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ENG 657 Caribbean Literature Summer I 2017

Caribbean Womens Literature


Instructor: Dr. Cheryl Duffus

Office: Craig 206 B
Phone: x4409
NOTE: All Gardner-Webb University students and faculty must use their
Gardner-Webb University email addresses for conducting academic business.
Please note that you should expect at least a 24-hour window for a response
to an email. During university holidays and breaks, that window may be
Office Hours: Contact Instructor. Available via phone, email, video chat.

Course Description: The cultural studies scholar Stuart Hall describes the Caribbean as the
first, the original and the purest diaspora since everybody there comes from somewhere else.
The Caribbean shares many similarities with the United States, especially the South's history of a
plantation economy and slavery. Beginning in 1492, Europeans arrived in the Caribbean,
seeking gold and profit. Over the next hundred years, they enslaved the indigenous populations,
then eradicated them through a combination of transmittable diseases they had no immunity from
and the horrific conditions of slave labor. Needing more slaves for the sugar plantations, Africa
was next targeted, and after the African slave trade and slavery itself were abolished, India
became a source for indentured servants.

This history has created a vibrant, multicultural society as well as generating conflicts
concerning identity, culture, dislocation, and the struggle for voice and recognition. This course
will focus on how these conflicts manifest themselves in fiction by female writers from around
the Caribbean, using gender as a way to frame the discussions. We will also explore how
Caribbean Womens Literature has been defined by scholars and how we might define it
ourselves. We will read both fiction and critical essays each week, and weekly writings and
discussions will work towards each student creating her own definition of Caribbean Women's

Student Learning Outcomes:

1. Identify and describe key concepts and theoretical influences in Women's Caribbean
2. Interpret Women's Caribbean Literature using different perspectives from literary theory
3. Assess and compare theories of Women's Caribbean Literature
4. Compose your own theory of Women's Caribbean Literature

Technology needs: Bb access, Google docs, Google+, Voicethread. Given the Internet
disruptions earlier in June, I would like to create a Google+ community as a backup method of
Required Texts, Supplies, and Technology:

Textbooks--Five (5) novels: Wide Sargasso Sea, by Jean Rhys (Norton Edition); Abeng
by Michelle Ciff; Exile According to Julia, by Gisele Pineau, English translation by Betty
Wilson; In the Time of the Butterflies, by Julia Alvarez; and The Dew Breaker by
Edwidge Danticat. All are available from GWU Campus Shop and elsewhere.
Scholarly Essays -- posted under each week's folder as PDFs.
Frequent access to Blackboard course hub (students should expect to access the site every
day in a summer school class).Access to other websites as instructed (Bb is home base,
but we will use other online resources and spaces, such as:
Google Drive: We will share drafts of assignments and promote
collaborative feedback.
Google + (Plus) and Voicethread: We will use either Voicethread
or Google + for all online discussions.

o Hardware: the instructor expects you to have daily access to a computer (desktop,
laptop, or otherwise) where you can do the followingthese are minimum
Open, create, save, edit, and share word processing documents (ex.
Microsoft Word, Pages, and/or Google Docs)
Download, save, and interact with software tools deemed helpful in
research process (ex. Jing screencast tool, Zotero research tool, etc.). Note:
this requires the student has the appropriate permission to download on to
the computer used for the course. Please check your permissions if using a
public, shared, and/or work computer.
View, compose, and respond to email
View PDFs (requires Adobe Reader, free download
View images, listen to audio, and view and listen to video files (Note:
GWU aims to provide universally designed course content, which means
that all users can successfully access all content in the course. If you have
any special needs or if you find content not accessible, please let your
instructor know immediately.)

o Skills: the instructor expects you to have the following technology skills. If you
feel that you do not currently possess these skills, then please contact and share
this information with the instructor prior to or as soon as the course begins:
Type/create text with relative easethis course will require a great deal of
typing in multiple spacesonline discussion, word processing, email, note
taking, etc.
Understanding of information literacy skills, how to conduct research
using both print and non-print sources, and how to cite sources (Note:
students should be familiar with MLA style, but so the instructor does
expect students to be able to create or learn to cite direct quotes,
paraphrases, summaries, etc. so as to avoid plagiarism. See Academic
Honesty Policy on Bb for details).
Upload a document into various spaces (ex. Attach a document to an
email, upload a document to an assignment management system, like used on Blackboard)
Be resourceful in finding and using help services and searching for
answers to certain technology questions/issues (Note: while the instructor
will provide necessary instruction on any course-specific technology
used/required, it is expected that the student will be self-motivated to
search for general issues when they arise. Please remember that
Blackboard issues need to go through the Blackboard Help Desk first, not
the instructor or GWU Technology Services)

Optional Material: You may find that a specific course daybook, notebook, or space on your
computer/online as a useful way to take and organize notes for this course. Ideally the material
and content covered in this course will be beneficial throughout the program; so, while we don't
require a specific system or method for note-taking, it is highly recommended you come up with
something that works for you.

Department Grading Scale Graduate

In order to insure grading consistency, the English Department established the following grading
scale for all English graduate courses. Please contact the Registrars Office if you have any
questions about the chromatic grading scale and how that will impact your GPA and other
academic requirements. Here is a link to a page on Registrars web site that might help you:

GPA Letter Grade Numeric Grade

4.0 A+ 99-100
4.0 A 96-98
3.67 A- 94-95
3.33 B+ 92-93
3.00 B 88-91
2.67 B- 86-87
2.00 C 85-79
0 F 79>


In addition to lots of reading, you will be responsible for the following assignments:

1) Nine (9) Discussion Postings and Responses to Classmates (includes peer review of Final
Exam Drafts), due twice a week, 25 points each, 225 points total (32% of total course grade)
2) Three (3) Journals, uploaded to Bb/Turnitin.comm, 100 points each, 300 points total (43%
of total course grade)

3) Final Exam Project: Your Definition of Women's Caribbean Literature, uploaded to

Bb/, due by 9 am, June 26, 2017. 100 points (14% of total course grade)

4) 10 minute presentation of Final Exam Project: due by 9 am, June 26, 2017. 75 points (1% of
total course grade)

Total points for the assignments: 700 points

Details for Assignments

1) Discussion Postings: I will provide a specific prompt for each Posting to help guide your
response. All responses will be evaluated for the following:

1. Originality -- not repeating or summarizing ideas from classmates or the reading.

2. Analysis, not summary -- postings should focus on analysis and critical thinking. Avoid
summarizing an entire essay or novel or part of a novel. Remember we are all reading the
same texts. Assume we know what you are referring to.

3. Specific references to the text(s) as evidence to support your analysis -- this means
quotes and page numbers.

4. Adherence to time and / or length requirements.

2) Discussion Responses: For each Posting, you will be required to respond in a thoughtful
way to one classmate. You will be asked not to respond to the same classmate each time;
however, I do realize there are only four of you. My main goal here is that no one is left out and
no one is over responded to.

Your responses should engage the posting in an analytical way. You need to do more than
cheerlead or be supportive. You can piggy back off the posting and apply the ideas in a different
way or to a different text or a different part of the text. You can disagree in a professional and
courteous manner. You can ask questions. Just don't say or write something like "way to go" or
"good job."

3) Journals: Each week, I will provide a specific prompt. Each Journal is intended to apply the
scholarly reading from the previous Thursday to the creative reading from Monday. Each
Journal will help you build towards the Final Exam Project, your own Definition of Caribbean
Women's Literature. This means that by the time the Draft of the Final Exam is due, you will
already have a working draft from your Journals. The Journals, therefore, are scaffold work for
the Final Exam Project. Each Journal will be written, 1,000 words, MLA formatted, uploaded to
4) Final Exam Project: This is your final draft of your Definition of Women's Caribbean
Literature. It is a written essay, MLA formatted, etc. It is literary analysis. You will be expected
to include each creative work from the semester. You will not be expected to include each
scholarly essay. You will have a narrow focus -- you will not have to discuss every single thing
about each novel. You will focus on one theme, problem, question, etc. so that you can
communicate something insightful and meangingful about the literature.

5) 10 Minute Presentation: You will upload a video presentation of your final exam project.
You will have to edit your written work to fit within the 10 minute timeframe. You will upload
the video either to our Google+ Community or to Voicethread. You do not have to caption it.
You can use a PowerPoint or similar visual if you would like, but we do need to see you some of
the time. This presentation is intended to help build presentation skills for professional
conferences. Adherence to the time limit will be key in this assignment as well as your ability to
present the audience with a 10 minute capsule of your Final Exam.

Assignments as public documents: All work in this class will be public. In other words, other
people may be allowed to read it.

Absence policy

Since this is an online course in a 5 week Summer semester, missing one due date of online work
will result in one absence as well as a reduction in your overall grade based on the

Three or more absences (i.e., missing three or more online [sessions/activities/due dates]) will
result in an automatic F for the course, no matter how early or late in the semester this occurs. Policy

Students should familiarize themselves with It is the English departments policy
to use this service as one tool for encouraging academic integrity. Therefore, unless otherwise
indicated, all work submitted to the professor for coursework must also be electronically
submitted to, unless otherwise indicated in the assignment description. The
professor will provide instructions on how to make these submissions.

Late Policy
Unless otherwise indicated, all major assignments are to be submitted according to the syllabus
schedule and assignment requirements. After this time, your assignment is considered late. Every
day an assignment is turned in late your grade will drop a chromatic letter grade for that
assignment (one day A to A-, two days A- to B+, etc.). Failure to complete any major
assignment will result in an automatic F for the course. Failure to complete the final exam will
also result in an F for the course. Please inform the instructor(s) of any problems you are
having concerning assignments, due dates, etc.

Feedback Procedures
1. How long can I expect for feedback?: Depending on the assignment, you can expect a
1-2 day turn around for smaller assignments, like online discussions, and a longer 2-3 day
turn around for longer assignments, like the Journals. The instructor will let you know if
longer time is needed for feedback.
2. How will I receive feedback? I will use rubrics and the feature in
Blackboard. You can expect both written and audio feedback on your work.
3. How will you know when something is graded? Blackboard alerts you when you have
received feedback on an assignment. You may also receive email notification.

Academic Dishonesty

Using someone else's words or ideas without giving credit with documentation and quotation
marks when appropriate is plagiarism. Plagiarism will be prosecuted enthusiastically. It is the
English Departments policy that a grade of F for the course will be assigned any time a student
submits any draft of a major assignment of which a substantial portion has been falsely
represented as the students own. Minor assignments that are plagiarized will also be prosecuted
according to University Academic Dishonesty Policy, which may result in a Warning Report.
Resubmitting work you have done for another class without getting prior permission from your
professor will be considered academic dishonesty. Written pieces will be submitted to as part of the English department policy.

Academic Dishonesty Graduate Policy:

Student Responsibilities

o Students should recognize that the regulations governing academic integrity exist for the
protection of the honest and that dishonesty in an academic setting must not be tolerated,
much less condoned.
o Students are responsible for their own work. Any assignment turned in by a student is
assumed to be the work of the student whose name appears on the assignment
o Students are ultimately responsible for understanding faculty members instructions for
assignments. If instructions are not clear, students must seek clarification from
o Students must understand the definitions of cheating, plagiarism, and other forms of
academic dishonesty.
o Students should familiarize themselves with the proper use of citations and quotations in
order to avoid submitting other peoples work as their own.
o Students are expected to report incidents of academic dishonesty to their professor.
o Students who threaten or coerce other students or faculty members for reporting a
violation of the Code of Academic Integrity will face disciplinary action, with dismissal
from graduate study at Gardner-Webb University being the recommended punishment.

Infractions of the code of academic integrity include, but are not limited to, the following:

Cheating Intentionally using or attempting to use unapproved materials, information, notes, or

other devices including unauthorized communication during an academic exercise.
Fabrication and Falsification Intentional and unauthorized alteration or manufacturing of any
information in an academic exercise. Fabrication is a matter of inventing information for
academic purposes, whereas falsification is a matter of altering information.

Multiple Submission The submission of substantial portions of the same academic work
(including oral reports) for credit more than once without authorization.

Plagiarism Intentionally or knowingly presenting the work of another as ones own (i.e.,
without proper acknowledgment of the source). The sole exception to the requirement of
acknowledging sources is when the ideas, information, etc., are common knowledge.

Abuse of Academic Materials Intentionally or knowingly destroying, stealing or making

inaccessible library and other academic resource material.

Complicity in Academic Dishonesty Intentionally helping or attempting to help another to

commit any act of academic dishonesty.

The Final Exam:

The final exam schedule is determined by the University Registrar and cannot be changed unless
you have a truly serious (and, generally, unexpected) emergency such as a death in the family, a
serious illness requiring hospitalization, or an obligation to be away on University business (e.g.,
you are an athlete and have a scheduled game). You must fill out the appropriate paperwork and
receive permission well in advance in order to make any changes regarding the exam.

Comprehensive final examinations or assessment products are required in every course by the
end of the semester. If a comprehensive exam is given, a student who does not take the
examination during the scheduled time will receive a failing grade in that subject unless excused
by the professor. If the student is excused, the grade will be recorded as Incomplete (I).

Other policies:
Please note that your assignments are considered to be public documents. We will be
sharing and helping each other during the process of figuring out each student's definition
of Women's Caribbean Literature. This should be done in a professional and respectful
Technology Problems should be brought to the professor's attention as soon as possible,
especially if they are impacting your participation in the course. GWU technology
problems will not impact students' grades.
Online communication etiquette: 3 "Pleases": 1) Please address all participants in the
course in a friendly and professional manner. 2) Please use standard English as
appropriate for a classroom and professional environment. 3) If there is a conflict within
our course, please contact the professor first so that appropriate mediation can be
Personal illness or crisis: PLEASE contact the professor ASAP if a personal illness,
crisis, or family situation is impacting your ability to complete this course.
Assistance Outside the Classroom: I am available to meet with any student as frequently as
s/he would like. I am available over email, phone, or video chat. Your fellow classmates are
also valuable resources for out-of-class discussion. Please contact me ASAP if you are feeling
lost or overwhelmed this semester, either in general or in this class, so that we can work out
a solution together.

University Academic Support

University Writing Center

Now located in Tucker Student Center, Room 237, Gardner-Webb Universitys Writing Center
staff is dedicated to helping students. Students can get help beginning, revising, or editing a
draft of any writing (research paper, resume, application, project, or response to a prompt). In
addition, consultants have resources to help students with research and documentation styles
(MLA, APA, and Turabian). Walk-Ins are welcome, however, students should make an
appointment ahead of time to ensure a spot. Students can customize their appointment by
choosing a date, time, and consultant while logged into My Webb (Student Tab, Academic
Services, Student Services, Writing Center Appointment Scheduler). Please refer to our website
for semester hours and resources. GWUs Writing Center also offers Skype consultations as well
as phone consultations for distance students. Contact consultants at writingcenter@gardner-, come to Tucker, or call (704) 406-4393.

Noel Program


If your learning or participation in this class might be affected in any way by a disability
recognized under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), you will need to do the following:

(1) register with the Noel Program for the Disabled at Gardner-Webb University-- (704) 406-
4270; and (2) educate me about your disability so that I can work with you and the Noel Program
to arrange necessary accommodations. It is important that you take both of these steps no later
than the first week of the semester.

Other Graduate School Academic Policies

A student must have an average of 3.0 overall to be awarded the M.A., M.S., Ed.S., D.N.P., or
Ed.D. degree. When the GPA falls below 3.0, the student is placed on probation. If, after six
hours of additional work, the student does not attain a 3.0 overall, the student will be suspended.
The student may reapply after one year. The program graduate faculty makes the decision on
whether to readmit and, if readmitted, the stipulations that will apply.

A student on academic probation who receives an I grade will be suspended until the I is
replaced by a regular grade, at which time other probation and suspension rules will apply.
F Grade

Any admitted student receiving a grade of F in a graduate course will be suspended from the
program in which the grade was received. The student may reapply to that program after one
year. Dual degree-seeking students who receive an F in a course that applies to both programs
will be suspended from both programs. The program graduate faculty makes the decision on
whether to readmit, and, if readmitted, the stipulations that will apply. If readmitted, the student
must repeat at Gardner-Webb the course in which he or she received the F, making at least a B.
The course must be repeated the first time it is offered at the students site or online after the
students return. Only the higher grade will be counted in computing the Gardner-Webb grade
point average, although the lower grade will remain on the official transcript. No more than one
F may be repeated.

C Grade

A student who receives nine hours of C grades will be suspended from the program in which the
grades were received. The student may reapply to that program after one year. The program
graduate faculty makes the decision on whether to readmit and, if readmitted, the stipulations
that will apply. A student may repeat one course in which a C grade was earned; the second grade
will count for GPA purposes but will not replace the initial C grade. Only one of the courses will
count toward degree requirements. If the student earns only a total of 9 semester hours of C in
different graduate programs, the program faculty may stipulate not to suspend the student and to
allow continued work, on probation status, until the 3.0 is reached.

Academic Dismissal

A student may receive no more than one suspension and have the opportunity to be readmitted. A
second suspension results in academic dismissal from the program in which the suspension was
received. Dual degree-seeking students who are dismissed from one program may continue to
pursue their degree in the other program.

Repeating Courses in Graduate School

Courses may be taken only once with the exception given under the F and C grade policies

Draft of Reading Schedule

Womens Caribbean Literature

How has this literature been defined? Understood? Theorized?
How will YOU define it? Understand it? Theorize it?
Week One, May 23-26
Reading for Thursday, available on Bb as PDFs: 1) Du Plessis, 2) Boyce Davies and Savory
Fido; 3) Mohanty; 4) Haigh

Week Two, May 29-June 2

Reading for Monday: Wide Sargasso Sea and Abeng

Reading for Thursday: 3 essays in Norton Critical Edition of WSS: The Place of Jean Rhys;
Spivak, WSS and a Critique of Imperialism; Parry, Two Native Voices, and 1 PDF on Bb:

Week Three, June 5-9

Reading for Monday: Exile According to Julia

Reading for Thursday, available on Bb as PDFs: Conde, Arnold, Ormerod, Paravisini-Gebert

Week Four, June 12-16

Reading for Monday: In the Time of Butterflies

Reading for Thursday, available on Bb as PDFs: Fulani, Haigh

Week Five, June 19-23

Reading for Monday: The Dew Breaker
Draft of Definition due to Dr. Duffus; Peer Review Due this Week

Week Six, June 26

Final Definition/Presentations Due