Ms. Jolie Sheffer

                                                                Fall 2005


TR 4:00-4:50 pm                                                 Office Hours:  MW 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Bryan Hall 328                                                                                               Bryan Hall 214



Required Texts

Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
William Butler Yeats, Selected Poems and Four Plays

James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land

Ernest Hemingway, In Our Time

Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse

William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying

Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart

Elizabeth Bishop, The Complete Poems, 1927-1979

Sylvia Plath, Ariel

Donald Barthelme, Snow White

Derek Walcott, Collected Poems, 1948-1984

Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things


Policies and Expectations

Š      Participation: This is a discussion-based class and you should come to each session thoroughly prepared to contribute actively to discussion. In addition to reading and completing your assignments on time, you are required to participate daily with enthusiasm, thoughtfulness, and intelligence. 

Š      Absences: You are permitted two absences throughout the course of the semester. For each additional day missed, your final grade will be marked down one-third of a grade.



1st paper (4 pp.) = 10%                Due:  September 27

2st paper (5 pp.) = 15%                Due:  November 1

3th paper (6 pp.) = 15%                Due:  December 1

Mid-term examination = 15%      

Final examination = 25%

Weekly quizzes = 10%

Short assignments and class participation = 10%


Course E-mail List

Everyone in the course has been subscribed to an e-mail list. The address is:


You will be required to respond to this email list for some assignments. In addition, you are encouraged to react informally to readings even when it’s not your turn to put in a response. Be sure to check your e-mail regularly for messages related to readings and assignments.


Contact Information:

In addition to office hours, you can reach me via email at sheffer@virginia.edu or telephone at 249-1006 (between 9 am and 9 pm). 


Note on Reading Poems

Assignments for Yeats, Bishop, and Walcott average 40-45 poems each, or about 13-15 poems for each lecture and section devoted to a particular poet. Because poems take less time to run your eyes over than novels do, it is easy to read them quickly and put them aside, but it is not adequate to do so. Read each poem slowly and carefully at least twice, perhaps one time aloud.  For each poem, look up unfamiliar words and phrases in a dictionary (these are good material for quizzes) and jot down some notes about its form. Does it rhyme? If so, in what pattern? Is it in meter? If so, can you identify the meter? Is it in short lines or long ones? Stanzas or verse paragraphs or an unbroken column? What do these features seem to mean?