the twenty-first century, such as Valerie Martin or Natasha Trethewey. And as we read--and write--we will try to learn something about our own experiences of the South, of women, and of writing. 

Requirements will include reading and reflection on the texts, participation in weekly discussion forums on, and the completion of a multi-part research and writing project on a southern woman writer. 

Women's Studies Minor
This course can also be taken for credit in the Women's Studies Minor and the New Orleans Studies Minor.

* An online course is conducted through the internet (Blackboard). To be successful, online courses require that students have some degree of self-discipline. This is NOT A SELF-PACED course--there are regular weekly deadlines.

Tentative List of Required Texts:
The following is a proposed list of texts and writers, but changes and substitutions may occur. *Starred texts may be alternates, and some texts may also be available as e-texts.

Weaks, Mary Lou and Carolyn Perry, eds. Southern Women's Writing: Colonial to Contemporary. Gainesville: U P of Florida, 1995. ISBN 13: 978-0-8130-1411-1
Chopin, Kate. The Awakening and Selected Stories. New York: Penguin, 1989.  ISBN: 01403900227
Douglas, Ellen. Canít Quit You, Baby. New York: Penguin Books, 1989. ISBN: 0140121021
Martin, Valerie. Property. New York: Vintage, 2004. ISBN-13: 978-0375713309
Welty, Eudora. One Writerís Beginnings. Cambridge, MA: Belknap, 1995. ISBN: 0674639278

Also recommended:
Instant Access: The Pocket Reference for Writers
. Michael L. Keene and Katherine H. Adams. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2003. ISBN: 0072819928

These books may also be available for purchase at Maple Street Books (support your local bookstores!). If you're trying to cut costs, many texts are also available secondhand through other commercial booksellers. Some may also be available as rentals at the Loyola Bookstore.

Course Prerequisites
Credit for ENGL T-125, ENGL 205, or their equivalents. Sophomore status or permission of the instructor is recommended. Online courses require some maturity and self-discipline; this should probably not be your first college English course. Contact me if you have any questions about taking an online course.

Course Requirements
Weekly Comments  (35%)
The heart of this course (apart from reading the texts themselves) will be our electronic "discussions": asking and answering each other's questions and sharing our responses. These discussions will be conducted on the "Discussion Board" of  Students will be expected to post a substantive comment  (150-300 words) in response to the text and my introductory remarks by Monday midnight. By the next Thursday, everyone in the class will have commented on or reacted to the responses of least two other people (100-150 words each). [These due dates are tentative and may change to other specific weekdays, but the pattern remains the same.]

Your participation in these weekly discussions, including the timely submission of comments and responses, will be graded contractually (all assignments = A; fewer = B, etc.) and will constitute your "class attendance."

You will be responsible for timely and regular contributions to the discussion group every week. If any lateness or irregularity persists in your submissions, you will be asked to drop the course or receive a failing grade.

Keeping up with these discussions is one of the most challenging parts of an online course, and falling behind is the chief reason for attrition--just remember that "online" isn't the same as "self-paced."

Writing Assignments (25-30%)
The formal writing in this course will be a series of assignments based on the contexts of and works by southern women writers, both those covered in the course and from a supplementary list.  These assignments, due throughout the semester and involving various degrees of research, will provide some of the basic content for a final collaborative presentation.

Final Examination (15-20%)
A comprehensive essay exam. Exemptions will be granted when all course work is submitted on time.


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