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Pacific Literature 185-02

Freshman Writing Seminar

Fall 1999

MWF 10:10-11:00/GS 348
Prof: Elizabeth DeLoughrey
Dept of English
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14850
phone 607 255 3411
fax 607 255 6661

Shipwrecks, Castaways and Natives: Readings in the Literature of the South Seas and Pacific Islands

In this course we will journey with 19th century European and American castaways such as Herman Melville, R.M Ballantyne and Robert Louis Stevenson to the tropical islands of the South Seas and encounter cannibals, missionaries, noble savages, tattooing and the exotic, "free love" paradises they depicted in Polynesia. We will examine these themes in a dialogue with Samoan, Tongan, and Maori writers including Epeli Hau'ofa and Albert Wendt. We will discuss the 19th century texts in relation to contemporary concerns in the Pacific like tourism, sovereignty and nuclear testing. Requirements: a few short essay assignments, student presentations, and active class participation.

Required texts:
RM Ballantyne The Coral Island
Vilsoni Hereniko and Teresia Teaiwa - Last Virgin in Paradise
Herman Melville - Typee
Robert Louis Stevenson - The Beach of Falesá
Floyd C. Watkins and William B. Dillingham - Practical English Handbook
Course packet (cp)

Required Films:
Sons for the Return Home

Course Objectives
In the coming semester, this class will read, analyze and interpret a number of texts from and about the Pacific Islands that represent a wide variety of social, historical, national and cultural perspectives. This course will contribute to and sharpen your critical thinking, writing and interpretation skills through reading, frequent writing and presentation assignments. This seminar is designed to instruct you in English expository prose--prose that, at its best, is characterized by clarity, coherence, intellectual force, and stylistic control.

Course Requirements
10% Class Participation - This includes class and film screening attendance, email reflector list participation, thorough reading of materials before class and active participation in class discussions and exercises.

10% Grammar exercises, Quizzes and Homework.

10% Class Presentation 5 minutes each on either a Pacific Island country, artefact or discussion theme relevant to the text of that class. This will require some preliminary library research and you must hand in an annotated bibliography at the time of your presentation. You must meet with me to discuss your presentation beforehand. Your presentation may include pictures, maps, statistics, etc. photocopied for the class. Since you are required to meet with me twice during the semester, this will count as one of your required conferences.

70% Writing - This includes short homework assignments (10%); 3-5 page essays (30%); and 5-6 page rewrites of these two essays (30%).

NB: in line with FWS policy, your course mark will be downgraded for more than three unexplained absences.

I. Class Participation, Attendance & Email participation (10%) *A large percentage of your grade will be determined by your active participation in class. This means coming to class on time, having read the assigned materials (and/or having viewed the assigned films) and having thoughtful discussion questions to stimulate class discussion. *Attendance: University policy allows three absences; any more than this will seriously hinder your grade.
*As we have a lot of material to cover, we will extend class discussion onto the Email reflector list: You are required to set up an email account (free) with CIT if you do not already have one. You must submit at least two thoughtful/stimulating emails to the discussion list before midsemester. I will also designate some homework assignments as email submissions (but these won't count as your 2 required postings.) If you are absent from class, consult this email list for the missing materials. You may also use the list to post questions about assignments, your ideas, drafts, etc. as long as they are related to the course. As this list is for student discussion, I will (try to) refrain from participating.

II. Grammar exercises, Quizzes and Homework (10%) * Grammar exercises are taken from the Practical English Handbook and are due at the start of class.
*Quizzes on your reading may be given daily or weekly, if necessary. If you are late or absent and miss a quiz, a zero will be averaged into your quiz grade.
*Homework will include short writing exercises, draft workshop preparation, etc.

III. Class Presentations, (10%)
During the second week of class, you will sign up for a group presentation with one of your fellow classmates. Each student is responsible for a five-minute presentation/discussion. You must meet with me at least one class in advance--be sure to complete the reading before our meeting. Your presentation should entail some basic research about the nationality of the text you will discuss, helping the class situate the work in time/space. Each of you are required to distribute to your classmates a short annotated bibliography of readings relevant to the topic, author, and/or text. Your bibliography must have a minimum of five citations and of these five, a newspaper article, academic journal article and a book must be cited. Web pages are also encouraged.

IV. Writing Assignments (70%)
These include short assignments (10%); four 3-5 page essays (30%); and two rewrites (30%). One of the best ways to articulate your analyses and sharpen your writing skills is through frequent writing assignments. I will assign essay topics well in advance although you are welcome to explore a theme of your choice as long as you discuss this with me. Your essays must argue an interpretation of a text or texts, theme or character; this means it will entail a full thesis paragraph, supporting evidence (documented quotes) from the text, organized paragraphs and an insightful conclusion. Although you have a number of opportunities to submit a rewrite, all papers should be considered your best work. Never hand in an essay that has not been edited, proofread, and revised. Please utilize my office hours or email me (and/or your classmates) with your ideas, questions, etc. about upcoming paper assignments.

Due dates: Papers are to be handed in at the start of class and will be considered late anytime after that. Late papers will not be accepted and a zero will be averaged into your grade unless you have made other arrangements with me.

Memos: All essays submitted in this class must have an attached "memo" where you explain what writing techniques you are trying to develop or improve. Your memo should incorporate comments received on your last essay, and may also reflect on the ways in which grammatical structures from the Handbook or in-class exercises appear in your writing. Conferences: In addition to your presentation conference, you are also required to meet with me one other time (outside of class) to discuss your writing.

Rewrites: You have the opportunity to rewrite and expand two essays. All of your rewrites must have the original essay attached. Format: All papers and essays submitted for this class must be proofread, spell-checked, typed, double-spaced, page numbered, and printed in 12 or 10" font. Points will be deducted from your grade if they lack any components of this format. Always attribute page numbers parenthetically for each quote. Always ensure that the essay you are submitting is in its final form--not a draft. If you are submitting a rewrite, you must attach the original version Plagiarism: or academic theft, is passing someone else's work as your own. See the sections in Cornell's Policy Notebook about "Code of Academic Integrity" and "Acknowledging the Work of Others." Plagiarism can lead to prosecution and can effect your permanent record.

Syllabus is subject to change at professor's discretion.

Part One: Missionaries and Castaways

Week One (Aug 30-Sept 3rd)
M: Introduction to Course

W: Ballantyne - The Coral Island chpts 1-5

F: The Coral Island chpts 6-9
Grammar: 40 Writing paragraphs (260-270)
HW: Grammar exercise one (264) on Subramani Handout (Subramani. South Pacific Literature: from Myth to Fabulation. (revised edition) Suva: Institute for Pacific Studies, 1992.)

Week Two (Sept 6-10th)
M: Ballantyne - The Coral Island chpts 10-13
Grammar 40 (270-282)

W: The Coral Island chpts 14-17

F: The Coral Island chpts 18-21
Essay #1 (Definition/Character Profile) Due Friday Sept 10th

Week Three (Sept 13-17)
M: The Coral Island chpts 22-conclusion

W: Hau'ofa "Blessed are the Meek" (cp) (Hau'ofa, Epeli. Tales of the Tikongs. Auckland: Longman Paul, 1983.)
Albert Leomala "Kross/Cross" (cp) (Wendt, Albert. ed. Lali: A Pacific Anthology. Auckland: Longman Paul, 1980.)

F: HW: Grammar: 33 Apostrophes: ex.4 (p.199)
Thesis Paragraphs due for peer revision

Week Four (Sept 20-24th)
M: Stevenson "The Beach of Falesá" Introduction and chpt 1-2

W: "The Beach of Falesá" chpt 3
HW: Essay outline due

F: "The Beach of Falesá" chpt 4
Essay # 2 (Rewrite: Compare/Contrast) due Friday Sept 24th (4-5pp)

Week Five (Sept 27-Oct 1st)
M: "The Beach of Falesá" chpt 5 (conclusion)

W: Jully Makini "Roviana Girl" (cp) (Wendt, Albert. ed. Nuanua: Pacific Writing in English Since 1980. Honolulu: U of Hawai'i Press, 1995.)

F: Melville Typee (Preface and chpt 1)
HW: Grammar: Sentence fragments: ex.1 (p.30) and ex. 2 Comma splices and fused sentences: ex.5 (p.35)

Part Two: Tattooing & Cannibals

Week Six (Oct 4-8th)
M: Melville Typee (chpt 2-4)

W: Typee (chs.5-8)

F: HW: Grammar: Tense and sequence of tenses: ex.9 (p.47) Voice: ex.10 (p.49)

Week Seven (Oct 11-15th)
M: Fall Break--no class

W: Peer Group Work Meetings

F: Melville Typee (chs.9-11)

Week Eight (Oct 18-22nd)
M: Typee (chs.12-19)
Essay #3 Due (Paragraph Explication) Monday Oct 18th (4 pp)

W: Typee (chs.20-24)

F: Typee (chs.25-28)
HW: Grammar: Subject and verb (agreement): ex.13 (p.59) 8 Pronouns and antecedents (agreement, reference and usage): ex.17 (p.68) and ex.18 (p.70)

Week Nine (Oct 25-29th)
M: Typee (chs.29--sequel)

W: Vijay Mishra "Beachcombers" (cp) (Wendt, Albert. ed. nuanua: Pacific Writing in English Since 1980. Honolulu: U of Hawai'i Press, 1995.)

F: Wendt "Tatauing the postcolonial body" (cp) in SPAN (Journal of the South Pacific Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies)
Emma Kruse Va'ai "Ta Tatau" (cp) (Wendt, Albert. ed. Nuanua: Pacific Writing in English Since 1980. Honolulu: U of Hawai'i Press, 1995.)

Week Ten (November 1-5th)
M: Ihimaera "Dinner with the Cannibal" (cp) in SPAN (Journal of the South Pacific Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies)
Celo Kulagoe "The Toothpick" (cp) (Wendt, Albert. ed. Nuanua: Pacific Writing in English Since 1980. Honolulu: U of Hawai'i Press, 1995.)

W: HW Grammar: 11 Choppy sentences and excessive coordination: ex.1(p.89)12 Subordination: ex.2 and ex.3 (p.92)

F: Writing workshop--bring 3 copies of draft to class
Part Three: Sexuality, Colonial Education and Academic Visitors

Week Eleven (Nov 8-12th)
M: Essay # 4 Due Monday Nov 8th ( 3-5pp)

W: Noumea Simi "What are we?" (cp) (Wendt, Albert. ed. Nuanua: Pacific Writing in English Since 1980. Honolulu: U of Hawai'i Press, 1995.)

F: Hereniko and Teaiwa Last Virgin in Paradise (Scene I & II)

Week Twelve (Nov 15-19th)
M: Last Virgin in Paradise (Scene III & IV)

W: Last Virgin in Paradise "Images of Paradise" and "Pacific Clowning"

F: HW Grammar: 15 Consistency: ex.6 (p.100); 16 Position of modifiers: ex.8 (p.108)

Week Thirteen (Nov 22-24)
M: Ruperake Petaia "Kidnapped" (cp) (in Wendt, ed. Lali)
Talosago Tolovae "Polynesian Old Man" (cp) (Wendt, Albert. ed. Nuanua: Pacific Writing in English Since 1980. Honolulu: U of Hawai'i Press, 1995.)
Essay #5 (Final Essay Draft) Due Mon Nov 22

W: Sons for the return home - film discussion (view before class)

F: No class--Thanksgiving Break

Part Four: Tourism and the Nuclear Pacific

Week Fourteen (Nov 29-Dec 3)
M: Vanessa Griffen "Afternoon in Town" (cp) (in Wendt, Lali)
Celo Kulagoe "White-Land" (cp) (in Wendt, Lali)
Sano Malifa "To the woman selling handicrafts" (cp) (in Wendt, Lali)

W: Hau'ofa "The Ocean within us" (cp) in Dreadlocks in Oceania
HW: Grammar: 20 Commas: ex.1 (p.125), ex.3 (p.131)& ex.4 (p.136)

F: Celo Kulagoe "Peace Signs" (cp) (in Wendt, Lali)
Hau'ofa "The Tower of Babel" (cp) in Tales of the Tikongs. Auckland: Longman Paul, 1983.

Upload: 08/10/2000

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