ENG/FL 222 Masterpieces of the Western World II

Fulfills GEP Humanities/Global Knowledge Requirement (2009)

updated January 24, 2016

Instructor: Diane Beckman
Office: 423 Withers Hall
Mailing Address: Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, NCSU CB 8106, Raleigh NC 27695-8106 USA
Office phone: 919-515-9284 (call during office hours, otherwise email)
Office hours: M, W, F 8:30-9 am in Withers 423 and by appointment (in my office or at Global Village Coffee House)
Web site:

In case of bad weather, call 919-513-8888 for information about NC State status.

Class meets: MWF 11:45 am - 12:35 pm in Withers 135

Go directly to Syllabus

Go directly to Daily Writing Assignments

Go directly to Supplementary Materials

Go directly to Moodle

Go directly to Norton's Companion Website for the textbook with Period Introduction Overviews, Timelines, Interactive Maps, Quizzes, and more.


Resources available in DH Hill: Textbooks and films are on reserve at the Circulation desk. There are also articles also available on e-reserve


In this course we will explore the Western literary tradition through reading, discussing, and writing about some of the major works of European literature from the eighteenth through twentieth centuries. We will also pay attention to the political and cultural contexts of these works. Students will "engage the human experience through the interpretation of human culture [and] become aware of the act of interpretation itself as a critical form of knowing in the humanities." (General Education Program, NCSU)


By the end of the course you should be able to:


Your grade in this course will be computed as follows:
Class Work: Attendance & Participation (25%), Homework (75%): 25%
Poetry Presentation 10%
Discussion Board or Reading Notebook: 15%
Paper: 15%
Midterm: 15%
Final Exam: 20%

There will be plus/minus grading in this class. The scale will be as follows:
A+ = 97.0-100, A = 93.0-96.9, A- = 90.0-92.9,
B+ = 87.0-89.9, B = 83.0-86.9, B- = 80.0-82.9,
C+ = 77.0-79.9, C = 73.0-76.9, C- = 70.0-72.9,
D+ = 67.0-69.9, D = 63.0-66.9, D- = 60.0-62.9,
F = 59.9 and below.

Tips for success in this class from a student evaluation in Fall 2009: "This class wasn't an easy A. I worked hard for every point. Tests were challenging and thorough. Assignments improved my overall writing abilities. Would recommend this class to someone who wants to get a wide range of experience to literature, but not someone who wants to breeze through the class without doing work." As the father of one of my former students puts it: "Nothing will work unless you do."

This is an academically rigorous survey class with a lot of reading as well as daily writing assignments. I expect a lot from students and will do whatever I can to help you succeed. I do not expect you to have a background in the humanities and I will do my best to keep the class atmosphere creative, lively, and accepting of your best efforts. Keep up with the work, participate actively in class, and you will improve and even master the material. Both effort and ability will be rewarded.

Therefore, develop a Growth Mindset, especially if you aren't a big fan of reading, writing, and literature. Advice from the experts: The next time you take a class on a subject you fear because you think you are not "smart" in that area, keep in mind that practice can make a huge difference in your learning success. The class may not be easy for you, but if you have some background knowledge in the subject or take the time to learn some background information (e.g., through learning development courses or tutoring) and you work hard (keep a growth mindset), there is no telling what you will achieve. Read more on the subject here.


Attendance is required and will be taken daily. You are expected to arrive on time to class. Repeated tardiness will affect your grade: three tardies will count as one absence. You are permitted three absences with no penalty. Each additional absence will reduce your class participation grade by one step (from A to A-, from B+ to B, etc.). See me as soon as possible after an absence and provide a written excuse to be accepted at my discretion (in case of illness, injury, death or illness in the family, university duties, court attendance, or religious observance). Save your absences for emergencies. Excessive absences may lead to an F for the course.

If you need to miss a class, let me know in person or by email before the class meeting, if possible. Upon your return to class, you are responsible for all work missed and for any assignments announced during your absence. If you ask me if you missed anything, here is the reply I will be tempted to send you. No late work will receive full credit unless an excused absence has been accepted by the instructor. These policies are based on Departmental and University Attendance Regulations.


Incomplete grades will be given only when a student cannot complete the course work due to unforeseeable circumstances beyond his/her control and has done most of the course work. In the case of an excused absence, students need to set up a timetable with me to complete the missing assignments.


Students prepare assigned reading (see Syllabus) and writing assignments before coming to class. The informal daily writing assignments are posted on the Daily Writing Assignment page. They do not appear on the Syllabus. You may type or handwrite your daily writing assignment. Double space or skip lines, so that I can read them easily and there will be room for my comments. Please include an assignment heading (for example, Pope Essay on Man, Stanza X; Bovary 4; A Short Guide, Chap. 1). You may also wish to copy and paste the prompt as a heading if you are typing the assignment. If you use a spiral notebook, please remove the little bits of paper on the left-hand edge before turning in your homework. Feel free to use recycled paper. I appreciate legibility and ecological efforts!

You are permitted a maximum of 5 late homeworks (for half-credit) in the first half of the semester due before the midterm, and 5 late homeworks (for half-credit) due on the last day of classes.

Since I will not comment at length on them, you may submit A Short Guide summaries electronically. (See this example of a question format and this example of an outline format for A Short Guide submissions.) Otherwise, you may put Norton and A Short Guide writing assignments on the same page and print/write on both sides of the paper.

In your daily writing assignments, as on longer papers, be sure to cite your secondary sources. Not citing them can lead to a failing grade on the assignment or in the course. See the section on the Academic Integrity below.


The Foreign Language Department takes the University Policy on Academic Integrity very seriously. An atmosphere of trust, honesty and respect fosters educational progress and success. Please do not give me any reason to be suspicious of your honesty. I ask each student to fill out and return the FL 222 Academic Integrity Form. Please read it carefully before signing.

You are expected to do your own work on all class assignments, papers, and exams, unless it is a designated group assignment. You must not incorporate others’ ideas or words and present them as your own—this is called plagiarism. Whether you take ideas (verbatim or just as an idea) from books, the internet, or other sources does not matter; you need to acknowledge their source if they are not your own. Let me warn you especially about the temptations of the internet. There are appropriate and inappropriate uses of sites such as Wikipedia, sparknotes or shmoop in this class. Not citing your source is always inappropriate, and may result in a failing grade on the assignment or for the course.

Violations of academic integrity (plagiarism, cheating, etc.) will be prosecuted according to NCSU Code of Student Conduct.


Phones must be silent and put away during class. No texting, please. Violations will affect your participation grade.

The attendance/ participation portion of the Class Work grade will be determined using the following criteria and attendance requirements above. You will also have the opportunity to fill out a self-evaluation of your participation in class.

A = Student comes to class prepared, brings proper materials, and arrives on time. Student is attentive and frequently volunteers to participate. Student is actively involved in all class activities and stays on task in group work. Any questions and comments are pertinent.
B = Student is usually prepared. Student is attentive, participates in all activities, and volunteers from time to time. Student asks only pertinent questions.
C= Student shows evidence of being unprepared and may do homework, consult the newspaper, or text during class. Student may arrive late or leave early. Student volunteers infrequently and may ask questions that would not be necessary had the student prepared for class.
D = Student is unprepared and/or inattentive. Student rarely volunteers and demonstrates lack of involvement in class activities. Student may not stay on task in group work and may ask unnecessary or inappropriate questions.
F = Student is disrespectful and exhibits a lack of concern for the class. His or her behavior may have a negative effect on the class


To enhance your involvement with our texts and extend class participation outside of our limited class time, you will be sharing observations and opinions on a class discussion board. To access Moodle, go to and log in with your Unity ID and password. Once logged in, click on my Courses. Beneath the Courses header you will find links to the home pages of classes in which you are enrolled that are using Moodle. Click on FL 222. This will take you to the FL 222 home page.

On the FL 222 page, you will also find the Discussion Topics block where the various FL 222 discussion topics are listed.

For help with Moodle, follow the Help links or call 515-HELP. You can also view this 5 minute DELTA video on how to participate in a Moodle Forum.

In addition to a first introductory post, you will be required to post at least 7 original contributions (abbreviated as oc on the syllabus) on 7 different authors, each one at least 5 sentences long. You should make at least one good point and provide evidence for your statement. Explain your interpretation or support it with a quote from the text. You can also make comparisons with other texts we have studied, make a comment on a general theme (social rules and restrictions, utopia, boundaries), a specific use of language, or invite discussion on a debatable point. Following up your personal observation with a question is a good strategy.

In addition, you are required to post 7 responses to contributions by others, on 7 different authors. Each response post must be at least 5 sentences long. Here, too, please support your comment with evidence. Before you post, please read what has already been written to avoid duplication and a failing grade for that post. In your response, please comment directly on what has been written by another student, mentioning him/her by name or quoting his/her post. It is fine to post an original contribution and response to some one else's post on the same author.

Dates by which your introduction, 7 original contributions and 7 responses should be posted are listed on the Syllabus. Since there are more than 17 authors you have flexibility; however, late postings will not count towards your grade. Cutoff is midnight when the date changes. You are responsible for a total of 15 posts, including your self-introductory post to the class.

If you submit 15 acceptable posts, you'll get full credit: 15% of your final grade. If your first post is unacceptable, I will let you know by email, and you'll have another chance. If your posts are too short, you will only receive partial credit and if they are late, you won't receive any credit. In order not to get behind on your postings, I recommend that you make at least 3 original contributions and 3 responses by midterm. You may post as often as you like to contribute to the discussion, as long as you remain on topic. To check how many times you have posted: in the Navigation Block click on Current Course > Participants > ?Student Name? > Forum post > then click on either Posts or Discussions.


As an alternative to the Discussion Board or for extra credit (see below), you may choose to keep a Reading Notebook which will be turned in 4 times over the semester as indicated on the Syllabus.

Notebook check 1: Friday, January 29 (Pope, Voltaire, Pushkin, Rousseau)
Notebook check 2: Wednesday, February 24 (Just the Facts, Vocabulary, and Lightning for Wordsworth, Keats, Flaubert, and Tolstoy. For the poetry presentations, all you need to include is the homework assignment on Summing up Romantic Poetry)
Notebook check 3: Monday, April 18 (Ibsen, Baudelaire, Verlaine, Wilde, Chekhov, Mann, Proust, Joyce, Kafka, Woolf)
Notebook check 4: Final exam (Eliot, Tzara, Breton, Brecht, Camus)

Please use a soft-cover ring binder with tab dividers, or loose leaf or hole-punched paper with a notebook ring to keep it together. You can organize your notebook your own way, as long as it is logical and chronological. For example, some students prefer to organize their notebooks by category (Just the Facts, Vocabulary, Lightning). Others prefer to make a new section for each author.

You will be graded on completeness, thoughtfulness, and creativity: see Notebook Grading Rubric. Print out a copy of the rubric to put at the front of your notebook. Sign the Academic Integrity Pledge on the rubric each time you turn in the notebook. I will not grade your notebook unless the pledge is signed.

The rubric also states: "After the first submission, response to instructor feedback is included." This means that I expect you to write responses to the comments I write on your notebook pages and on your homework. Once again, you will be graded on completeness, thoughtfulness, and creativity. The Reading Notebook, like the daily writing assignments, is ideally a dialogue between teacher and student.

These are the qualities that will earn you an A: "the entries may include notable detail and/or depth. Originality is demonstrated in the choice and/or the treatment of topics. There is evidence of probing, that is to say searching for information, finding it and using it."

Section 1: Just the Facts. One page for each work we study. Include title, date, author, original language (this information will be tested on the midterm and final), a list of the main characters and the setting of the work, and a one-to-three paragraph or bullet-point plot summary. These pages will be extremely helpful when you study for exams. Some students like to do a Google or Bing Images search for the author, text cover, or related illustration and include the image on the Just the Facts page. Include the URL for your images as well.

Section 2: Vocabulary. List of new or unfamiliar words you encounter while reading or hear in class, including literary terms, along with their definitions. One great idea from previous semesters: type a sentence (from the text or of your own invention) with the unfamiliar word in bold. This will help you build your vocabulary. Use an online or paper dictionary to look up words you don't know. See A Short Guide's Glossary of Literary Terms, pp. 345-358 as well. You should have entries for each text we read. As always, cite your sources. If you use the same dictionary each time, you only need to cite it in full the first time. You do not need to cite the Norton Anthology.

Section 3: Lightning: what struck you while you were reading?

Here is an example of lightning from a student's homework: "However a strange phrase with which I was not familiar was the image of a rose dying in aromatic pain. To say this expression took my breath away would be cliché, but it just about did. The way Alexander Pope wrote this phrase made me feel as if I had been shocked by an electric current. The rose, while doing its job, shows no sign of anguish whatsoever. This flower presents itself in a content fashion, not questioning its way of life. It may suggest to us humans to follow its example and go along with the positions to which God has designated us." As a teacher, I appreciated this comment because the student showed a strong reaction to the text and connected her insight back to the author and his purpose.

Another idea is to use the web to search for quotes by a particular author and find one that sparks some thoughts in your mind. I typically use Google and type in the author's name and the word quotations. Show how this quote relates to the text we have read for class. The goal of the reading notebook is for you to deepen your understanding of the texts and the literary periods, so every connection you make strengthens your understanding.

Section 4: Optional. Class reflections, notes, written work and tests returned, etc.


There will be a midterm (15% of final grade) and a final exam (20% of final grade) as indicated on the Syllabus. Make-up for exams will be granted only if you are excused in advance with proper documentation.

Exams will consist of:

  1. Identification of selected passages. (36 points) Identify the author, work, approximate date of publication (within 10 years), and original language (2 points). Briefly discuss the passage (2 points) and its relevance to the work as a whole (2 points) with attention to both form and content.
  2. Short essay in two parts (min. 300 words) on the literary movements studied. (29 points) You will be expected to define and illustrate the movement(s) by referring to authors, works, main ideas, relevant literary terms (satire, autobiography, absurd) and any appropriate social or historical events. Include two examples of non-literary cultural artifacts that relate to the period, such as music of the era (heard in class or on your own) or art works from the North Carolina Museum of Art and explain why these works illustrate the artistic movement. (Chapter 14 in A Short Guide has helpful suggestions about writing about pictures.)
  3. Long essay (min. 400 words) (35 points) on a given topic or theme and how it is treated in at least two works we have studied.


In addition to the informal writing assignments, you will present and submit a Poetry Project (10% of final grade) as well as a Term Paper (15% of final grade). The poetry project should be 3-4 pages long (plus critical skills exercise, annotation, and works cited), the paper 5-8 pages (plus works cited). Due dates are listed on the Syllabus.

Papers are due at the beginning of the class period. Email submissions and late submissions will only be accepted with my permission, and must be arranged before the due date of the paper. Otherwise, you will lose 10 points each day that the assignment is late.

See Writing Assessment for Short Assignments (for the poetry paper) and the Scoring Rubric (for the term paper) to see how your papers will be graded and what to strive for in the areas of content, organization and format, grammar, vocabulary and fluency, and supporting documents.

You will work with A Short Guide to Writing About Literature to support your writing about literature. Engage yourself closely with the text, or an aspect of it, and formulate your thoughts about it in a organized way. I am most interested in your own original ideas, not someone else’s, nor a paraphrase of my comments from class or our class discussions.

To learn more about a particular author or work, particularly for the longer writing assignments, consult the Selected Bibliographies in the back of the Norton Anthology (pages A1-A22.) Wikipedia is a common starting point for information about an author or work, but you will need to go to peer-reviewed articles to find useful criticism. I have also put some articles on e-reserve and on the Supplementary Materials and Lecture Notes pages. Another good source for short articles is the Norton Critical Edition of a particular text. These are available at DH Hill Library. See the Library Tools page to see the many resources available to you from NCSU libraries or chat live with our Reference Librarian.

For the format of footnotes and bibliography, refer to Chapter 17 in A Short Guide or the MLA Style Manual (available in bookstore or library). You can also use the NCSU Libraries' Citation Builder.

Help with your writing assignments and papers is also available at Writing and Speaking Tutorial Services.


You are required to visit the North Carolina Museum of Art here in Raleigh and write me a 2-3 page paper about your visit. Please choose at least two works of art to focus on, and share your overall impressions of the museum. This paper, which has the same weight as 3 homework assignments, may be turned in anytime during the semester, but must be turned in by Monday, April 4. As part of the midterm and final oral exams, you will be responsible for including examples of non-literary art works (such as painting, sculpture or music) from the periods we are studying. I encourage you to choose at least one from the NCMA collection. Details are included on the NCMA-222 Assignment page. You may visit the museum on your own or take one of the daily guided tours. I will also organize two optional group tours for our class, one for the Enlightenment-Realist periods (Friday, February 19; 7-8:30 pm) and one for Modernism (Friday, April 1; 7-8:30 pm). Each group tour is limited to 15 students. Please email me to sign up. You will receive extra credit for attending the group tour.


In January 2011, the French business school SKEMA opened a new campus at NCSU. As part of ENG/FL 222, you are required to attend a Cultural Conversation workshop organized by the Global Training Institute (GTI).

The available dates are Cultural Conversations with SKEMA students will begin next month. We currently have 3 open sessions--February 25February 26 and March 18. Students must register in Eventbrite. Please sign up by January 13.

This workshop provides NC State and SKEMA Business School students the opportunity to explore cultural differences. Students spend most of their time in small groups discussing the differences in social behaviors and expectations. The discussions are facilitated and led by a group of trained peer leaders and allow students to examine the similarities and differences among our cultures. You will submit a 1-2 page paper about your experience to receive credit for this assignment. This assignment, which has the same weight as three homework assignments, is due on Monday, March 21.

You can also sign up to become involved with the GTI's Cultural Exchange Network (CENet) over the course of the semester. As an incentive, students who successfully complete this program will receive 2 extra credit points towards their final grade in FLF 110. See for more information. If you are involved with the ICLP for two semesters, you will also be eligible to apply for a $1000 Study Abroad Scholarship.


To earn up to 4 points extra credit towards your final grade, you may maintain and submit a Reading Notebook (see above) in addition to participating in the online discussions. You may also earn 2 points of service-learning extra credit towards your final grade by participating in the GTI Cultural Exchange Network. See for more information.

You can also earn extra credit towards your Class Work grade by doing the Extra Credit Assignment on Myers-Briggs Type in College. This is due during the first month of class.

In addition, you can attend supplementary art or literary activities which relate to our class. To get extra credit, write me something about what you learned or something which impressed you, as with the Cultural Conversation described above. You may also consider using a play or particular art work in your term paper. To write about drama, see "A Review of a Dramatic Production" (74-78) and Chapter 12 in A Short Guide. See me with any questions. Opportunities on campus include University Theatre, NCSU musical events or Center Stage performances.

Students have also approached me about getting honor credit for the class. I am happy to work with you to design a project that will meet those requirements. The Honors Contract must be submitted by the 10th day of the semester.


Online class evaluations will be available for students to complete in the last few weeks of the semester. Students will receive an email message directing them to a website where they can login using their Unity ID and complete evaluations. All evaluations are confidential; instructors will never know how any one student responded to any question, and students will never know the ratings for any particular instructors.
Student help desk:
More information about ClassEval:

To thank a teacher for a job well done, consider writing a note via the Office of Faculty Development's Thank a Teacher site. Not only will your professor receive a letter from the Provost, but his/her department and college heads will be notified, too.


As members of the NC State Wolfpack community, we each share a personal responsibility to express concern for one another and to ensure that this classroom and the campus as a whole remains a safe environment for learning.  Occasionally, you may come across a fellow classmate whose personal behavior concerns or worries you. When this is the case, I would encourage you to report this behavior to the NC State Students of Concern website:  Although you can report anonymously, it is preferred that you share your contact information so they can follow-up with you personally.


For all students currently registered with the Disability Services for Students (DSO), an accommodation letter will be sent to the instructor. This letter verifies that appropriate documentation is on file and that the student has a substantiated disability requiring effective reasonable accommodations. Any student requesting accommodations for whom a letter has not been written must see a DSO service provider. Students with disabilities, for whom a letter of accommodation has been sent from the DSO office to the instructor, should schedule an appointment with the instructor immediately.

DSO information can be found at or call the office directly at 919 515-7653.


This course fosters free and open dialogue, the acceptance and discussion of different opinions, and mutual respect among class members. Since class participation is required, it is important that students not be afraid to speak up and share their ideas. If you ever feel that you have been intimidated or treated disrespectfully in class, by me or by another student, please come see me in private as soon as possible. That is not the environment I desire for this class.

Every member of the university community has the right to work and learn in an environment free from discrimination and harassment. Since everyone has this right, everyone also has the responsibility to help prevent discrimination or harassment from occurring. One of the most important ways is to respect others and make sure your actions serve as a role model for others. You can also:


Visit the FL 222 Library Tools page for help with writing, research, and e-reserves.


Explore career options related to your major, make decisions about your major or minor, build resumes and cover letters, prepare for interviews, develop internship/ job search strategies, maximize career fairs, and more. Use ePACK to make an appointment with your career contact-- Woody Catoe -- at Career Development Center:



Would you like to spend a week in Paris sightseeing, strolling and shopping? Followed by four weeks in a cosmopolitan, student-friendly French city with weekly field trips in Belgium and France and a weekend free for travel to places like London or Amsterdam? Taste delicious French food and Belgian chocolate? Earn up to six credits towards your NCSU degree? All students and all levels of French are welcome! Paris/Lille is a 6-credit 5 week program. Courses include beginning, intermediate and advanced French, intercultural communication and elective tracks in Art and Society in France, European Studies, French Culture and Society (in French) or European Business and Management.

I will be the Faculty Director for these exciting programs in Summer Session I, 2016. You can also ask me for more information, or download an application and view scholarship requirements on the NCSU Study Abroad site.

Global Perspectives Certificate:
This course is a part of the Global Perspectives Certificate (GPC) course list and fulfills a portion of the required academic course work. The Global Perspectives Certificate was created to recognize students for their international studies and activities, and to encourage students to continue their global interests both overseas and within the United States. If you would like to learn more about the GPC please check out the website: or email the GPC Coordinator at

I look forward to a pleasant and productive semester! Don't hesitate to ask me for help and assistance in person or by email. The only foolish question is the one you were afraid to or didn't ask!

Return to Home