Friday, January 13, 2017

ENGL 3053: Syllabus

University of ArkansasFort Smith

5210 Grand Avenue
P.O. Box 3649
Fort Smith, AR 72913

General Syllabus

Course Title Popular Literature: Zombies, Vampires, and the Apocalypse                                 

Course Code    ENGL           3053                                                    Credit Hours        3  
                        Prefix        Number                                                     Lecture Hours      3  
                                                                                                            Lab Hours            0  
                                                                                                            Contact Hours      3_    

Instructor: Kelly Jennings
Office: Vines 139
Phone: 788-7907
Office Hours:   TR TR 8:00-11:00; 2:00-4:00; Or by appointment

You can also friend me on Facebook – I’m the Kelly Jennings in Fort Smith with this picture:

I have created a blog for the class; you will occasionally need to access the class assignments through this blog, and I will be posting class notes on this site.  The blog address is or you can google drdelagar teaches literature. If you have trouble accessing it, email me or come by the office.

Required Texts: Seven books.

Notice that I’ve given specific editions for all of these. For some of them, that’s the only edition available; but for others, like Dracula, there are many editions. And even with the single-edition, there are e-versions available for some of them, which may be cheaper. Feel free to use whatever edition you like!

(1)        Title: World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War
            Author: Max Brooks
            Publisher: Three Rivers Press
            ISBN 10: 0307346617

(2)        Title: Fledgling
            Author: Octavia Butler
            Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
            ISBN 10: 0446696161

(3)        Title: Dracula
            Author: Bram Stoker
            Publisher: Dover Publications
            ISBN: 0486454010

(4)        Title: Station Eleven
            Author: Emily St. John Mandel
            Publisher: Vintage
            ISBN: 0804172447

(5)        Title: Y The Last Man
            Author: Brian K. Vaughan
            Publisher: Vertigo
            ISBN: 140125151X

 (6)       Title: Carpe Jugulum
            Author: Terry Pratchett
            Publisher: Harper
            ISBN: 0062280147

(7)        Title: Dog Stars
            Author: Peter Heller
            Publisher: Vintage

I.          Catalog Description:

3 Cr. (3 hours lecture per week)

A reading- intensive course introducing students to popular literature. The focus is on contemporary literature.

Prerequisite:    ENGL 1213

II.        Available Course Formats:
This course is conducted through lecture and discussion. 

III.       Content Objectives
Upon completion of this course, the student will:

1.      Understand and explain the influence of Popular Literature on American culture
2.      Discuss the motifs of Popular Literature with some facility
3.      Understand and write about the connections Popular Literature has to world and other cultures, and how Popular Culture exploits those connections

IV.       General Education competencies
This course enhances student abilities in the following general education areas:
Communication Skills
Level: Reinforcement: Students will write a major paper and/or give a presentation concerning the impact popular culture on American culture. The paper and the presentation will form a major part of their grade.  Students will also be required to participate in both class and small group discussions over assigned readings.
Information Literacy
Level: Reinforcement: Students will use library and internet resources to conduct research for their papers and presentations. Use of appropriate information resources will be a graded component of the papers and presentations.

V.        Major Course Topics:
A.     Background
B.     Zombies
C.     Bring out your dead: Plague Literature
D.     Bram Stoker, Dracula, and Other Monsters
E.      What’s it all about?

VI. Course Requirements

(1)   Quiz and group work grade: We will have daily reading quizzes, as well as occasional in-class assignments.  25% of your semester grade will be based on these quizzes and assignments. Quizzes are given in the first three minutes of class and cannot be made up for any reason; likewise, the in-class work cannot be made up. I do drop your two lowest quiz / in-class grades.

(2)   Paper, Exams, Presentation:  I will be giving a midterm and a final, and you will have the opportunity to write a paper.  You must do two out of three of these graded works – that is, we have three possible graded works here (a paper, a midterm, and a final) and you must do at least two of them.  Altogether, this segment of the course will count for 75% of your final grade.

Grading scale: A=100-90; B=89.9-80; C=79.9-70; D= 69.9-60; F= 59.9 and below.

Attendance: I require students to attend class regularly. Note that regularly means missing no more than three sessions for whatever reason. After three classes have been missed the final average will be dropped 3 points for every absence. However, any student who attends all classes without fail will receive a 5 point bonus at the end of the semester.

Late Work: If you know you will have trouble getting work to me on time, contact me via email or Facebook.  We can work something out. 

Extra Credit: From time to time, I will make available extra credit opportunities.  These are due by the last day of class, and the credit will be added to your quiz grade average.

Electronic Devices: Turn off your phone when you come into the classroom.  If you need to have it on for an emergency situation, switch it to silent and sit near the door so that you can leave quietly if it rings.  If you need to use a laptop to take notes, use it only to take notes.  Playing games or the use of social media is distracting to other students, and readily apparent to your professor, who tries very hard not to let such things enter into her evaluation of you at semester’s end, but is not always successful.

Music, Chatting, Sleeping in Class: Don’t play your iPod, don’t text, don’t talk to your neighbor, try hard to stay awake.  Again, you’re distracting people who want to pay attention, and you’re lowering my opinion of you as a student.  Everyone gets tired sometimes, and sometimes you’ve got something crucial you’ve got to say – maybe there’s a spider on your neighbor’s head!  But otherwise, not cool.

Plagiarism: Plagiarism is the major felony in the academic world.  Sometimes it surprises students that professors get so upset about it.  Trust me, we do, we will, and we’re justified in taking it so seriously.  It is intellectual dishonesty.

Plagiarizing will get students into serious trouble.  I know how to recognize plagiarism, I know what a paper written by someone not in the class looks like, I know how to find things on the net.  If someone plagiarizes in my class, on any assignment whatsoever, that person will fail the class. 

Additional Course Policies


In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), UA Fort Smith seeks to provide reasonable accommodations and services to students who have documented exceptionalities.  Students who believe they are eligible to declare a disability for the purpose of requesting and receiving accommodations must submit all required documentation of their disability to Roger Young, ADA Coordinator, for validation.  Mr. Young will develop an individualized plan for reasonable accommodation in learning and testing for all students qualifying for accommodation.  Mr. Young can be reached at 479-788-7577.


According to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, you have certain rights with respect to your educational records, including the right to inspect your own educational records, to request an amendment if you believe them to be in error, and the right to consent to disclosure of your records (with certain exceptions).  Please refer to the UA-Fort Smith catalog for more information.


The Gordon E. Kelley Academic Success Center (ASC) provides programs designed to meet individual student needs not met through the general curriculum.  Currently, the ASC is located in Room 202 of the Vines Building.  Students may contact ASC staff at (479) 788-7675.


Students who have questions or concerns about their grades, the course, or an assignment are encouraged to see their instructor as soon as possible.  If not satisfied with that discussion, students may see the Chair of the department (if there is an acting Chair).  If not satisfied with that discussion, students may see the appropriate Dean.  If not satisfied with that discussion—or to dispute an official course grade, students should contact the Academic Integrity Committee.


The instructor reserves the right to make changes in the syllabus and/or schedule when necessary to meet learning objectives, to compensate for missed classes, or for similar reasons.

Further Advice: I’ve hit the obvious things—don’t cheat, come to class, be on time. For further advice, I would add: come to my office for help.  It’s why I’m there. Feel free to email me, also.  I love email.

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