ENGL 390- Cora Agatucci

[ Syllabus | Course Plan | Assignments | AsianLinks: China, India, Japan |
AsianTimelines: China, India, Japan]

EOSC-University Center Spring 1998; Credit: 4 Quarter Hours
Meetings: Mon-Wed 2-3:15* (with Hum 210) and Fri 2-2:50 p.m., Des 1
Instructor: Cora Agatucci; Office: Deschutes 14;
Office Phone & Messages: 383-7522; Office Hours: TBA (see
Spring 1998 Schedule) & by appointment.;
cagatucci@cocc.edu Or via First Class address to: Cora Agatucci
Hum 210 website:

Food for thought:

"I am, however, encouraged by a keen sense of WORLD LITERATURE
as the one great heart that beats for the cares and misfortunes of our world,
even though each corner sees and experiences them in a different way."
--Alexander Solzehnitsyn, Nobel Lecture, 1970

"If in my life I have developed any ability to understand those who are other to me,
other in race or gender or culture or sexual preference,
a good deal of my training in empathy must have come from
the practice fiction and poetry have given me
in taking on other selves, other lives."
--David H. Richter, Falling into Theory, 1994

Required Texts (to be purchased in COCC Bookstore)

Also Required:
Resources for duplicating selected writings for writing workshops.
Reading assignments may also include handouts (to be distributed in class) of selected Asian works.

Required Film Viewings (to be shown in class):

*NOTE: Three Wednesday class meetings will be extended to 4 p.m. to accommodate in-class film viewings (see Engl 390 Course Plan for dates). For students who miss all or part of in-class film viewings and/or who cannot stay past 3:15 p.m. on the three designated Wednesdays, the following options are available to complete the film viewings:

  1. Films will be placed on COCC Library reserve for in-library viewing after they are shown in class.
  2. To Live and Rhapsody in August are available at many local video rental stores and, for a small fee, may be checked out and viewed at home on the student’s own time.

Prerequisites: Upper division standing, successful completion of a minimum of one British and one American literature survey course, or permission of the instructor. The primary focus of Discourse Studies English and Writing courses is upper-level study of literature and/or writing (and these classes should not be confused with Education-prefixed methods courses specifically designed to help students pursuing education certificates apply such study to future classroom use). Students best prepared to succeed in upper division coursework are those who can meet these expectations for 300-level and 400-level English and Writing courses:

English 390 Course Description

As stated in EOSC course description, English 390 entails "intensive study of one or more of the following: women, minority, or regional writers; popular or folk texts; literature in translation." In English 390, an "enhanced" upper-division version of Hum 210, we will study the rich diversity, creative forms, imaginative achievement, and unique contributions to international arts and literature of selected works from the oral traditions, literature and film of China, India, and Japan--some written in English, some in translation. In joint Mon-Wed meetings of Hum 210-Engl 390, we will examine these Asian works as expressions of their historical and cultural contexts (e.g., belief systems, social-political realities, and theories of oral, literary, and cinematic art), especially through materials introduced in the required Hum 210 Packet and class presentations. In addition, the English 390 Packet will introduce selected theories of multicultural education, cross-cultural reading and interpretation, and interdisciplinary perspectives, to be addressed in Friday seminars during the first half of the term. Both Engl 390 and Hum 210 students will be encouraged to:

See also Hum 210 Learning Objectives at the bottom of this page. During the second half of the term, English 390 students will develop a capstone Term Project on a topic of interest relevant to Asian multicultural literature, building upon course resources as well as outside research. Engl 390 students will share the progress and results of their learning experiences through workshops, oral presentations, and website publication of Term Project work..

Course Assignments and Grading:

1. Participation Credits 10% of course grade
2. Hum 210 Dialogues #1-9 & Active Seminar Participation 40% of course grade
3. Midterm Discussion Paper 10% of course grade
4. Term Project Proposal 5% of course grade
5. Term Project Oral Presentation 5% of course grade
6. Term Project Final Paper & Website Publication 30% of course grade

Assignment directions and evaluation criteria will be discussed further in class.
(Relevant online handouts will also be posted to the Engl 390
Assignments page)
Please refer to the
Engl 390 Course Plan for deadlines.

Late/Make-Up Work Policies:

Participation Credit (PC) earned for designated learning activities and assignments (e.g., required film viewings, preparation of copies of preliminary drafts) may be "made up" or turned in late with the instructor’s permission. Note, however, that some Participation Credit assignments and class activities, by their nature, may not be "made up" or turned in late. Please confer with instructor. This portion of student’s grade will be determined by calculating the percentage of PC earned out of the total number possible.

Hum 210 Dialogues (usually @ 1-to-2 pages of informal writing) and Active Seminar Participation will be evaluated on a credit/no credit basis. This portion of student’s grade will be determined by calculating the percentage of Dialogue and Seminar credits earned out of the total number assigned. A maximum of two Dialogues may be turned in late for credit. Thereafter, no late or make-up Dialogues will be accepted. Missed Seminar Participation cannot be made up: see Engl 390 Course Plan for dates.

Formal letter-graded assignments are Midterm Discussion Paper, Term Project Proposal, Term Project Final Paper and Website Publication.

  1. A maximum of one formal graded writing assignment will be accepted late with a one grade penalty. Thereafter, no further late graded writing assignments will be accepted.
  2. Term Project Oral Presentation must be given at the class meeting scheduled (students will be asked to sign up for and commit to a date in advance). The Oral Presentation cannot be "made up" or given "late" due to course time constraints.

All formal graded writing (ie. Midterm Discussion Paper, Term Project Proposal, and Term Project Final Paper and Website Publication) should adhere to upper-division college-level standards of writing and research documentation.

Need Help with Writing Assignments? English 390 students are encouraged to start promptly on writing assignments, to ask questions when they need clarification and direction, and to seek help when needed for these or other resources:

  1. Cora during her office hours (see Spring 1998 Schedule), by appointment, or via phone or e-mail me: cagatucci@cocc.edu
  2. The Writing Lab through drop-in tutoring during open lab hours or via the Electronic Writing Lab (for those with First Class accounts).
  3. Cora’s website (1) "Resources for Writers and Researchers"
  4. Cora’s website (2) Hum 210 "Asianlinks" URL: http://www.cocc.edu/cagatucci/classes/hum210/links

Any student with a documented disability (e.g., physical, learning, psychological, vision, hearing) who needs to arrange reasonable accommodations must contact the instructor (Cora) and Steve O’Brien (COCC counselor who handles disability services, Boyle Education Center [BEC]) at the beginning of the term or as soon as possible.

If a serious problem interferes with your success in the course or threatens to prevent you from completing the course successfully at any point this term,
please see me as soon as possible to discuss. We may be able to work out a solution.

I look forward to working and learning with you!


Hum 210 Learning Objectives

1. Build a base of knowledge about Asian orature, literature, and creative expression, studied in the context and from the perspectives of the Asian cultures and histories which produced them.

2. Apply this knowledge base and these contexts to literary interpretation of selected Asian orature, literature, and film "texts" that we study in Hum 210.

3. Acquaint students with the ways native Asian artists and others interpret their own culture and literature relevant to the Asian "texts" required for the course, examine the ways these interpretations differ from the ways non-native (Western) outsiders interpret them; and encourage non-native students to appreciate the value and special authority of such native perspectives.

4. Understand and examine the ways that one’s own perspective of others’ cultures and literatures are shaped and biased by one’s own culture-bound and ethnocentric perspectives.

5. Understand and apply different cross-cultural and/or interdisciplinary ways of interpreting and evaluating the literary and creative traditions of Asia appropriate to the Asian cultures and literatures being studied.

6. Introduce examples of native language and writing systems, and examine multiple translations of selected Asian texts in order to recognize and articulate both the benefits and limitations of access to Asian texts in translation.

7. Recognize and articulate defensible criteria for evaluating "good" (and "bad") translations of Asian and other cross-cultural texts.

8. Clarify definitions and perspectives of students’ own cultures in comparison/contrast to Asian cultures and literatures.

9. Lay a solid foundation, including providing bibliographies, for further cross-cultural study, especially of Asian cultures’ literary and creative expression, and stimulate enough curiosity about Asian cultures and literatures so that students leave the class desiring to continue study on concrete relevant questions and topics of interest.

10. Encourage students to think for themselves and create their own interpretations of the Asian cultures and literatures, informed by the knowledge base, multicultural theories of reading and interpretation, and intercultural skills developed in this course.

11. Learn with the non-Asian teacher, who presents herself as a knowledgeable cross-cultural guide and interpreter--rather than an expert who claims to know everything about Asian cultures and literatures--and understand that the teacher’s interpretations, like those of students, are only some of many possible valid interpretations of Asian cultures and literatures.

12. Develop or reinforce positive attitudes toward the value of such cross-cultural study, with special attention (a) to identifying and correcting misinformation and negative stereotypes about Asian cultures and literatures, and (b) to experiencing the empathetic identification and sympathetic understanding characteristic of immersion into imaginative literature and other creative arts.

13. Develop and articulate an appreciation the benefits of learning more about cultures very different from students’ own.

14. Strengthen students’ ability to understand and deal constructively with cultural differences.

15. Recognize and articulate how the study of non-Western cultures and literatures, coupled with the study of one’s own cultural heritage and literary achievements, can enhance a well-rounded liberal education in today’s globally inter-connected world.


Asian Links China India Japan
Timelines of Asia China, India, Japan

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