Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Course Syllabus

Reading Schedule:
We will be reading our main text, Tales of Genji, throughout the term, with the Pillow Book as counterpoint and embellishment. This schedule of readings gives you an effective way to manage your reading: you will in all likelihood want to read well ahead of the schedule, but if you do follow the schedule as written here you will never be behind the lectures.
The weekly schedule for Genji is divided along some structual seams in the text and requires roughly one hundred pages per week. Especially when one considers that Lady Shikibu was not an Experimental Modernist, and wrote to delight, this is anything but onerous! For me, the experience of reading Genji added to my life's treasures.

Week One: January 10th & 12th
Genji: Ch 1
Pillow Book: Sec. 1
Week Two: January 17th & 19th
Genji: Ch. 2-4
Pillow Book: Sec 2-8

Week Three: January 24th & 26th
Genji: Ch. 5-9
Pillow Book: Sec. 9-49
Week Four: January 31st & February 2nd
Genji: Ch. 10-14
Pillow Book: Sec. 50-99

Week Five: February 7th & 9th
Genji: Ch. 15-21
Pillow Book: Sec. 100-149
Week Six: February 14th & 16th
Genji: Ch. 22-31
Pillow Book: Sec. 150-185

Week Seven: February 23rd
Genji: Ch. 32-35
Week Eight: February 28th & March 2nd
Genji: Ch. 36-41
Week Nine: March 7th & 9th
Genji: Ch. 42-46

Week Ten: March 14th & March 16th
Genji: Ch. 47-50

Week Eleven: March 21st & March 23rd
Genji: Ch. 51-54

Week Twelve: March 28th & March 30th
Masks: (Read all)
Week Thirteen: April 3rd & 5th
Masks (con't.) & course reflections.

See support material available on Library Reserve.

Assignment Deadlines.
Nb: There is a 3% per day late penalty for assignments -- documented medical or bereavement leave excepted -- and all assignments must be placed in the Instructor's mailbox outside the English Department Office.

1. Mid term paper, twenty-five hundred words: due midnight March 6th. Assignment sheet with suggested topics will be blogged on February13th. Criteria include literary analysis, engagement with course themes and writing mechanics. [Note that these dates afford you flexibility. If your mid-term schedule is crowded, you are free to submit your paper at the deadline, which is more than three weeks after the assignment sheet is distributed. If you prefer to get a critical response to your paper earlier in the course, you can submit yours as soon as you like after the assignment is blogged, in week six.]
2. Group e-text project: in collaboration with the Course Instructor, create a web log dedicated to a distinct topic the works from the course reading list. Groups set & assignment sheet handed out January 31st. Seminar time will be set aside throughout the term to work with the Instructor on this project
3. Individual class presentation: schedule handed around in seminar. You will choose any one of the chapters from Genji and prepare an oral presentation of no less than five & no more than ten minutes that gives your reflection on the nani [ 何 ], the kosei [ 個性 ] -- the what, or the quiddity -- that seperates Genji from Madame Butterfly as it is appears in the interaction between Genji and any one of his lovers in your selected chapter. To help all of us increase our understanding of, & appreciation for, Shikibu's art, please include some detail and explanation on any aspect of the setting or the plant or flower with which the female character is associated. Be sure to choose one that you find engaging or interesting, emembering that as none of us have significant knowledge of Japan, any researched information that you provide will be warmly received.
Your presentation will be a good opportunity for you to get your toe in the water to a hopeful topic or area of interest for your Final Paper.
4. Final Paper, thirty-five hundred words: due at midnight April 7th. Topic to be discused and approved in advance with the course instructor.

Course Approach
It is hoped that students will engage the material critically.

Course requirement weighting:
10% Course participation
10% Seminar presentation
20% Group e-Text project
20% Mid-term paper (approx. 2500 words)
40% Final Paper (approx. 3500 words)

Nb: “Participation requires both participation in seminar and attendance and punctuality at lecture and seminar."

Instructor Contact:
Office Hours: AQ 6094 -- Monday 11:30-13:30; Tuesday 13:30-15:00; Wednesday, 11:30–15:00; Thursday 13:30-15:00. Bring your coffee and discuss course matters freely. E-mail to ogden@sfu.ca will be received from campus e-mail accounts only, & will be replied to within fourty-eight hours. The URL for this course blog is http://talesofgenji.blogspot.com
In emergencies, I can be reached on my cellular phone at 604-250-9432.


Anonymous said...

hello professor!! thanks for posting up the syllabus, this is very helpful.
this is a silly question, but will we use both genji and the pillow book in class everytime? the genji book is really heavy so i would like to avoid lugging it to campus if we are not going to take a look at it (eg on tues, i brought genji but we only looked at butterfly and pillowbook).
i just thought it might be helpful for other students to know as well (i know it will help me from breaking my shoulder)
thank you!

Dr. S.A. Ogden said...

Dear Anonymous-san:
Well, I'm afraid I'm an unregenerate believer in organic lectures: that, like the wind and the Spirit, they bloweth as they listeth.
I will say that, on the whole, we are more likely to engage Shonagon on Tuesdays than on Thursdays, and more earlier in the term than later.
I hope that is a reasonable accomodation?

Anonymous said...

yes that helps! thank you very much ^^