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COURSE NAME: "Study of the Works of a Single Modern Writer: Jane Austen - In Her Own World and Ours - HONORS (This course carries 4 semester hours of credits. A minimum CUM GPA of 3.5 is required)"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Spring 2019

INSTRUCTOR: Shannon Russell
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TTH 10:00-11:15 AM
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: EN 110 with a grade of C or above and one previous English literature class
OFFICE HOURS: By appointment

This course focuses on the work of one writer from the nineteenth century to the present. This course may be taken more than once for credit when different writers are studied.
This is a reading and writing intensive course. Students in 300-level literature classes are required to produce 5-6,000 words of critical writing

JANE AUSTEN:  In Her World and Ours

Students will read all of Austen's major novels and selections from the Juvenilia and letters, and will be expected to critique film adaptions of these books, as well.  Students will be exposed to a variety of critical approaches to Austen's work and will engage with these in class and in their research papers.  Students will also be working with a Digital Humanities tool, Voyant, to explore and analyse Austen's linguistic universe.

The course aims to have students understand both Austen’s debt to previous writers and her own significant contributions to the genre of the novel. By the end of the course, students should be able to appreciate the cultural and literary contexts from which these novels emerge and should have developed critical capacities to understand why they speak so enduringly to us today.  Students should also become aware of the act of reading and the process of translation of Austen's work from the page to film in their critique of a number of adaptations of these novels.

HONORS OPTION:  Students have the option to take this course for Honors credit, providing they meet the required GPA.

Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
PersuasionJane AustenBroadview13.978-1-55111-131-5  
EmmaJane AustenBroadview1-5511-321-X  
Mansfield ParkJane AustenBroadview 139781-55111-098-1  
Pride and PrejudiceJane AustenBroadview1-5511-028-8  
Sense and SensibilityAustenBroadview9781551111254/155111125X  
Northanger AbbeyJane AustenBroadview Press 13.978-1-55111-479-8  

3 Essays (8-9 pages each)Essays must be typed and conform to MLA style guidelines.60% (20% for each essay)
Group Seminar Presentation involving a film critique of an adaptation of one of the novels.A rubric for this assignment will be provided on the Moodle. 10%
Participation  10%
Final Exam 20%
Honors Component Assignment for those who are registered as Honors students onlyHonors students will do an extra project or assignment, to be devised together with the professor by week 3 of the course.Pass/Fail

AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

Attendance is mandatory. Students who miss more than three classes  -- whether absences are justifiable (religious holidays, illness, funeral attendance) or not -- will be required to produce an additional five-page essay assignment to be arranged with the instructor and due no later than the last week of classes, to avoid an overall reduction of their final grade for the class. Final grades are reduced by one grade level  once absences exceed three in a semester (an overall final grade of A- will change to B+, for example).  Should absences exceed six, students will be asked to withdraw from the class or will be required to do additional work beyond the extra essay assignment, to justify their participation in the course.  It is advisable to notify the professor by the beginning of the second week of classes, if you know you will be absent from class for religious or other reasons. Two late arrivals count as one absence.

Exam absences:  You cannot make up a major exam (midterm or final) without the permission of the Dean’s Office. The Dean’s Office will grant such permission only when the absence was caused by a serious impediment, such as a documented illness, hospitalization or death in the immediate family (in which you must attend the funeral) or other situations of similar gravity. Absences due to other meaningful conflicts such as job interviews, family celebrations, travel difficulties, student misunderstandings or personal convenience, will not be excused. Students who will be absent from a major exam must notify the Dean’s Office prior to that exam. Absences from class due to the observance of a religious holiday will normally be excused. Individual students who will have to miss class to observe a religious holiday should notify the instructor by the end of the Add/Drop period to make prior arrangements for making up any work that will be missed. The final exam period runs until December 9, 2016. 
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.



Please see the Moodle for a more detailed syllabus including readings, discussion points, assignments, and supplementary material

Password for access to the Moodle is:  AUSTEN19 (password is case sensitive).

NOTE:  There is NO mid-term exam in this course. 

HONORS STUDENTS: Those who take this course for Honors will have an extra assignment, to be devised and agreed between student and professor by the third week of class.


Tues. Jan. 22

Introduction to course and its requirements: Who was Jane Austen and who is she now?

Thurs. Jan. 24

Read Lady Susan and selections from the Juvenilia on the website, particularly those writings Austen compiled in Volumes 1, 2 and 3: 



Tues. Jan. 29

Playing with the gothic novel and the novel of sensibility

Read:  Chapters 1-10 of Northanger Abbey    

Appendix C:  Examples of Jane Austen's reading
Appendix D: Catherine Morland's reading 

Thurs. Jan. 31 

Read: Northanger Abbey Chapters 11-20


Tues. Feb. 5 regular class PLUS lunchtime class with librarian on DH tool Voyant (12:45-1:30 in Library) as makeup for cancelled class on April 23.

Read:  Northanger Abbey Chapter 21-end

Thurs. Feb. 7

Read:  Volume I of Sense and Sensibility

WEEK 4  

Tues. Feb. 12

Read:  Volume II of Sense and Sensibility

Thurs. Feb. 14

Read:  Volume III of Sense and Sensibility

WEEK 5      

Tues. Feb. 19  First Essay Due today

SEMINAR Group 1   Critique of film version of Sense and Sensibility 

Thurs. Feb. 21 

Read:  Volume I of Pride and Prejudice

Appendix B:  From the Conduct Books
Appendix C:  Burke on the French Revolution
Appendix D:  Discussion of Women’s Role after the French Revolution

Fri. Feb. 22  

Read:  Volume II of Pride and Prejudice  (Voyant refresher workshop)


Tues. Feb. 26

Read:  Volume II-III of Pride and Prejudice

Thurs. Feb. 28

Read:  Volume III of Pride and Prejudice 


Tues. March 5 

SEMINAR Group 2: Critique of film version of the novel.  

Thurs. March 7

Read: Volume 1 of Mansfield Park

Appendix A: The Theatricals at Mansfield Park
Appendix B: Religion 



Tues. March 19

Read: Volume 2 of Mansfield Park

Appendix C: Ideals of Femininity

Appendix F: A Woman’s Education
Appendix D: “The Improvement of the Estate”

Thurs. March 21

Read:  Volume 3 Mansfield Park

Appendix E: The West Indian Connection

WEEK 10  

Tues. March 26 Second Essay Due Today

Seminar 3:  Critique of film version of Mansfield Park 

Thurs. March 28

Read:  Volume I of Emma 

Appendix A:  The Composition and Reception of the Novel
Appendix B:  Social Class and Landed Society
Appendix C:  The Landless:  Gypsies and Bastards


Tues. April 2

Read: Volume II of Emma 

Thurs. April 4

Read:  Volume III Emma

WEEK 12  

Tues. April 9

Read:  To the end of Emma

Thurs. April 11  

View DVD’s of Emma and Clueless in library

SEMINAR Group 4:   Critique of film versions of the novel.   

WEEK 13 

Tues. April 16  Third essay due today

Read:   Volume I  Persuasion

Appendix G  From Thomson’s The Seasons
Appendix H  From Walter Scott’s Marmion
Appendix I  From Byron’s “The Gaiour”

Thurs. April 18

Read Volume 2 of Persuasion


No Classes Tues. April 23 and Thurs. April 25


Tues. April 30


View DVD of the book and come prepared to discuss.

Thurs. May 2   

Persuasion and Summing up

Final Exams May 6-10