[Un]Ruly Voices of African American Women Before 1931
Course Guidelines and Syllabus
Spring 2003

AFH 394(07619)/ENG 394(52518)/HUM 394(57861)/WST 394(59172)
MW 12:15-1:30 PM

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Instructor: Lynette D. Myles
Office location and phone: LL 341 / 965-4399
Office Hours: MW 8:20-9:20 AM; M 2:30-3:30 PM and by appointment
Email: lynette.myles@asu.edu lynette.myles@asu.edu
Website: http://www.public.asu.edu/~tre9116

Webboard: http://english.asu.edu:8080/~myles

Course Description and Objectives
This course will examine the novels, short stories, essays, speeches, and dramas that come out of the "voices" of African American Women before 1931. It will focus on the writings of Black women using language as agency from bell hooks's assertion, "talkin' back" to those forces that attempt to "silence" and "erase" them literally and culturally. Students will examine the writings of African American women in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and become familiar with how they used their writing and speaking "voices" to redefine black women outside the ideal of "The Cult of True Womanhood." In studying how African American women gave new meaning and definition to their lives, we will also discuss African American history and cultural contexts alongside the required readings. Through the readings and class discussions, students will develop techniques of literary analysis and will understand that responsible readings are distinguished by careful examination and textual support.

Required Texts
(Please bring your book to each class, as I will be making specific references to the text.)
Marilyn Richardson, Maria Stewart, America's First Black Woman Political Writer (1831-1833)
Nell Painter, Narrative of Sojourner Truth (1797-1883)
Harriet A. Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861)
Anna Julia Cooper, A Voice From the South (1892)
Frances Harper, Iola Leroy; or, Shadows Uplifted (1892) from William Wells Brown, Three Classic African American Novels
Pauline Hopkins, Contending Forces (1900)
Nella Larsen, Quicksand and Passing (1928) (Passing only)

Reserve Readings:
Selected short stories from Hamer, Judith A. and Martin Hamer, Eds. Centers of the Self: Short Stories by Black American Women from the Nineteenth Century to the Present.
Selected plays from African American Women Playwrights Kathy A. Perkins, Black Female Playwrights: An Anthology of Plays Before 1950

Course Requirements

Attendance: Attendance is taken at each class session. A student who exceeds six absences, regardless of the reason, will fail the course. Attendance equates to showing up on time, listening, turning in assignments, and participating in class and group activities. Being 5-10 minutes late on three occasions will count will count as an absence.
If you must leave early or arrive late, please inform me in advance in person or by e-mail. If you are chronically late to class, leave early, or are not prepared to participate, you may lose credit for that day's activities.

Participation: This is not a lecture course. Students are expected to attend class meetings prepared to participate in discussions and group activities. This means reading should be completed as assigned before the class meeting at which readings are to be discussed. Weekly reading response, the questions or comments you prepare for class for online discussion. Your participation grade will include class discussion, online discussions, in-class activities, and reading quizzes.

You should also sign up for our webboard page at http://english.asu.edu:8080/~myles. That site will contain announcements and on-line discussions.

Reading Questions and Comments: Instead of a reading journal, students will bring to class a written question or comment about the day's assignment that will be turned into the instructor. You can also use this question or comment as a message to post at the end of your reading response online.

Online Responses and Discussions: Students will post weekly reading responses to Webboard. In addition, you will post a question at the end of your reading response. You will also make at least one response to other questions and comments posted by other students. You are welcome to post more than this if you wish. Please note that it will not be acceptable to write all twelve responses and comments in the last week of the term. Grading for online reading responses and discussions postings will be based on both overall quality of reading responses (12 reading responses required) and quantity (number of postings). Each will be graded separately.
15+ = A
12-14 = B
10-11 = C
7-9 = D
0-6 = E

What You Should Write: Included within your 1 - 1 ½ page response should be: 1.) a brief summary and analysis of meaning, 2.) author's assumptions and purpose, and 3.) student's own assessment of the work.

Format: At the beginning of each RR, write the date and the reading. Ex. "January 27: Maria Stewart."

Deadline for Reading Responses: Submissions for reading responses are due by midnight the day before due date indicated on course syllabus. Ex. January 27 reading response's submission is due before midnight January 26.

Deadline for Online Discussions: Your weekly reply and comments to other students must be posted no later than Thursday at midnight of that week. Ex. Responses to January 27 postings is due Thursday, January 30 before midnight.

Late Responses: Late responses will not be accepted under any circumstance.

Lead Discussion: Students are expected to lead class discussion twice during the semester. Discussion leaders will be assigned for each week's readings. Readings should be selected by second week of class.

Guidelines for Lead Discussion:
1. Put reading in the historical and cultural contexts in which it was written.
2. Briefly discuss the major points you find important in the text and show how they relate to the course.
3. You should provide your own insight into the discussion. Consider the important points of view of the text.
4. Include the strengths and weaknesses of the text.
5. Bring 10 typed questions for class discussion. Provide copy for instructor before class.

Formal Papers: Students will write one (7-10 pages) analytical interpretation of a work. Your essay must make an interesting, well-developed, persuasive argument about a significant topic related to our readings. You must provide outstanding reasons and evidence for your argument. You must read two literary criticism for your longer paper. You must cite these sources appropriately in your paper using the MLA format.

Prospectus: You should begin thinking about your essay early in the term. For the assignment, students must hand in a 100 word prospectus describing the proposed subject of the paper, its thesis (if known), works to be covered, and source materials. The prospectus will receive comments, but will be graded. If the prospectus is missing, the paper grade will be lowered 5 points. When paper is due, you are required to turn in your final paper, rough draft and a copy of any scholarly journal article used in paper in a folder. Write your name on the outside cover of the folder. Please note that I do not accept papers or assignments via email.

Late Papers: Late papers will be penalized by automatically receiving one letter grade lower than the grade assigned to it. Permission to turn in a late paper without penalty will be rarely granted and only based on a conference with me and never on the day of the assignment is due. If you are having trouble completing the paper, make an appointment with me or simply attend office hours. Further, if you wish to turn in a late paper, you must see the instructor immediately to make appropriate arrangements.

Reading Quizzes: Quizzes will be a way of checking your reading if your discussions are weak. Quizzes are part of participation and cannot be made up if you are absent.

Final Exam: Students are required to take a comprehensive in-class final exam.

Class Policy: No extra credit assignments will be given.

Note on Assignments
This schedule should be regarded as a tentative guide to the assignments; it will change as the semester progresses. Because good in-depth class discussion is more important than keeping up with the schedule, you should not be disturbed if some selections are omitted or if we appear to fall behind. If you are absent, please check with a classmate to make sure of the assignment.

Lead Discussion 10%
Participation (attendance, quizzes,
homework, and in-class activities,) 15%
Weekly online reading responses
and discussion postings. 25%
Paper 25%
Final Exam 25%
Total 100%

A = 4.0 C = 2.0
A- = 3.7 C- = 1.7
B+ = 3.3 D+ = 1.3
B = 3.0 D = 1.0
B- = 2.7 D- = .7
C+ = 2.3 E = .3

Plagiarism: Plagiarism is the use of another person's words or sentence structures without acknowledging the source. Remember, materials from websites as well as printed matter must be cited properly. The MLA Guidelines published in the Bedford Handbook, MLA Handbook, and other sources will tell you how to cite materials, as will the MLA website guidelines for citing electronic materials.

Student Code of Conduct:

Withdrawal Deadlines:

January 24 Last day of drop/add
February 14 Unrestricted withdrawal
April 4 Restricted course withdrawal
April 30 Restricted complete withdrawal

The Guide to WebBoard

What is Webboard?
Webboard is a product that facilitates online conferencing. Its main features are a threaded discussion board and a real-time chat room. You can think of it as this course's virtual classroom. This is not the same as Blackboard.

How to Begin
1. Go to http://english.asu.edu:8080/~myles. (Always go here to begin your webboard.)
2. When you get the ID/Password dialogue box, click "Cancel."
3. Click "I want to enter as a new user" since you need to create your User ID and Password.
4. Enter your ASURite ID, Password, email address-not necessarily Arizona State University email-that you use the most, and any additional information you wish, then click "Create" at the bottom.
5. You may log in anytime using your ID and Password.

You can make changes to your profile later by going to the http://english.asu.edu:8080/~myles and logging in; click on the "More…" tap in the top frame; then click on "Edit your profile." Once you have changed the information click "Save" at the bottom of the screen.

On Threaded Discussions
· Before you post your response, first write it in MS Word, then copy and paste it here. Always keep your own copy in a word file.
· To post your weekly reading response and reply to another student's question or comment, use the "Reply to: (the topic)" button at the bottom in the right side frame. Write your response and click "Post." A preview screen for spell checking will appear; after spell-check, click "Post" again.
· To reply to a specific message, use the "Reply" button at the top of the message.
· To post a discussion topic, use the "Post" button in the top frame or at the top of each message. Do NOT post a discussion topic, unless you are permitted by instructor.
· To post/ attach a word file, use the "Reply to: (the topic)" button at the bottom in the right side frame. Check the box of "Attach file," write your comment if you wish, and click "Post" again. Choose a category, put a file name, and upload it.

· The guide is based on "The Student Guide to WebBoard" at http://www.asu.edu/clas/english/webboard/documents.html
· For help in using WebBoard, check our FAQs page http://www.asu.edu/clas/English/webboard/faqs.html, or go to our help form http://www.asu.edu/clas/English/forms/webboardsupport.html.

Syllabus subject to change with notice.

Week 1 Introduction

Wed. 1/22 Introduction to class. Review course guidelines, requirements and expectations. Group activity.

Week 2 Early African American Female Orators

Mon. 1/27 Weekly Reading Response Due. Reading due: Marilyn Richardson, Maria Stewart, America's First Black Woman Political Writer, through page 55.

Wed. 1/29 Reading Due: Reading: Maria Stewart, America's First Black Woman Political Writer, pp. 56-109 and Appendixes.
Handout: Study questions for Sojourner Truth.

Week 3 Early African American Female Orators (cont.) and Female Slave Narratives

Mon. 2/3 Weekly Reading Response Due.
Reading due: Nell Painter, Narrative of Sojourner Truth, Intro. - p. 72.

Wed. 2/5 Reading due: Narrative of Sojourner Truth, pp. 73-148.

Week 4

Mon. 2/10 Weekly Reading Response Due. Reading due: Narrative of Sojourner Truth, pp. 148-221.
Handout: Study questions.

Wed. 2/12 Reading due: Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, pp. 1-67.

Week 5

Mon. 2/17 Topic due for paper 1. Weekly Reading Response Due. Reading due: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, pp. 68-136.

Wed. 2/19 Reading due: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, pp. 137-201.
Handout: Study questions.

Week 6

Mon. 2/24 Weekly Reading Response Due. Anna Julia Cooper, A Voice From the South
Reading due: "Womanhood A Vital Element...." and "The Higher Education of a Woman."

Wed. 2/26 Reading due: A Voice From the South. "Woman vs. The Indian" and "The Status of Woman in America
Handout: Study questions.

Week 7

Mon. 3/3 Weekly Reading Response Due.
Reading due: Frances Harper, Iola Leroy; or, Shadows Uplifted, pp. 227-285,

Wed. 3/5 Reading due: Iola Leroy; or, Shadows Uplifted, pp. 286-347.

Week 8

Mon. 3/10 Weekly Response Due. Reading due: Iola Leroy, pp. 348-408.

Wed. 3/12 Paper # 1 due. Reading due: Iola Leroy, pp. 409-461.

Week 9 Spring Break March 16-23

Week 10

Mon. 3/24 Weekly Reading Response Due. Reading due: Pauline Hopkins, Contending Forces, pp. 13-113.

Wed. 3/26 Reading due: Contending Forces, pp. 114-182.

Week 11

Mon. 3/31 Weekly Reading Response Due. Reading due: Contending Forces, pp. 182-239.

Wed. 4/2 Reading due: Contending Forces, pp. 240-302.

Week 12

Mon. 4/7 Due: Topic, thesis and bibliography for Paper 2. Weekly Reading Response Due. Reading due: Contending Forces, pp. 303-402.

Wed. 4/9 Reserve Reading Due: Frances Harper, "The Two Offers."

Week 13

Mon. 4/14 Weekly Reading Response Due. Reading due: Jesse Fauset's, "Mary Elizabeth."

Wed. 4/16 Reading due: Passing, pp. 143-176.

Assignment: Work on rough draft. Bring three copies to class.

Week 14

Mon. 4/21 Rough draft due. Bring three copies. Reading Due: Passing, pp. 177-210.
Assignment: Student peer review of rough draft.

Wed. 4/22 Due: Student peer review of rough draft. Weekly Reading Response Due. Reading: Passing, pp. 212-242.

Week 15

Mon. 4/28 Weekly Reading Response Due. Reading due: Hayden Reserve - Marita Bonner, The Purple Flower

Wed. 4/30 Reading due: Hayden Reserve - Georgia Douglas Johnson, Blue Blood

Week 16

Mon. 5/5 Due: Final Paper #2 with invention work.
Wrap up.

Wed. 5/7 No Class. Reading Day.

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