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Page history last edited by Abigail Heiniger 4 years, 8 months ago

English 3073-01

Ethnic Literature: Race, Sex, and Citizenship in the Americas 



Time: T/H 2:30-3:45

10 January – 2 May 2018 (Spring 2018)

Classroom: Sci 106

Course Wiki: http://bcethniclit.pbworks.com


Professor: Dr. Abigail Heiniger

Office: 002 Rish Hall 

Office Hours: M/W: 8:00-11:00, T/H 8:00-9:30, 12:30-1:00


     Phone: 276.326.4275

     Email: aheiniger@bluefield.edu


ENG 3073 Spring 2018 Heiniger.pdf



Registration Information

Last day to ADD or WITHDRAW from course without a “W” is 17 January 2018.

Last day to WITHDRAW from course is 13 April 2018.


Course Description 

This course explores the ways that race, sex and citizenship collide in ethnic literature in America and become an integral part of the construction of national identity. English 3073 explores the relationship between text and culture. The main goals of the course are (1) to have students engage in the close reading of both fiction and non-fiction by diverse American authors; (2) to introduce students to the major themes and issues in ethnic literature; (3) to understand ethnic literature within a broader regional and national context; and (4) to teach students to engage with scholarship and to analyze reading through writing.


To achieve these goals, the course places considerable emphasis upon the relationship between reading and writing. Literary analysis and close reading skills will be practiced individually in class discussions, through a group definition project, and in scaffolded writing assignments, beginning with a close-reading paper and culminating in a final research project and presentation.


This course also introduces students to writing within the English major through an annotated bibliography, a historical overview of the topic in scholarship, and a final research project.  


Quizzes and exams will be designed to evaluate students' abilities to make these connections as well as assess basic comprehension of the materials.


Section Description 

More specifically, our class will take up the above objectives on three levels:

  • We will engage the critical and theoretical aspects of ethnic literature in (1) class presentations in which students will introduce important terms to the class and (2) an annotated bibliography and historical overview of a topic (and text) of the student’s choice.
  • The pragmatic process of close reading and literary analysis (how to write about ethnic literature) will be accomplished through the final paper and through scaffolded writing assignments that respond to specific reading questions. 
  • The questions and responses will be discussed in class along with techniques for close reading and literary analysis. As a college-level course, it is expected that students will adhere to the mechanics of composition (grammar, sentence structure, arrangement, etc.).
  • The final paper and presentation will utilize the close reading and literary analysis skill that students learn throughout the year along. It will also have a research element - students will be expected to consult three or more scholarly secondary sources for their final paper (which will be revised and edited during the course of the semester). 
  • The presentation and group project will have important online components and demonstrate students’ ability to use online media.
  • Finally, basic comprehension of reading materials for the course will be measured in quizzes and exams throughout the course of the semester. Since this is a survey course in ethnic literature, exams will make up a large portion of the final grade.


The bulk of your final grades will be based on the class presentations, quizzes, exams, the final paper, and the final presentation (of the final paper).


Goals and Learning Objectives


Successful completion of this course depends on the students' ability to express cogently, both orally and on paper, that they understand:


  • that literature is a representation of human motives, conflicts, and values.
  • methods and terminology for literary analysis in order to make responsible judgments about literature,
  • the significance of genre.
  • how authors are stylists, conscious exploiters of the rhythmical, figurative, and structural resources of language.
  • how authors stylistically and thematically can define both literary traditions and their own individuality.
  • how political, philosophical, social and religious traditions affect the literature of a given period.
  • that twentieth-century regional and ethnic American literature is both a smoothly evolving continuum and a widely diverse collection of highly individualistic writers.
  • that students can position their own writing within scholarly conversations in English and use English scholarly texts effectively.


Texts and Supplies








The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Alexie, Sherman



Sudden Fiction Latino Pa

Shapard, Robert, ed




Sachar, Louis



M. Butterfly: with an afterword by the playwright

Hwang, David Henry



Plum Bun




Required: Copies of fiction and secondary materials included on wiki 

Required: A Bluefield College e-mail address you check regularly

Required: class wiki account: http://bcethniclit.pbworks.com


All required texts are available at the campus bookstore. 



  • Exams (400 pts/ 40% of total)
  • Close Reading Project (100 pts/ 10% of total)
  • Annotated Bibliography (100 pts/ 10% of total)
  • Final Presentation and Paper (300 pts/ 30% of total)
  • Attendance and Participation (determined by BC – about 100 pts/ 10% of total)


TOTAL = 1000 pts


All written work is to adhere to MLA guidelines (available online through the Purdue OWL website). 

All assignments and due dates listed on the Assignments page of the class wiki. 


Quizzes and Participation

This is a discussion-based class. Attendance and participation in discussion is mandatory. Participation and quizzes (given randomly throughout the semester) cannot be made up except in the case of a university-accepted excused absence. Quizzes and participation (and journals) are worth 10% of the final grade (100 pts).



The majority of the final grade depends upon the three exams. Attendance on exam dates is mandatory; exams cannot be made up except in the case of a university-accepted excused absence.


Close Reading Project

Do a close reading of one of the texts for this class. The close reading should be guided by a single thesis that illuminates and analyzes one specific aspect of the text. 


Annotated Bibliography

The first step in exploring topics in ethnic literature will be to gain a better understanding of the scholarly work being done on your text and theme. For this project, students will create an annotated bibliography for their proposed final paper text and topic topic.


Final Paper and Final Presentation

For the final research paper, you will choose a theme from the course to explore on your own both through secondary research and in a primary text and artifact (see the example above). The final paper should make an argument (have a clear thesis) and engage in a meaningful way with previous scholarship on this text and topic. Although you should support your claims with research, the argument should be your own. This is not a book report, this is a new exploration into ethnic literature in America. The online presentation should convey all the main points of the research paper in an interactive and creative online format. It should include both visual and textual elements. Students will give a ten-minute presentation of their final paper for their final presentation (TBA).   


Since this course teaches students to write within the English major, the research paper should follow standard MLA guidelines. Students will work on and revise this paper throughout the semester. Specific guidelines and due dates can be found on Assignments, the Final Paper Guidelines page, and the Online Presentation page (on the course wiki).   


Grading Papers


English 3073 uses the official grading scale included on MyBC: A 100-94%; A- 93-90%; B+ 89%: B 88-84%; B- 83-80%; C+ 79%; C 78-74%; C- 73-70%, D+ 69%; D 68-64%; D- 63-60%; F 59% and below. Although some questions on quizzes and exams are simply objective, the general rubric for written responses and for the final paper in our course is as follows:


The "A" Paper


The "A" paper has an excellent sense of purpose. Its aim is clear and consistent throughout the paper. It attends to the needs of its audience and the topic itself is effectively narrowed and clearly defined.

The content is appropriately developed for the assignment and the text it is analyzing. The supporting details or evidence are convincingly presented. The reasoning is valid and shows an awareness of the complexities of the subject. If secondary sources are used, they are appropriately selected and cited.

The organization demonstrates a clear and effective strategy. The introduction establishes the writer's credibility and the conclusion effectively completes the essay: paragraphs are coherent, developed, and show effective structural principles.

The expression is very clear, accessible, concrete. It displays ease with idiom and a broad range of diction. It shows facility with a great variety of sentence options and the punctuation and subordinate structures that these require. It has few errors, none of which seriously undermines the effectiveness of the paper for educated readers.


The "B" Paper

The "B" paper has a good sense of purpose. It shows awareness of purpose and focuses on a clearly defined topic.

The content is well developed and the reasoning usually valid and convincing. Evidence and supporting details are adequate.

The organization is clear and easy to follow: the introduction and conclusion are effective, and transitions within and between paragraphs are finessed reasonably well.

The paper has few errors, especially serious sentence errors. Sentences show some variety in length, structure, and complexity. Punctuation, grammar, and spelling conform to the conventions of edited Standard American English.


The "C" Paper

The "C" paper has an adequate sense of purpose. Its purpose is clear and it is focused on an appropriate central idea. The topic and analysis may be unoriginal, but the assignment has been followed, if not fulfilled.

The content is adequately developed. The major points are supported, and paragraphs are appropriately divided, with enough specific details to make the ideas clear. The reasoning is valid.

The organization is clear and fairly easy to follow. The introduction and conclusion are adequate; transitions are mechanical but appropriate.

The expression is generally correct, although it shows little competence with sentence variety (in length and structure) and emphasis. The paper is generally free of major sentence and grammar errors and indicates mastery of most conventions of edited Standard American English.


The "D" Paper

The "D" paper has a limited sense of purpose. Its purpose may not be clear, its topic may not be interesting to or appropriate for its audience.

The content is inadequately developed. The evidence is insufficient, and supporting details or examples are absent or irrelevant.

Organization is deficient. Introductions or conclusions are not clearly marked or functional. Paragraphs are not coherently developed or linked to each other. The arrangement of material within paragraphs may be confusing.

Expression demonstrates an awareness of a very limited range of stylistic options. It is marred by numerous errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation that detract from a reader’s comprehension of the text.


The "F" Paper

There is no sense of purpose or of the objectives of the assignment as described in the syllabus.

The content is insufficiently developed and does not go beyond the obvious. The reasoning is deeply flawed.

The organization is very difficult to follow. Sentences may not be appropriately grouped into paragraphs, or paragraphs may not be arranged logically. Transitions are not present or are inappropriate.

The number and seriousness of errors—in grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc.—significantly obstruct comprehension.


Course Policies:


Late Work 

I do not accept late work - for your writing to receive credit it must be posted in the appropriate space on the wiki (and on Turnitin) by the deadline, otherwise I will comment on it, but it will not receive credit. 


Bluefield College Attendance Policy Statement 

Regular class attendance is recognized as critical to the teaching and learning process.  Students must attend a minimum of 75% of classes in a course to receive academic credit. This college-wide policy serves as the basis for the instructor’s individual attendance policies as described in her or his course syllabi.  This policy clarifies the consequences of the student’s decision for not attending class sessions.  Instructors will maintain class rolls for all courses.  At the discretion of the instructor, unexcused absences can result in severe academic penalties ranging from: academic withdrawal; reductions in course final grades; out-of-class reading assignments with in-class oral reports, to out-of-class meetings with the course instructor.  All such penalties must be included in the course syllabi. For this course, 12 absences (class meeting and conferences) will result in failure of the course.


As this is a discussion and workshop-driven class, attendance of all participants is particularly important. You are also encouraged to make use of office hours.


Please be on time and prepared to learn. In respect for your classmates and professor, once the attendance sheet is passed, you may not sign in and receive credit for attending. You are welcome to stay and listen to the lecture and participate, but it will be marked as an absence. Leaving early without prior permission will also count as an absence. If you are caught signing in a classmate who is not present, you will both receive an honor code violation.


N.B. Attendance and participation in class, conferences, and rough draft workshops comprises 10% of the final grade.


Sharing Student Work 

English 3073 is a collaborative course, as such we will be sharing our writing throughout the semester as a means to helping each other become better writers and thinkers. To better facilitate this process, I will be using selections of your work during class as examples. If you would prefer that I not use your work, please let me know by the end of the first week of the semester.


Media Policy 

I encourage you to use your laptops, computers and Internet connections to search out information relevant to class during class. However, browsing unrelated to the class (as well as other media use - texting, IMing, etc.) will be grounds for expulsion from the course.


I expect professional behavior in the classroom. Please do not allow cell phones or other electronic devices to interrupt class. Please refrain from texting. Repeated interruptions will be held accountable as one unexcused absence.


Academic Dishonesty 


Students in this course as in all Bluefield College courses are expected to complete their own assignments and to cite all sources for material they use. See the Bluefield College Student Handbook for information on plagiarism and the Honor Code.



“Honor shall uphold the humble in spirit.” Proverbs, 29:2

Bluefield College is committed to the pursuit of truth, the dissemination of knowledge, and the high ideals of personal honor and respect for the rights of others. These goals can only be achieved in a setting in which intellectual honesty and personal integrity are highly valued and other individuals are respected.  This academic code of conduct reflects our corporate and earnest desire to live lives of honor that are above reproach, based upon Christian principles.  Each member of the community is called upon to understand and agree to its concepts and to operate within its spirit.


Honor is an ideal and an obligation that exists in the human spirit and lives in the relations between human beings.  An honorable person shall not lie or cheat or steal. In all scholarly work produced by community members, academic honesty is inherent and apparent, the work being the original work of the author unless credit is given through the use of citations and references.


In all relationships, the college community expects respect and integrity between its members and toward all peoples and organizations. Honesty and civility are required elements of an effective learning environment. Truthfulness and respect for others are shared values of Bluefield College and are expected characteristics of its members


Plagiarism is the unacknowledged use of ideas and information from sources without proper citation and documentation (e.g., copying from texts or pasting from websites without quoting, and not providing a complete list of Works Cited). Students are required to sign a plagiarism statement, declaring all work is original.


In English 1023, the first instance of plagiarism will result in a failing grade for the entire assignment. Any subsequent infringements will result in a failure of the course. See the Bluefield Honor Code for more information.


To prevent and detect plagiarism in this course, all major assignments will be submitted to Turnitin. Writing assignments will ONLY be graded through Turnitin.com.   


Incomplete Policy 

I generally do not allow “Incompletes,” it is the responsibility of students to complete all work in a timely fashion; failure to do so will be reflected in the student’s grade unless that student withdraws from the course. Exceptions to this policy are rare and will be decided on a case-by-case basis. If you decide to leave the course, be sure to withdraw within the allotted time. Failure to do so will demand a failing grade at the semester’s end. 




ACE Center 

Bluefield College’s ACE (Academic Center for Excellence) is located on the lowest level of Rish Hall. Mrs. Brenda Workman, Director of Student Success, Ms. Lelia Fry, Director of First Year Experience, and Mr. Wayne Pelts, Assistant Director of ACE are available to assist with student needs.  They connect students with tutors who can guide student learning.  Students may contact any of the staff members in the ACE to set up an appointment with a tutor in the subject where help is needed.  A list of tutors is available directly inside of the ACE. Students are encouraged set up weekly academic coaching sessions with ACE staff for additional help with organizational skills, time management skills, accountability for grades, and overall academic support.


ACE Hours 

ACE is open and available for students to use for computers, studying, and individually scheduled tutoring sessions Monday-Sunday, 6AM-12 midnight. ACE Staff are available Monday-Friday 8:30am-5pm.



Anyone with a Bluefield College email address may sign up for a FREE account at Grammarly.com/edu.  Visit Grammarly.com/edu and select the sign up button.  When prompted, complete the sign up form using your BC email address. An activation link will be mailed to your BC email address and you must use that link to finish your registration.  After completing this step your account setup is complete.  If you have trouble, please go to the link titled “Instant Writing Help” under the ACE quick link on myBC.  Email ckieloch@bluefield.edu for additional help with Grammarly.



Students may also receive assistance with most writing assignments by using the ACE Writing Lab for face-to-face appointments or by accessing the ACE Online Writing Lab.  Face-to-face writing lab hours will be posted outside the ACE and also on our Bluefield College ACE Facebook page. Students may email Mr. Wayne Pelts (wpelts@bluefield.edu) about connecting with a face-to-face writing tutor if they cannot visit during lab hours.

Students may submit essays online using Smarthinking to receive feedback. Use the ACE link in the lower left-hand corner of the myBC homepage and then select the link in the left-hand menu to access the FREE Online Tutoring.  Please be sure to plan ahead when using the online writing lab.  Students usually receive responses within 24 hours to 48 hours.



Students may receive assistance with Math courses through the ACE Math Lab.  Math lab hours will be posted outside the ACE and also on our Bluefield College ACE Facebook page.  Students may email Mr. Wayne Pelts (wpelts@bluefield.edu) about connecting with a math tutor if they cannot visit during lab hours. 



Please notify the instructor at the beginning of this course if you are a student with a documented disability who may require appropriate accommodations in order to be provided the opportunity to fulfill course requirements.  More information about disability and academic accommodations can be found on the ACE quick-link under Disability Services. Should you need accommodations, please visit Mr. Wayne Pelts in his office inside the ACE in the lower level of Rish Hall or email him at wpelts@bluefield.edu


Syllabus Contract

After reading this syllabus, please go to the Syllabus Contract Page (linked to the syllabus page on the wiki). If you agree to the terms and conditions of this syllabus, EDIT the page and add your name to it.



The instructor reserves the right to revise the syllabus and assignments during the course of the semester. All revisions to the syllabus, assignments and lectures will be posted on the course wiki in the appropriate places. 


Revised 9 January 2018.






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