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SU18 Yanders

English 2261: Introduction to Fiction, “Fantastically

Real: Using Fictional Literature to Make Sense of Our
Instructor: Jacinta Yanders | Email: | Office Hours: Available for
virtual meetings by appointment

Your access to all aspects of
this class is important to me.
As an instructor, I try to be as
proactive as possible in
ensuring that everyone has the
necessary support to
participate and learn. If there’s
ever a time in which you feel
like your access could be better supported, please do let me know. Student Life Disability
Services contact info:;; 614-292-3307; 098 Baker Hall, 113 W. 12th

Course Description
“I tell my students, it's not difficult to identify with somebody like yourself, somebody next
door who looks like you. What's more difficult is to identify with someone you don't see,
who's very far away, who's a different color, who eats a different kind of food. When you
begin to do that then literature is really performing its wonders.”- Chinua Achebe

The act of reading is a core component of most of our daily lives. In any given day, even if you
are not someone who typically reads short stories or novels, you might read your social media
feeds, Prezi slides, chyrons on the bottoms of television screens, road signs, restaurant menus,
emails, and various other forms of written text.

In this class, we’re going to be focusing our attention on fictional texts, but we’ll rely on many of
the same skills you use to read all of those other forms of written text, such as your ability to
analyze and make sense of complex concepts, your ability to make meaning based on context,
and your ability to make connections between written texts and our broader cultural experiences.

SU18 Yanders

To tap into these skills, we’ll primarily work with two texts: Sherri L. Smith’s Orleans and
Justina Ireland’s Dread Nation. These books both fall under the broad scope of the Fantasy
genre, which is a rather popular, genre represented across literary, televisual, and filmic projects
in the present-day. However, these books differ a bit from the elven, superhero, and witchcraft
fantasy narratives that some of us may be more familiar with (though, if you have an
appreciation for dystopias and zombies, these two stories definitely each have something for
you). Instead of being total stretches of the imagination, these two novels both deal with very
real American cultural experiences (with slightly fantastical twists). Orleans looks at where we
could end up if we’re not careful, and Dread Nation turns its attention to a climatic moment from
the past, the effects of which are still resonating in American society today.

Curriculum Goals
General Education Goals: Students evaluate significant texts in order to develop capacities
for aesthetic and historical response and judgment; interpretation and evaluation; and
critical listening, reading, seeing, thinking, and writing.
Expected Learning Outcomes: 1.) Students analyze, interpret, and critique significant
literary works. 2.) Through reading, discussing, and writing about literature, students
appraise and evaluate the personal and social values of their own and other cultures.

Required Items
• Dread Nation by Justina Ireland (ISBN: 978-0062570604)

• Orleans by Sherri L. Smith (ISBN: 978-0147509963)

• General technology access: internet access, access to Carmen, and access to some
manner of word processing (Microsoft Word, Pages, Google Docs, etc). Our Carmen site
serves as a hub via which you access important information about the class, submit
assignments, and a method via which you can contact your classmates and myself. Note:
Be sure to regularly check your Carmen inbox or have messages forwarded to your email

• For assistance with your BuckID/password, university email, Carmen, and/or any
other OSU-related tech concerns, contact the OSU IT Service Desk. Self-Service
and Chat support: Phone: 614-688-HELP (4357).
Email: TDD: 614-688-8743.


SU18 Yanders

“As a classroom community, our capacity to generate excitement is deeply affected by our
interest in one another, in hearing one another’s voices, in recognizing one another’s
presence.” - bell hooks

Given the variety of backgrounds and life experiences we all bring to this class, it’s important to
cultivate an atmosphere that respects and appreciates what each of us has to offer. This is
perhaps even more important to actively keep in mind in an online class, given that the lack of
face-to-face interaction can make it more difficult to connect with one another and given that it
can sometimes be difficult to interpret tone and sarcasm via written text. Being intentional about
showing respect to and for one another opens us up to being able to learn from one another. And
on a purely practical level, it also makes the class more enjoyable. Be respectful, support one
another, and have fun!

P.S. The devil does not need an advocate.

Inclusive Language
Language is always important, but particularly in this class, in which we’ll be primarily
interacting via written text, it’s especially necessary to be thoughtful about the ways we write
and respond to one another. How we address one another conveys respect (or lack thereof). In
addition to abstaining from using slurs and other forms of derogatory language (even when
derogatory language is used in the novels), which is a bare minimum expectation, it’s also
important that everyone is referred to by the correct name, with the correct spelling, and with the
correct pronouns.

Content & Comfort

“I strive to set up my classes as safe spaces. This doesn't mean creating spaces where *no
student will ever feel uncomfortable.* It means creating spaces where students feel safe to
BE uncomfortable. Discomfort is part of learning and, with that, compassion must be part
of teaching.”- Jen Mustapha

Sometimes content we engage with for academic purposes might make us uncomfortable and/or
be contrary to our own opinions and experiences. To grow and learn, we need open minds and to
engage with material generously. It’s important to try to read with authors first before rejecting
what the messages they’re conveying.

That being said, I will note upfront that the novels we’re reading in this class deal with sexual
violence and racialized violence. I understand that everyone might engage differently when
approaching such subject matter. If you’re concerned that any of this content preventing you
from engaging healthily, please speak with me.

SU18 Yanders

Assignments & Assessment

“Read critically. Write consciously. Speak clearly. Tell your truth.”-Clint Smith III

Below, you will find brief summaries of all of the assignments for this course. Detailed
prompts will also be provided for the assignments.
• Discussion Board Posts (10 posts @ 10 points each=100 points)
- You will be responsible for writing ten discussion board posts over the course of the
summer session. Each discussion board post should demonstrate your comprehension
of the texts we’re reading, your ability to make connections between the novels and the
literary terms/critical lenses we’re studying, and your general engagement in the
• Responses to Discussion Board Questions (10 responses @ 5 points each=50 points)
- Part of what you’ll be required to do in each of your discussion board posts is to
include a discussion question. Thus, for this assignment, you will choose someone’s
question to answer in each discussion.
• Reading Quizzes (5 quizzes @ 10 points each=50 points)
- Nearly every week of the summer session, you will take a quiz via Carmen that will
ask you to answer questions in relation to that week’s material. Similarly to the
discussion board posts, these quizzes will assess your comprehension and application
of the course material.
• Final Project (100 points)
- The final project will ask you to pull together all of the strands of your learning in this
summer session in order to produce one comprehensive (and interesting!) final
composition. To achieve this goal, you will choose one of three possible assignment
• Critical Analysis Essay
• Creative Writing Remix
• Analytical Mixtape

Grading Scale:

93–100: A 90–92.9: A- 87–89.9: B+ 83–86.9: B 80–82.9: B- 77–79.9: C+

73–76.9: C 70 –72.9: C- 67 –69.9: D+ 60 –66.9: D Below 60: E


SU18 Yanders

A fundamental truth of summer classes is that we have to move through material quickly! As
such, it’s going to be especially necessary to make sure that you’re staying on top of due dates. If
you’re going to be outside of Ohio, it’s going to be especially necessary to make sure you
account for time zone differences. I realize that there can be real life circumstances that might
interfere with the submission of an assignment. As such, I’ve allotted one Grace Day that you
can use at any time in the summer session if you need to turn in something a day late. All you
need to do in order to use that Grace Day is send me an email so that I know not to count that
submission as late. It’s important to understand that turning in work late limits your ability to be
able to move on to the next assignment in a timely fashion. As such, I encourage you to turn in
your work on time and to only make use of this extension if absolutely necessary. Beyond the
usage of the Grace Day, grades for late submissions will drop by 10% for each day late.

Academic Integrity
Though we won’t be studying citation practices directly in this class, please keep in mind that
any time you utilize sources outside of the materials we’re reading and watching for class, you
should provide citations for those materials. It can sometimes be challenging to determine when
it’s necessary to include citations, especially given the prevalence in our lives of digital writing
modes that are less intently focused on citation. That being said, the act of citation is an act of
power, and we want to make sure we’re always giving credit where credit is due. I have provided
links to guidance on MLA formatting on the Resources page.

Plagiarism is the unauthorized use of the words or ideas of another person. It is a serious
academic offense that can result in referral to the Committee on Academic Misconduct and
failure for the course. Faculty Rule 3335-5-487 states, “It is the responsibility of the Committee
on Academic Misconduct to investigate or establish procedures for the investigation of all
reported cases of student academic misconduct. The term ‘academic misconduct’ includes all
forms of student academic misconduct wherever committed; illustrated by, but not limited to,
cases of plagiarism and dishonest practices in connection with examinations. Instructors shall
report all instances of alleged academic misconduct to the committee.” In addition, it is a
violation of the student code of conduct to submit without the permission of the instructors work
for one course that has also been submitted in fulfillment of the requirements of another course.
For additional information, see the Code of Student Conduct


SU18 Yanders

“We go to college to be given one more chance to learn to read in case we haven’t learned
in high school. Once we have learned to read the rest can be trusted to add itself unto us”-
Robert Frost

Date Read/Watch/Listen Due

Before the June Read: Syllabus, Assignment Prompts Pre-Test

19th Watch: Carmen site home page videos (Week #1
Module will
not unlock
until Pre-Test
is completed)

Week 1: June 19th-20th Getting Started Discussion

Post #1 (due
Read: Newman, “How to Read a Book”; 6/20)
Wikihow, “How to Read a Novel”; Horgan,
“Why Study Humanities? What I Tell
Engineering Freshman”
Watch: Adichie, “The Danger of a Single
Story”; Smith, “The Danger of Silence”

June 21st-22nd Plot Response to

Read: Orleans (Before-Chapter 6) Question #1
Watch: June 21st-22nd Lecture (due 6/21);
Post #2 (due

Week 2: June 25th-26th Gender and Sexuality Lens Response to

Read: Orleans (Chapters 7-13) Question #2
Watch: June 25th-26th Lecture (due 6/25);
Post #3 (due

SU18 Yanders

Date Read/Watch/Listen Due

June 27th-28th Socioeconomic Lens Response to

Read: Orleans (Chapters 14-20) Question #3
Watch: June 27th-28th Lecture (due 6/27);
Post #4 (due

June 29th Character Response to

Read: Orleans (Chapters 21-25) Question #4
Watch: June 29th Lecture (due 6/29);
Quiz #1 (due

Week 3: July 2nd-3rd Postcolonial Lens Discussion

Post #5 (due
Read: Orleans (Chapters 26-33) 7/3)
Watch:July 2nd-3rd Lecture

July 4th 4th of July.

Take a break.

July 5th-6th Setting Response to

Read: Orleans (Chapters 34- Question #5
Acknowledgments) (due 7/5);
Watch: July 5th-6th Lecture Quiz #2 (due

Week 4: July 9th-10th Historical Lens Discussion

Post #6 (due
Read: Dread Nation (Prologue-Chapter 5) 7/10)
Watch: July 9th-10th Lecture

SU18 Yanders

Date Read/Watch/Listen Due

July 11th-12th Race Lens Response to

Read: Dread Nation (Chapters 6-9) Question #6
Watch: July 11th-12th Lecture (due 7/11);
Post #7 (due

July 13th Point-of-View Response to

Read: Dread Nation (Chapters 10-13) Question #7
Watch: Final Project Overview; July 13th (due 7/13);
Lecture Quiz #3 (due

Week 5: July 16th-17th Theme Discussion

Post #8 (due
Read: Dread Nation (Chapters 14-19) 7/17)
Watch: July 16th-17th Lecture

July 18th-19th Reader Response Lens Response to

Read: Dread Nation (Chapters 20-25) Question #8
Watch: July 18th-19th Lecture (due 7/18);
Post #9 (due

July 20th Style Response to

Read: Dread Nation (Chapters 26-29) Question #9
Watch: July 20th Lecture (due 7/20);
Quiz #4 (due
by 7/20)

Week 6: July 23rd-24th New Criticism Lens Discussion

Post #10 (due
Read: Dread Nation (Chapters 30-35) 7/24)
Watch: July 23rd-24th Lecture

SU18 Yanders

Date Read/Watch/Listen Due

July 25th-26th Symbolism Response to

Read: Dread Nation (Chapters 36-Author’s Question #10
Note) (due 7/25);
Watch: July 25th-26th Lecture Quiz #5 (due

July 30th Final Project

(due 7/30),
(due 7/30)