English 4200 and 5200: Chaucer, Fall 2008
|Dr. M. Wendy Hennequin
Office: Humanities 301
Office Hours: MWF 7:30-9:10, 11:30-12:30; T 3-5
Office Phone: x5724
E-mail: MWHennequin [at] gmail [dot] com
From the catalogs:
ENGL 4200 Chaucer (3) (Formerly ENG 420).
introduction to the works of Chaucer, with emphasis on the background of the
age and on development of Chaucer as a literary artist.
ENGL 5200. CHAUCER. (3) Study in the works of
Geoffrey Chaucer, with the emphasis on the Canterbury Tales. Course also
includes attention to the medieval cultural background. (Formerly ENG 520)
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In order to earn a grade of at least C in this course, students will be able to:
- identify genres used by Chaucer;
- explore and analyze texts in historical and cultural context;
- analyze and describe poetic techniques;
- read and pronounce Middle English competently;
- make connections within and between texts;
- use and evaluate critical commentary;
- research and analyze a medieval topic; and
- use critical thinking skills to analyze and explicate texts.
Graduate students will also be able to:
conduct a review of current scholarship on
write an article-length study or analysis on
a Chaucerian text.
make a formal presentation of research to the
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Required Texts and Equipment
- Chaucer, Geoffrey. Dream Visions and Other Poems. Ed.
Kathryn L. Lynch. New York: Norton, 2007. ISBN 0393925889.
- Chaucer, Geoffrey. The Canterbury Tales: Fifteen Tales and the
General Prologue. Ed. V.A. Kolve and Glending Olson. 2nd ed.
New York: Norton, 2005. ISBN 0393925870.
- Chaucer, Geoffrey. Troilus and Criseyde. Ed. Stephen A.
Barney. New York: Norton, 2006. ISBN: 0393927555.
- A reputable, hard-bound dictionary such as Merriam-Webster, American Heritage, or Random House. Paperback editions are
incomplete and not acceptable. You may also use on-line sites by the same publishers, such as
or American Heritage. Better yet, use the Oxford English
- The Middle English
Dictionary. It's on-line, and it's free, thanks to the
University of Michigan.
- Writing supplies: Pens, loose leaf or legal paper, and a notebook.
- A computer, word-processor, or (for you Luddites) a typewriter.
- An Internet browser. Assignments and supplemental materials will be posted on-line, and some supplemental readings may be
available either at e-book
sites or on the Library's
Electronic Reserve site.
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Readings, as assigned.
A mid-term exam.
A final exam.
A review of a scholarly book.
A research project.
Participation in class discussions and
Your participation forms a significant part of your grade. Participation consists of:
Excessive Absenteeism. Students who miss more than one week's
worth of classes (3 on MWF, 2 on TR, etc.) will fail class
participation. Students missing more than 2 weeks worth of classes
(6 on MWF, 2 on TR, etc.) will earn a 0 in class participation.
- Attendance of class. Yes, I give you a point every day just for showing
up. If you show up late, I may give you half a point or no points.
- Preparation for class activities, such as reading the assigned texts and commenting on other students' drafts.
- Participation in classes and conferences. For each class in which you ask a relevant
question, add something relevant to the discussion, bring in information, or make a relevant
comment, you gain another point--on top of the one you gained for simply attending.
- Meeting with me in my office (or elsewhere) about class work outside of class or
conferences also earns points.
- Attention in class. Students who sleep in class, use cell phones or
other electronics, send text or e-mail messages, do work for other classes, hold side conversations, or indulge in other distractions will lose any points they gained for that day's class.
- Perfect Attendance. Students who attend every class will earn 5 points towards their
In addition, graduate students must also
An annotated bibliography
of scholarship on a medieval literary topic.
A research article, in place of the
A formal presentation of their work to the
class, in the form of a conference-type
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Attending University is a job, an internship which prepares students for their careers. I therefore expect my students to treat the class as a professional commitment, rather than a pastime or a hobby. My class policies emulate the expectations of professionals in the workplace.
Students missing more than one week's worth of
classes (3 for a MWF class, 2 for a TR) will fail class participation.
Students missing more than two weeks' worth of
classes (6 for a MWF class, 4 for a TR) will earn a 0 for class
- Attendance is mandatory.
- Excused absences. For purposes of class participation, I will excuse absences only for the following
circumstances and only with proper documentation.
- Death in the immediate family. “Immediate family” includes
(step-)parents, parental guardians, (step-)sons, (step-)daughters,
(step-)siblings, and spouses. All other funereal absences count under
the normal sick / personal absences.
- Serious and extended illness or injury lasting a week or
more (such as mononucleosis).
- University business (team travel, band travel, the Rising Junior exam
but not practices, meetings with your advisor, or requirements for other classes).
- Court appearances required by sub poena or otherwise mandated by the court.
See page 29 of the Undergraduate Catalogue for official university policy.
Be on time.
Disability. I will make reasonable accommodations for
disabled students with documentation from Disabled Student Services.
- Students must bring me the accommodation letter from Disabled
Student Services by the second week of class.
- Absences related to your disability must be documented
individually and separately from the accommodation letter.
Electronics: Do not send e-mail, text, or instant messages, or surf the Web, or use your cell phone or blackberry.
After 1 warning, I
will deduct FIVE POINTS off your FINAL GRADE.
Assignments are due at the beginning of class on the due dates.
- I do not accept late work except with prior arrangement.
- If you need an extension, you must request it two class days in advance.
- Each student is allowed one (1) 24-hour emergency extension to cover true
emergencies such as computer melt-down, printer failure, or vehicular mishaps. Students
must tell me that they are using the extension when the paper is due and must
deliver the paper to my mailbox (in Humanities 104) or my e-mail within 24 hours.
Make-ups: Class work must be done in class.
- Quizzes and in-class writing work cannot be made up. Students who are excused for the day are excused for the work; all others who miss the class earn a zero for the assignment.
- I may allow a student with convincing documentation to make up a major test.
- The final exam must be taken during the exam period, and I cannot change the date of a student's exam. This is university policy.
Do your own work.
The TSU Undergraduate Catalogue says this about academic fraud:
Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited. Students guilty of
academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly through participation or assistance, are immediately responsible to the instructor of the
class. In addition to the other possible disciplinary sanctions which may be imposed through the regular institutional procedures as a
result of academic misconduct, the instructor has the authority to assign an ‘F’ or a zero for the exercise or examination, or assign an ‘F’
in the course. (29)
Students submitting any fraudulent work—copied, plagiarized, stolen, bought, cheated, etc.—will receive a ZERO for the assignment, and
may receive an F for the course.
An important clarification: collaboration is not plagiarism. A person who plagiarizes claims someone else's work for his or her own;
people who collaborate on a project claim that they have done the work together and that the work they have done together is their own. You
need not credit collaborating colleagues if they proofread, critique, or make suggestions on your work.
E-mail: Treat e-mail professionally.
- I check my e-mail once daily on weekdays during the semester.
- All e-mails must be:
- polite and professional.
- well-spelled and grammatically correct.
- You may e-mail me to:
- request an extension (at least 48 hours before the assignment is due).
- make an appointment with me.
- ask about thesis statements or paper topics.
- request recommendation letters.
- hand in an assignment (with permission).
- I will not respond to e-mails regarding:
- grades or comments on your papers. (Come to my office to discuss these issues.)
- missed assignments or notes. (Ask your classmates and / or check the schedule.)
- technical support. (Call the technical support folks at extension 7777.)
- questions on assignments, material covered in class, grammar, or citation formats. (Ask in class, so that you get credit for it
and everyone gets the answer.)
- complaints of any sort.
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This page was created for M. Wendy Hennequin's
Chaucer, Spring 2007, at Tennessee State University. Creation date:
August 20, 2007. Modified for the Fall 2008 semester: August 19, 2008.
Last update: August 19, 2008.