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ENGL 2121: World Literature II: Syllabus

For Prof. Bonnie Harris, Fall 2021

Course Information

English 2121 (20942), Fall 2020

Class Time:  3:40-4:55 pm, M/W

Professor:  B. Harris

Classroom: Online

Office hours:  W 2:30-3:30 pm

Office link:   


Downloadable Syllabus

Course Policies

Online course etiquette

You must turn your video on and keep it on through all class meetings.

Attendance, Lateness

Attendance is mandatory. You’re entitled to miss 3 class sessions, but there are no excused absences beyond these 3. Class starts promptly at 3:40. Please make sure to arrive on time; 2 latenesses = 1 absence More than 3 absences will result in a lower grade for the course.  Even if you aren’t in class, the paper and assignment due dates will not change—you are still responsible for getting the work to me as specified in the schedule (below).


Plagiarism is academic theft, and it bears serious consequences. Papers that are plagiarized will receive a zero; you may be expelled from the course. (The works that we’re studying are well-known and there’s a lot of information about them on the web. To avoid plagiarism, I recommend that you do not consult the internet.) CUNY’s policy about academic integrity can be found here:

Class participation

It is important you engage both with the texts and with your classmates. I expect you to participate actively in discussions, so come to class prepared to discuss the day’s material, i.e. having done the reading and having made extensive notes on it.  Participation is a significant percentage of your grade.


Participation/Effort    20%

You will be graded based on attendance, preparedness for class, and other factors indicating participation and effort.

Reading response assignments  20%

You are required to hand in 3 response paper (1-2 pages). In order to adequately complete these assignments, you’ll need to assess the readings critically, not just to say ‘I liked...’ or ‘I disliked...’ Grades will be lowered for late papers. Papers more than one week late will not be accepted.

In class writing   15%

Midterm    15%

Final paper    30%

Students with Disabilities

Students who have a documented disability or suspect they may have a disability should contact the disabilities office to learn about their policies and procedures. If you are already registered with the Center for Student Disability Services, please provide me with the course accommodation form.

Learning Center

You can find free peer tutoring and supplemental writing help through the Learning Center. Visit their website for more information: or call them at (718) 951-5821.


Course Materials

We will be reading a variety of poems, novels, plays and short stories. All of the readings will be uploaded to this site, and submission of assignments will take place on Blackboard; there is nothing to purchase. There will be a course packet (PDF) with the poems and stories. We will also read the following full-length works:

Frankenstein (1818 edition), Mary Shelley

Madame Bovary (tr. Lydia Davis), Gustave Flaubert

Great Expectations, Charles Dickens

The Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde

Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf

Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov

Course Structure, Tests, and Assignments

Course structure

Class sessions will consist of a combination of lectures, seminar discussions and small group work. We have a lot of material to cover in a short time; you’ll get the most out of the course (and the best grade) if you’re diligent about keeping up with the reading.


Three short reading response papers, 300-500 words, see schedule for due dates

Final paper, 1500-2000 words, due Dec 16 (Topics TBD)


Mid-term, Nov 4


Tentative Schedule (subject to change)

Aug 25   Introduction to the course

Aug 30  Wordsworth, Coleridge

Sep 1    Shelley, Keats  

Sep 6, 8  NO CLASS

Sep 13  Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

Sep 15  NO CLASS

(note: 9/14 is the last day to withdraw from courses without grade of “W”)

Sep 20   Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

Sep 22   Poe, “The Tell-tale Heart”; Hawthorne, “Rappaccini’s Daughter”

Sep 24  First reading response paper due

Sep 27  Melville, “Bartleby the Scrivener”

Sep 29    Whitman 

Oct 4  Dickinson

Oct 6   Flaubert, Madame Bovary

Oct 11  NO CLASS  

Oct 13  Madame Bovary    

Oct 18, 20 Dickens, Great Expectations

Oct 24  Second reading response paper due

Oct 25  Great Expectations; Tolstoy, The Death of Ivan Ilyich   

Oct 27   The Death of Ivan Ilyich

Nov 1  Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest  

Nov 3  Yeats

(note: 11/6 is the last day to withdraw from courses with a grade of “W”)

Nov 8   Joyce, “The Dead”

Nov 10   Midterm

Nov 15  Eliot  

Nov 17  Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway

Nov 19  Third reading response paper due   

Nov 22  Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway

Nov 24  Conferences

Nov 29  Fitzgerald, “Winter Dreams”

Dec 1  Hurston, “Spunk”; Hemingway, “The Short, Happy Life of Francis Macomber”

Dec 6, 8 Nabokov, Lolita

Dec 13   Last day to withdraw with grade of W

Dec 16  Final paper due