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English 103

Spring 2000

G Herrera
English Department
East Los Angeles College
1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez
Monterey Park
California 91754-6099

English 103 is designed to hone your critical thinking, reading, and writing skills. You will focus on logical reasoning, analytical, and argumentative writing skills. The focus of this particular class is a critical evaluation of Western culture, cosmology, and philosophy in context with American indigenous cultures and their reaction to Western colonization.

Rethinking Culture
Mary Louise Pratt, Imperial Eyes

Evaluation and Assignments:

Because this class focuses on critical skills, which require exchange and evaluation of thoughts and ideas, this course emphasizes discussion. Thus, diligent reading of and thinking about the assignments is necessary for you to participate in the class activities.

The class work will also contain written work such as discussion summaries and critical thinking exercises.

All essays require a draft, which will be used for peer revision before you rewrite it. All essays are to be turned in at the beginning of class. If you receive a D, you may revise your essays for an improved grade.

Methods of evaluation

80 % consists of:
5 Essay assignments, 1 midterm, and 1 final

20% consists of:
Homework assignments; class work, essay drafts, motivation, participation, quizzes, peer revising

  • Late homework assignments will not be accepted. Late essays will be lowered one grade for each day they are late. Any missing assignment or essay becomes an F. All written assignments must be typed.
  • On peer revision days, papers are due at the beginning of class—if you arrive later than five minutes after the beginning of class, your essay will be lowered a full letter grade. If you do not have a complete essay on revision day, your essay will automatically receive the grade C; if the essay would have received a C anyway, it will be lowered to a D.

Attendance policy:

You will be excluded if you miss class more than three times. Three tardies are one absence. Your attendance and punctuality has a serious impact on your grade.


Plagiarism is taking someone else’s words and/or ideas and pretending they are your own. Any assignment that is plagiarized receives an F. I may exclude a student for plagiarizing.


Students exhibiting immature behavior during class time will be excluded because they take away motivated students’ right to learn.

Tentative Syllabus

Week 1

In the Beginning

Th 1/18

Introduction and critical reading; the essay and the paragraph review;

Week 2


T 1/23

Cosmology, evolution (2-10); Write a one-page paragraph, in which you discuss whether you find the evolution theory acceptable. Use specific evidence from the text and comment on it.

Th 1/25

Joseph Campbell, "The Four Functions of Mythology"(12);

Week 3


T 1/29

Genesis 1-4 (15); Allen (33)

Th 2/1

Hopi Creation (17); introductions and conclusions;


Week 4

Male and female he created them. . .

T 2/6

Devor, "Becoming Members of Society"(37); discussion and prewriting

Th 2/8


Week 5


T 2/13

Maasik and Solomon, "You’ve come …" (42); Turkle, "TinySex and Gender Trouble" (47)

Th 2/ 15

Grimm, "Aschenputtel" (55); The Algonquin Cinderella" (59);


Week 6


T 2/20

The Research Essay; LIBRARY;

Th 2/22

Buffalohead , "Farmers, Warriors, Traders" (72); Gunn Allen, "Where I Come From …" (62);

Week 7


T 2/27

Allen, "Madonna" (81); Comment on sample paragraphs (handouts); FOCUS ESSAY DUE

Th 3/1


Week 8

Am I my Brother’s Keeper?

T 3/6

Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents, Chapter 2 (100);

Th 3/8

Freud continued Chapter 3 (107); summary of source due

Week 9


T 3/13


Freud Chapter 5(121)

Th 3/15

Louise Pratt, Imperial Eyes, Chapter 1; summary of source due

Week 10

"Have Dominion . . ."

T 3/20


Th 3/22

Louise Pratt, Imperial Eyes, Chapter 2; find three passages you want to discuss.

Week 11


T 3/27

Louise Pratt, Chapter 3 to last line p 53; mark passages you would like to talk about.

Th 3/29

Louise Pratt, Imperial Eyes, read "The Mystique of Reciprocity" and "Reciprocal Vision" (78-85);


make an outline of the most important points;

Week 12


T 4/3

ESSAY # 3 DUE; Louise Pratt, Chapter 9 to page 224; make outline

Th 4/5

The Log of Christopher Columbus (127);


Week 13


T 4/17

Christopher Columbus: his time and faith (161); does your opinion about Columbus change after reading these pages? Why? Why not?; in class: Work Cited Exercise

Summary/outline of one source and explanation how you will use it in your essay

Th 4/19

Gunn Allen,"Preface"and "Introduction" to The Sacred Hoop (173); Pratt Chapter 5 (86-100);

Week 14


T 4/24

Berkhofer (168); Tsosie ""Changing Women: The Crosscurrents of American Indian Feminine Identity" (181);

Th 4/26

Watch Dances With Wolves at home; write down five passages you would like to discuss. Does the movie counter or perpetuate the stereotypes discussed by Allen and Berkhofer? Summary of two sources due;

Week 15


T 5/1

Rent and watch Smoke Signals at home; Write down three passages you would like to discuss in class; Summary of two sources due;

Th 5/3

Nanabush (195-199) what kind of characteristics does Nanabush have?; Louise Erdrich, from Tracks(200)

Week 16


T 5/8


Th 5/10

THESIS AND OUTLINE FOR RESEARCH ESSAY DUE; Louise Erdrich, from Tracks (216-244)

Week 17


T 5/15

History of Hawaii (230); Haunani Kay Trask, From a Native Daughter (241);

Th 5/17

Haunani Kay Trask, Light in Crevices Never Seen (245);


F 5/18


Week 17


T 5/22

Haunani Kay Trask, poetry from Light in the Crevices Never Seen (260-71);


Upload: 02/21/2001

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