PROFESSOR: Doug Davis                                                                 office: FA127

Faculty webpage:               e-mail:



Chabon, Michael, ed. The Best American Short Stories 2005. New York: Houghton Mifflin 2005.

Jacobson, Sid and Ernie Colón. The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation. New York: Hill and Wang, 2006.

King, Stephen. Cell. New York: Pocket Star Books, 2006.

Link, Kelly. Magic for Beginners. Orlando: Harcourt, 2005.

Satrapi, Marjane. Persepolis: A Story of a Childhood. New York: Pantheon, 2003 (2000, 2001).

Slater, Lauren, ed. The Best American Essays 2006. New York: Houghton Mifflin 2006.



  • Computer access and a Gordon email account. You will be required to read online blogs and hypertexts throughout the semester. Your professor will also send you materials via your Gordon email account, so you must check it regularly.
  • A pocket folder or binder to keep class papers, notes, and handouts in.
  • A pen and a notebook.
  • A 3 1/2 inch computer disk or a USB flash-memory drive to keep copies of your papers on. You must own your own disk or drive and keep copies of all your papers on it. Remember to make regular back-ups of all your papers while you are writing them as well as on a separate computer or device when you are done writing them.


PREREQUISITE: A C or better in ENGL 1101.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: In this class we will study texts that reflect events that are shaping the new century and that imagine a new millennium. We will consider both high and popular forms of literary expression. We will sample from what are considered the best that has been written in the past two years in the genres of the short story and the essay; we will also read a work by one of the most popular writers in the western world as we analyze a recent novel by Stephen King, and then ask whether distinctions between high and popular literature continue to have merit in the 21st century. We will explore how the definition of literature may change in the 21st century as well. New technologies such as computers and the internet give rise to new literary media such as blogs and hypertexts, and thus we will read blogs on a weekly basis as well as read—and also personally contribute to—a free online hypertext novel by Geoff Ryman, 253. We may peruse sites of new online poetry as well. New forms of graphic expression drawn from visual media of comics are also now laying claim to the status of literature, and thus we will read one graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi as well as a graphic interpretation of a uniquely 21st century text, the 9/11 Report.


1.                              Readings and brief in-class writing assignments, weekly blog reports, and exercises

2.                              Seven Reader Response Reports

3.                              Final Paper



  1. Class participation, quizzes, brief in-class writing exercises                                 10%
  2. Seven Reader Response Reports                                                                      10% each
  3. Final Paper                                                                                                       20%


Final Grade Calculator


You may calculate your final grade by adding your test and report scores to the following rubric and adjusting them to the noted percentages. This is this same rubric that your professor will use at the end of the term to calculate your final grade; thus, do not ask your professor what your grade is, as you can calculate it yourself.


Reading Report 1



Reading Report 2



Reading Report 3



Reading Report 4



Reading Report 5



Reading Report 6



Reading Report 7



Final Paper



Class Partic.


















Grading scale: A=91-100, B=81-90, C=71-80, D=61-70, F=60 and below.


Class participation

Many days this semester we will be discussing readings from books. Thus, on days readings are assigned, you must bring your personal copy of the book you read for homework with you to class. Students who do not bring an assigned book with them to class will have their class participation grade lowered and may be counted absent for the day.

Your class participation grade is based upon several factors: attendance and in-class behavior; keeping up with reading assignments; participation in class discussion; and punctuality in turning in of assignments. All students begin class with an average class participation grade of 7 out of 10 possible points. Students who do not have unexcused absences and who participate in class discussions, hand in assignments on time, and demonstrate that they are keeping up with the class readings will receive class participation grades higher than a 7; students who hand in assignments late, exhibit disruptive behavior in class, are late to class, and/or do not demonstrate that they are keeping up with class readings will receive class participation grades of a 6 or lower.

See “Academic Dishonesty,” “Class Policies,” and “Classroom Etiquette” below for related grading policies.



Plagiarism is the passing off of someone else’s ideas and/or words as your own. If you have questions about what constitutes plagiarism, ask your professor before you hand in your work. Your professor reserves the right to give a grade of “0” to any paper that contains any instance of plagiarism, including single phrases and single sentences, and to return plagiarized papers to their authors without any written comment. Furthermore, your professor reserves the right to submit all plagiarized papers to the Office of the President for disciplinary review, which could lead to the offending student’s suspension or expulsion from Gordon College.



Gordon College runs a writing assistance center in Academic 102. At the Writing Center you can get one-on-one assistance with your papers as many times during the semester as you want.




Regular class attendance is your obligation. After the third unexcused absence, your professor reserves the right to lower a student’s final grade by one full letter grade for each subsequent absence (e.g. if a student has four absences and a final grade of a B, that student’s grade will be lowered to a C). Missing a major portion of a class meeting counts as an absence.

Do not show your professor doctor’s notes or other kinds of excuse notes for absences; all class meetings missed for any reason count as absences.

Late Papers:

Your professor reserves the right to deduct a full letter grade for each class day that an assignment is late unless the student has an excused absence. If a paper is handed in late due to an unexcused absence, that paper will still be considered as being handed in late.

It is your responsibility to keep track of your work and hand material in on time. All due dates are stated on the class schedule of assignments. Your professor will not remind you to hand in a paper or make up work if you have missed a due date.

Lastly, computer malfunctions of any sort are not a valid excuse to hand in a paper late. You are responsible for backing-up your work regularly and keeping your computer and media in proper working order.

Missed in-class assignments

In-class exercises can not be made up. It is your responsibility to ask your fellow students for any handouts you did not receive due to an absence.

Email and discussion policy:

All questions or announcements for your professor should be directed to him either in person before or after class, during his office hours, or by email. Your professor generally responds to emails within two business days.



Good attendance, punctuality turning in assignments, participation in class discussion, a good attitude, and evidence that you are keeping up with reading assignments will all raise your class participation grade. However, your class participation grade will be lowered for the following kinds of behavior:

  1. Inopportune unexcused absences (such as on days assignments are due).
  2. Coming into class late. Habitual lateness is rude to the other students, rude to the teacher, and harmful to your academic success. If you enter the class while the teacher or another student is at the front of the room addressing the class, enter quietly and get settled quickly. Do not make a scene or spectacle of yourself; do not annoy your fellow students.
  3. Forgetting to bring books to be discussed on a given day to class. We will be referring to material in our four books throughout the semester and you will not be able to participate in the class if you do not have the book under discussion in class with you.
  4. Sleeping during class. Do not lay your head on your desk or nap during class. It is rude and a distraction. If you are that tired, take a nap outside of class.
  5. Doing work for other courses. When you are in a class, you should devote yourself 100% to that class and that class alone.
  6. Using the computer in class for purposes other than those specified by your professor.
  7. Interrupting people. In discussions, allow the person speaking to finish. You instructor appreciates your enthusiasm and will reward you for it in your class participation grade, but don’t let your enthusiasm interfere with what someone else is saying.
  8. Whispering or talking to someone else while the professor or another student is speaking. This is rude and disruptive. Wait until the end of class to speak to that person. If you are afraid you will forget what you want to say, make a written note to yourself.
  9. Using your cell phone. Turn off cell phones and other electronic devices before class begins. Only emergency personnel should have to take a phone call during class time, and any calls should be taken in the hall as quickly and quietly as possible.
  10. Using class time to talk about issues not related to that day’s discussion. Once class begins, questions/information about your assignments, work, and personal situations must wait until after class.