Policies and Information

Course Description
Advanced Study in Literature and Film. Explores the nature of “reality” as it is represented in various forms of recent American texts, such as novels, memoirs, films, planned residential communities, visual art, video games and online worlds, and television shows. Read theory from a variety of disciplines to help construct an integrated approach to the idea of “the real.” Topics include: American Literary Realism, modern and postmodern landscapes, geometry and dimensionality, the simulacrum, authenticity and nostalgia, dissociative identity disorders, reality TV, virtual reality, and metafiction. Spring of even years. Prerequisite(s): Junior status. (INCO)

Course Objectives
By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • read critically, marking a text with questions and comments that reflect a thoughtful engagement with both form and content;
  • formulate an original thesis argument based on the analysis of a text;
  • construct an engaging and multimedia blog post which presents scholarly approaches to the course materials to a targeted web audience;
  • reflect on a variety of theoretical approaches to defining “reality”;
  • use theory to reflect on a variety of literary and cultural texts related to the theme of “reality”;
  • articulate their own understanding of “reality.”

Goals for All PSU Literature Courses

  • To understand texts in their cultural and historical contexts
  • To develop critical and creative analytical practices
  • To write about texts w/depth and clarity
  • If applicable, to employ research skills in writing about lit and/or film.


  • Blog Posts are worth 40% of your grade.
  • Quizzes and Assignments are worth 15% of your grade.
  • The Final Project is worth 20% of your grade.
  • The Final Exam is worth 15% of your grade.
  • Class Participation is worth 10% of your grade.  This grade is comprised of two separate grades.  The first is Attendance, which measures how often you come to class (which is imperative to your ability to participate, I think you will agree!).  The second is Engagement, which measures how you involve yourself in the discussions (being careful not to participate too much if you are talkative; encouraging yourself to speak up daily if you are shy; making eye contact with the professor and your classmates; refraining from distracting or distracted behavior such as sleeping, texting, chatting, packing up early, etc.); demonstrating enthusiasm for learning.

Required Texts

Title: Wilderness
Author: Harvey
ISBN: 9780307454775

Title: Simulacra & Simulation
Author: Baudrillard
ISBN: 9780472065219

Title: City of Glass
Author: Auster
ISBN: 9780312423605

Title: Girl Boy Girl
Author: Knoop
ISBN: 9781583228517

Title: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep
Author: Dick
ISBN: 9780345404473

Academic Integrity
You must adhere to the Academic Integrity policy as outlined in the PSU Academic Catalog.  Anyone violating this policy will be reported to the English Department chair, and then sent before the Academic Integrity panel for a hearing.  Here are the basics of what I expect, in addition to full compliance with this policy:

  • all work is your own;

  • if you get information or ideas from books, articles, the internet, or interviews with live people, you need to cite that information or those ideas using MLA style;

  • you may not purchase papers and turn them in as your own work;

  • you may not turn in a paper that you yourself wrote for an assignment for a different class;

  • all presentations and Powerpoints must also include citations.

Plymouth State University is committed to providing students with documented disabilities equal access to all university programs and facilities. If you think you have a disability requiring accommodations, you should immediately contact the PASS Office in Lamson Library (535-2270) to determine whether you are eligible for such accommodations. Academic accommodations will only be considered for students who have registered with the PASS Office. If you have a Letter of Accommodation for this course from the PASS Office, please provide the instructor with that information privately so that you and the instructor can review those accommodations.

At the end of the semester you will be awarded full Attendance points if you have 3 or fewer absences.  If you have from 4-6 absences, you will be awarded 1/2 credit for Attendance.  If you have more than 6 absences, you will receive no credit for Attendance.  There is no need to inform me about the reason for your absences since you receive those 3 free absences to use for reasons such as illness, death in the family, school travel, sports, and other serious matters.  If you have a devastating emergency which will cause you to miss two weeks or more of school, you should contact Undergraduate Studies so that they may advise you on the best course of action.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.