English 421A/521A:
World Literature I: Origins to 1650

Crucial Info for Fall 2019:

Supervising Instructor: Dr. Loren R. Schmidt

Facilitator (Your Primary Instructor): Prof. Brian McShane

Prof. McShane's Telephone: (609) 709-8949

Dr. Schmidt's Telephone: (509) 865-8542 or Ext. 2112 (Work); (509) 307-0104 (Cell); (509) 574-8486 (Home)

Prof. McShane's E-mail: McShane_B@heritage.edu

Dr. Schmidt's E-Mail: schmidt_l@heritage.edu or loren@llschmidt.net

Dr. Schmidt's Office: 2112 Simkins, Heritage University, 3240 Fort Rd., Toppenish, WA 98948 WA 98948

Schmidt Virtual Office Hours on Elluminate: W 6-8 pm PDT/PST, F 130-300 pm PDT/PST, or by appointment

Schmidt Physical Office Hours (available by phone): F 130-300 pm PDT/PST or by appointment

McShane Virtual Office Hours on Elluminate: TBA or by appointment

Time and Place:

Fall 2019, Only Self-Paced Option Available.

Weekly online office hours with Prof. McShane and Dr. Schmidt for those who have questions.

1. Class for online students will meet via Internet on Heritage University Virtual Campus (AKA MyHeritage). Students may also have the opportunity to make their Seminar Leader presentation LIVE in-person or online. See "Schedule" and "Evaluation" pages or watch your weekly emails for more information.

2. Class will have weekly sessions available via Elluminate on TBA. Dr. Schmidt or Prof. McShane will discuss the reading materials and answer questions. SOME SESSIONS WILL BE RECORDED FOR LATER PLAYBACK, BUT NOT ALL.

3. Online students should use a headset or play walkie-talkie when attending Elluminate sessions IF they desire to speak instead of typing questions. Cheap headsets work just fine; webcam not required.

4. MYHERITAGE CODES AVAILABLE!! Contact IT or your local administrative assistant if you need a code! OCICU students should have received their codes (login name and password) in their welcome letters.


Martin Puchner, et al, ed., The Norton Anthology of World Literature, 4th ed. (NY: Norton, 2018).

This is the version with three separate volumes (A, B, and C) to make handling/reading easier. If you have the 3rd ed., Dr. Schmidt will work it out with you.

Course Description and Objectives:

The course design assumes that students may work independently at their own pace through the material. Each section of the text has Forum questions or other assignments linked to it. Some assignments have mini-lectures or recorded material attached to them; others just revolve around the text. As you proceed further in the course, you will be asked to write both a response to other critics' analysis and criticism of your own and will have the chance to teach one reading to your fellow students. Online sessions will be held weekly where you may discuss the material, ask questions, or share your written work with others. These online sessions will be recorded so that students who cannot attend synchronously will still be able to pose questions, have them answered, and share with others. Arrangements can be made to record your presentations as well.

English 421A/521A may be taken as (a) a prequel to Eng 421B/521B (World Lit II: 1650-Present), b) an alternative to Eng 200 (Introduction to Ethnic Literature) for the GUCR or departmental/endorsement requirements, or (c) an advanced literature course to meet the major requirements or electives. English 421A/521A operates on the premise that literature is worth the trouble of a close examination. Careful study of the literary products of a culture will repay you by teaching you not only about that culture but also about yourself. In this course, we will examine some of the greatest novels, short stories, poems, and plays written prior to 1650 CE. In order to understand these texts and see why so many people regard them as important, we will attempt not only to analyze the works themselves in detail but also to set them in the context of their writers' times, lives, and cultures.

Given the assumptions stated above, students may expect that they will be called on to read extensively, to discuss those readings in class, and to write regularly concerning the readings and discussions. All of these elements will be factored into the course evaluation system.

In general, the course has these objectives for students to pursue:

(1) Become familiar with some of the great works of world literature and their authors
(2) Gain insights into other cultures through their literature
(3) Explore some of the methods for analyzing literature
(4) Improve analytic writing skills both in and out of class
(5) Review research and documentation skills
(6) Practice presentation/teaching skills

Visit These Pages Now!

Making the Grade: Elements of Evaluation

Schedule (4th ed.)

Course Policies

© Dr. Loren R. Schmidt, 1999-2019
No part of this syllabus may be used or reproduced
in any manner whatsoever without written permission.