Fall 2001 – Lehigh University
English 11
Office: 758-3319
Office Location: 201 C Drown Hall


Instructor: Prof. Amardeep Singh
Office Hours: Wednesday 2-5 (or appointment)



English 11 – Introduction to the “Global” Novel



Weekly Schedule/ Papers Due


1. Globalization, Colonialism, Imperialism Handout

2. Paper Topics 1

3. Paper Topics 2

4. Final Paper topics

5. Final paper suggested readings/bibliography (includes online sources)



Required Texts


William Strunk, etc., Elements of Style.

Joseph Garibaldi, MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, Fifth Edition.

Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness & Selections from the Congo Diary.

W.E.B. DuBois, Dark Princess.

Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient.
Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions.
Salman Rushdie, The Moor's Last Sigh.
Hanan al-Shaykh, Beirut Blues.

Alex Garland, The Beach.



Course Description


The main goal of this course is to help you develop your academic writing skills in response to a series of challenging, exciting novels from different parts of the world. Though a great deal of our attention will be on the novels as works of literature, we will also incorporate ideas from numerous subjects that are not specifically literary, including sociology, anthropology, history, and economics. As an introduction to debates on “globalization,” this course might help you prepare for any of these majors (or even entirely different majors such as biology). As a writing seminar, this course will (I hope) be helpful to you wherever you go; strong writing skills will help you professionally once you are out of college whether you are a doctor, engineer, businessman, lawyer, etc. 


Attendance and participation. This course is a seminar, which means it only works if everyone shows up consistently, does all of the reading, and participates. I have avoided overloading the syllabus with gigantic books, but that means I need people to read carefully. Come into class every day with questions and issues you wish to discuss. I will be taking attendance regularly; if you are late to class it is your responsibility to be sure I have marked you ‘present.’


Office Hours/Appointments. I encourage you to come talk to me outside of class, especially as you’re writing papers. I am available to meet with people on other days, especially afternoons. I like meeting with students, so don’t feel that you might be imposing on me!





'Good' Academic Writing


Good academic writing is not a magic skill that some people have and others lack. Much of what makes a piece of writing ‘good’ has nothing to do with polysyllabic words or extensive footnotes. Rather, quality of a piece of writing is its efficacy: how effective it is at doing what it sets out to do. In other words, everything you write should be specific to the context in which you are writing it. When you write papers, you need to know a set of conventions that define 'academic' writing: use of appropriate language, the presence of a clear argument, a sense of context, and proper documentation and support of facts and assertions. That is not to say that other things are not also important. Good writing also reflects concentration and mastery of a subject; as well as the creativity with which the problem is approached.


Course Requirements


·        Class Participation

·        Writing Assignments, including

·        short assignments (1-3 pages)

·        argumentative and research papers (5+ pages)




25% Class Participation

35% Short written Assignments (‘response papers’)

40% Longer Papers


Longer papers will receive a letter grade. Minor assignments are given a check (+/-), at least for the first half of the term.


Papers and assignments


Always bring two copies of your longer papers and assignments. Besides handing them in to me, you are to trade it with a classmate. You will read each others' papers and comment on them.


All writing assignments should be typed, double-spaced in a standard font with 1" margins. (A standard font, such as 12-pt. Courier or Times, will give you 250-300 words per page.) Pages should be numbered in the top right-hand corner and paper-clipped or stapled. Your name, the course number, my name and the date should be in the top left-hand corner of the first page. Do not use a title page. I recommend that you do all your writing on a computer, keeping a disk and an extra 'hard' copy. If you work in computer-labs, I highly recommend keeping copies of your work on multiple floppy or Zip disks, or on your Lehigh internet account (using FTP).


Papers will be collected at the beginning of class on the day they are due.



Papers by email. At this time, I do not accept papers by email except under extreme circumstances (i.e., you are away from campus for a family emergency or an authorized athletic trip). This may change as the semester progresses.


Late Papers. As a rule, papers will not be accepted late. If for some reason you cannot be there to turn in the paper yourself, have someone (a friend or a classmate) deliver the paper to me before the class begins. If you absolutely must have an extension, ask me at least a week in advance. If you will be unable to complete a project due to illness or an emergency, contact me immediately.



Hints for Paper-writing


1.      Use technology! Spell-checks are required. Grammar checks (MS Word 97 or higher) are generally recommended. Even if you do not follow the grammar checker's suggestion, it can be educational to see what the computer tells you about your writing. I would especially encourage using the grammar checker in concert with Writing Essentials. (To turn the “grammar checker” on in MS Word: Tools à Options à Spelling & Grammar.)

2.      But don't abuse it. Specifically, don't abuse the web. Sometimes you just have to sit down and read, think, and concentrate. Turn off the stereo, TV, even the computer. Go for a walk in a quiet area... Give yourself time to THINK.

3.      If you are having trouble, come to me. I also encourage that you take advantage of Lehigh’s resources for paper writers (there is an office on the first floor of Drown Hall).

4.      If you are printing out in a computer lab in the daytime, give some extra time to print out. I would encourage you to find alternative places (such as friends' computers) to print out your work. Or get a printer of your own.





August 29-31: Introduction, Heart of Darkness


Sept 3-7: Heart of Darkness

            Definitions: Globalization, Imperialism, Civilization/Savagery

            Strunk & White: Chapter 1


Sept. 10-14: Dark Princess

            Strunk & White: Chapter 2


[Monday 9/10: Last day for fall registration; last day to drop a course w/out a W]


Sept. 17-21: Dark Princess.

            Strunk & White: Chapters 3-5


Sept. 24-28: The English Patient

à DUE Sept. 24: 5 page paper on one of the first two novels.


Oct. 1-5: The English Patient

            MLA Guide: Chapter 1 (writing & researching)


[Monday Oct. 8: No class]


Oct. 10, 12: The English Patient

            MLA Guide: Chapter 2 (technicalities)


Oct. 15-19: Nervous Conditions

            MLA Guide: Chapters 4-5 (documentation & citation)


[Friday Oct. 19: I will likely be absent]


Oct. 22-26: Nervous Conditions/ start The Moor’s Last Sigh

à DUE Oct. 22: 5 page paper on Ondaatje or Dangarembga


Oct. 29-Nov. 2: The Moor’s Last Sigh


Nov. 5-9: The Moor’s Last Sigh


Nov. 12-16: Beirut Blues


Nov. 19-21: Beirut Blues

à DUE Nov. 21: 5 page paper on Al-Shaykh or Rushdie


[Nov. 22-25: Thanksgiving Break]


Nov. 26-30: The Beach


Dec. 3-7: Recap/readings on globalization (from photocopies)


Dec. 7: Last Day of classes

à Final papers DUE