Course Instructor Days Times Room
ENGL3100 STEGER, SARA MWF 11:15 AM 0145


In this course, we will use literature as a lens to investigate British history and the shifting cultural identities of the British people. The readings will include journals, essays, lots of poetry, a play, and a novel. Although we will keep a historical perspective in mind, our reading will not be chronological; instead we will take a topical approach. By examining writers' various perspectives on major topics, we will continuously be comparing works and forming ideas about how British culture has changed (or remained staunchly consistent) over time.

We will be focusing on several topical units, including:

  • The History of Written English (Why Write?)
  • Faith and Doubt
  • Death
  • Women
  • Love and Sex
  • Ghosts and Monsters
  • Race and Class
  • Language Lessons: Wit, Puns, and Satire

This is a very reading-intensive course because the goal is to expose students to various writings and perspectives.  We may focus more on some texts than others; at times we may not even discuss an assigned reading.  Please be assured that you're still learning as you read, and all materials from the course might end up on the exams.  


Student Presentations:

Every student will make a brief presentation on an assigned topic to the entire class. Presentations will be 8-10 minutes and will be accompanied by a one-page handout for the rest of the class with relevant information and citations (names, dates, quotations, images, sources, etc.).  Students will be required to reference at least two sources other than the textbook for the presentation, and they will be required to explicitly relate the presentation topic to at least one of the readings assigned for the day. Presentations will be graded via "crowd-sourcing" (peer-to-peer evaluation).  Information from the presentations may be used on the exams.  


There will be a 75-minute in-class midterm and a 3-hour final exam. The exams will cover material from the reading, our class discussions, and the student presentations.

Short Responses:

You will you will submit six written responses (around 500 words in length, submitted in Emma as electronic documents) addressing the questions from prompts that will be posted in the course resources.

Responses should quote and analyze the literary work(s) that you discuss, and they should reflect your own analysis, not those gathered from the Internet.  All materials should be cited in MLA format.

Responses will be evaluated with a letter grade on the plus/minus scale.  In order to receive an "A" on a short response, the student should present a thoughtful, carefully-edited, and thorough answer to the assigned question.   

Class Participation:

You will be expected to actively participate in class discussions, which will involve asking and answering questions in an informed manner, and engaging and respecting the ideas of other classmates. The quality and frequency of your participation will count towards your final grade. I will evaluate your participation grade using the following criteria:

A = always prepared for class; regular, active participation; rarely absent

B = always prepared for class; frequent participation; rarely absent

C = usually prepared for class; occasional participation; occasionally absent

D = often unprepared for class; infrequent participation; several absences

F = usually unprepared for class; consistent lack of participation; several absences

  • Midterm: 20%

  • Final Exam: 30%

  • Presentation: 20%

  • Short Responses: 20% 

  • Participation/In Class Work: 10%


You are expected to arrive on time and attend all class meetings. Upon the fifth absence over the course of the semester (no matter the reason - there's no distinction between excused and unexcused absences), I will lower your final grade by one-third, and it will go down an additional third for each additional absence above four. Excessive tardiness will negatively affect your participation grade in the course.


The Broadview Anthology of British Literature, Compact One-Volume Edition.  ISBN: 1554812542

Makeup Policy

I will not accept short responses late, although there will be one opportunity to make up a missed response (due on the day of the final exam).  I will only offer a makeup for the midterm, final examination, or presentation under the most extenuating and well-documented circumstances.