Written Work
The Project
Student Projects

College Honors 251 Section 1 Winter 1999


Monday-Wednesday 10-11:30 4199 Angell Hall Julie Ellison 3259 Angell Hall, 763-4639 (during office hours) 4080 Fleming, Office of the V.P. for Research, 763-6048 (all other times) Office hours: Mondays 1-4 (occasionally varies) 3259 Angell and by appointment 4008 Fleming 


Exploring how professional poets have used everyday speech. Discovering how nonprofessional poets have composed poetry in diaries, letters, commonplace books, songs, pamphlets, and public inscriptions. Finding resources beyond the classroom. Working with community partners. Attaining excellence in oral and written communication. 


They're not cheap. I'm sorry! 

Course Pack from Accu-Copy (518 East William, near corner of Maynard) The course pack should be ready by Monday January 11. Call first to confirm: 769-8338 

Books at Shaman Drum only, 315 South State St., upstairs Kristin Hass Carried to the Wall (Beacon) J. Paul Hunter, ed. The Norton Introduction to Poetry (4th Edition) Anna Deavere Smith Twilight: Los Angeles 1992 (Anchor) William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge Lyrical Ballads (Routledge) Also required: a blank book at least 5 x 7 (Shaman Drum carries these) And youll need a good campus map and a map of Ann Arbor 


  • Get to Shaman Drum and buy books early! Alert the bookstore if the book you need is not there and ask them to find a copy elsewhere in the store, or to order more ASAP. Please alert me by e-mail if you are running into problems getting books. 
  • E-mail is crucial to this course! You will need to be comfortable using e-mail and to check your messages regularly. 
  • Reading assignments listed on due date. 
  • Be sure to bring the assigned text and your Commonplace Book to class. Be ready to read aloud. 
  • Use the long Thurs-Sunday interval wisely to complete your assigned reading for the week. 
  • And most importantly: Because this course involves a number of field trips to the Bentley Library, the computer lab, and, later in the term, to Bach School (on Ann Arbors Old West Side) and to Broadway Park (near the railroad station), we will have to work together to form a high-energy, mobile, disciplined teaching and learning collective. Be prepared! 


  • Unit I: Case Study in Literary HistoryRomanticism and Everyday Life Poets Champion the Real Language of Common Sense, Work, Power, Emotion 
  • Unit II: Discovering the Michigan Archive Researching the Poetry of Everyday Life Here and Then by Settlers, Students, Radicals, Sailors and yes Poets and creating web sites based on documents at the Bentley Library 
  • Unit III: The Arts of CitizenshipSites, Names and Public Memory Reflecting on Poetry as Inspiration, Politics, Performance and Memory 
Weds Jan 6 Introduction to Course E-mail/phone/address list 
Mon Jan 11 Introduction to Unit I Course Pack should be ready at Accu-Copy a week from today, the 18th.
Weds Jan 13 Unit I: Romanticism and Everyday Life Reading: Advertisement to Lyrical Ballads (1798) and Preface to Lyrical Ballads (1800) focusing particularly on the section that begins The principal object, then, proposedwas to choose incidents and Situations from common life and ending some pages later with reference to such feelings of disgust as it is scarcely possible by any art of association to overpower.
Mon Jan 18  Martin Luther King Day. No regular classes. Course pack ready for pick-up today. 
Weds Jan 20 Unit I (Not yet confirmed): Class meets in Mason-Angell Computing Site classroom. Bring Lyrical Ballads and your course pack, please. We will explore the Romantic Circles website; scanned pages from a Bentley Library text, the diary of Anna Hoyt; and the Arts of Citizenship web archive on Ann Arbor history. No experience necessary!
Mon Jan 25 Unit I: Stephen Duck, The Threshers Labour (course pack) Homework: 2-page response paper on the following topic: Several people speak in Ducks poem. What do they say, how do they say it, and what is significant about the poets presentation of spoken language?
Weds Jan 27 Unit I: Wordsworth, The Idiot Boy, The Thorn, Goody Blake and Harry Gill, We Are Seven, Her Eyes Are Wild (The Mad Mother) (in Lyrical Ballads) Think about the claim that Lyrical Ballads was intended to test how far the language of conversation in the middle and lower classes of society is adapted to the purposes of poetic pleasure (1798 Advertisement). How do these poems experiment with the language of conversation? What other poetic experiments seem to be going on? Homework: Bring to class a print-out of an interesting item relevant to Unit I found on one of the websites recommended during the previous class. Be prepared to explain its usefulness. ALSO TODAY: POETRY READING BY YUSEF KOMUNYAKAA, RACKHAM AUDITORIUM, 3:30
Mon Feb 1 Unit I: Dorothy Wordsworth, poems and journals (course pack). Focus on the Journal selections. 
Weds Feb 3 Unit I: Barbauld, Washing Day and other poems (course pack); Coleridge, Frost at Midnight (handout) BRING NORTON INTRO TO POETRY TO CLASS AS WELL Scribe: Yvonne 
Mon Feb 8 Unit I: John Clare The Lane, Emmonsails Heath in Winter, The Beans in Blossom, Rural Morn (course pack) Scribe: Mandisa
Weds Feb 10 Unit I hour exam: essay question on a single poem of your choosing open-poem exam with choice of three general assertions about poetry taken from Wordsworths Advertisement or Preface
Mon Feb 15 Unit II: Discovering the Michigan Archive: Bentley Research and Web Project 

How and why poets do research in U-M archives Robert Hayden, The Middle Passage and essay on The Middle Passage (handout) Discussion of hypertext approach to poems. 

Schedule sessions on Claris hypertext program

Scribe: Kate

Weds Feb 17 Unit II: Discovering the history of reading groups (focus on poetry) Guest speaker (confirmed) Anne Ruggles Gere Read selections from Geres book, Intimate Practices (course pack)

Scribe: Jim 

Mon Feb 22 Unit II: Class meets at Bentley Library (confirmed) for Orientation Introduction to poetry materials by Bentley archivist, Kathy Marquis Listen to recordings of sea chanteys (handout) and watch film of Robert Frost at Hill

Scribe: Kari

Reading (all in course pack): From Gillian Avery, Behold the Child: American Children and Their Books and images from early childrens books; From David Shields, Civil Tongues and Polite Letters in British America, description of the poetic parlor game, crambo. From John Ashton, Chapbooks of the Eighteenth Century, riddles and verse tales From Dorothy Porter, ed., Early Negro Writing, broadsides by Phyllis Wheatley, others.

Weds Feb 23 Unit II: Class meets at Bentley Library, focus on selecting materials for individual hypertext projects
Mon Mar 1 Spring vacation.
Weds Mar 3 Spring vacation.
Mon Mar 8 Unit II: Class meets at Bentley Library, focus on assisted research
Weds Mar 10 Unit II: Class meets at Bentley Library, focus on assisted research
Mon Mar 15 Unit II: Bentley Research Projects Workshop (Angell classroom) Presentation by students of individual research projects Discussion of research questions and presentation question (aka thesis statement)
Weds Mar 17 Unit II: Class meets at Bentley Library

I. Please hand in to me the following: 

  1. your commonplace book for midterm check 
  2. a "presentatation question or statement" for your Bentley project. This should be a statement of your overall project. "How did verse publications reflect daily life for UM students in 1920?" "How did rituals related to the UM athletic program help create a sense of community? What was that community like?" "What was the career of a 'literary lady' like in Victorian Michigan?" "What is the relationship between politics and family for a 1960s radical?" "Did local abolitionists depend on a national cultural network in the 1840s?" Your questions can be different from these suggestions, of course, but should set an agenda more or less in this fashion. 
  3. a list of "research questions" for your Bentley project, with brief comments on your research plan for each question. If you need help with a research plan on a specific issue, just indicate that. Here's what you will learn from this: whether you have too many questions or not, and whether your questions are specific enough or not. If you end up with more questions than you can possibly answer in the next two weeks, you will need to narrow your "presentation question" and define your investigation more precisely. Also, you may find that there are some contextual questions that are too elaborate to answer--perhaps Methodist churches in 19th century Michigan pose research problems that are too great to overcome. This is the time to think hard about cutting to the chase, without losing sight of the richness and complexity of your material. I hope that whenever possible you will include some questions that have to do specifically with Ann Arbor/UM. 
What to Focus on During Class Period: While at the Bentley, I would like you to make me a list of the documents that you are POSITIVE you want SCANNED,with very specific information about their Bentley location--which box or folder, item number, description ("card" "newspaper clipping" "manuscript draft of poem"). You can add material to the list later but this should be what you KNOW you need. 
Also: if there are items on your list that for any reason are unscannable, please make a note of that. We'll need to arrange for high-quality color photographs of those items. If I could have these lists at the end of class on Monday the 24th, that would be great. 
Mon Mar 22 Unit II: Class meets at the Bentley Library

By today, you should have made a computer transcription of your most important poem or poems. This means: type it into a wordprocessing file (microsoft word is best for me). If it is a published item, copy it as exactly as possible in terms of capitalization, italics, and so forth. If it is a manuscript item, that's trickier. See handout.

I will want to collect your disks (or you can send the transcript to me as an e-mail attachment) in order to start accumulating material to upload onto my IFS space when the time comes. I'll do the same thing with the scans, or with the scanned photographs.

Also by Monday: please draw a "site diagram." This is your "table of contents"--everything you plan in terms of links and explanation should be indicated. This will be your guide as you actually proceed to write your explanations and develop specific web links to scanned materials and helpful web sites. Once you've done this (and you can do it earlier, too, of course) you can start writing. 

Weds Mar 24 Unit II: Meet in Angell Hall classroom

Bring in drafts (make 7 copies) of your written web project material. This written material should include text for a title page with a title plus brief summary of your presentation question or thesis statement. Also the following as appropriate: a one-paragraph introduction and explanation of your document(s), reference to this course assignment, including date and place (brief); a biography of your author or an account of the newspaper or magazine youre working with; an explanation of where in the Bentley these materials were found. 

You will be writing hypertext links explaining specific things about the poem you selectedglossing unfamiliar words, noting its place and circumstances of publication, illuminating relation of text to illustrations or images, commenting on genres or forms of verse. All of you will want to present some historical/cultural context. 

You might not be finished, but you should have substantial drafts of most of your project. This will mean that you will be making tough decisions about what to leave outso youll need a clear idea of what your big question, your key theme or argument is in order to decide what to explain, what not to explain.

We will do a peer editing exercise in class. 

Mon Mar 29 Unit II: Meet in computer lab to continue to help one another with web site creation.


Weds Mar 31 Unit II: No class: I will be available for 1:1 consultations
Mon Apr 5 Unit III: Sites, Names, and Public Memory

Kristin Hass, Carried to the Wall, Introduction, chs 1 and 4


Final Project Options. I would like to receive a 1-paragraph proposal from you on April 5 stating what kind of project you will do, what your topic will be, and what your work plan is.

Elements that should be common to any of the following kinds of projects: accuracy, intelligence and quality of concept, writing, and presentation; thoroughness of preparation, connection to issues of the course, ability to articulate and probe those issues, inclusion of bibliography of works consulted. All project should involve the amount of effort you would normally put into a 10-12 page critical or research essay. 

  • Research paper (based on Bentley project or on other course work or on a particular theme or issue). Can include illustrations and images. 
  • Critical or interpretive paper (based on Bentley project or on other course work or on a particular theme or issue). Can include illustrations and images. 
  • Fully developed web site as research and teaching resource, with suggested uses 
  • Room 22 resource: detailed plan and materials for poetry of place or poetry of everyday life unit with Ann Arbor 4th graders. Investigate current curriculum for 4th graders, think about relation to other subjects in that year (art/music/science etc.), look closely at their reading and writing program. If the teacher Chris Reeves is interested and willing, work with her on this. 
Weds Apr 7 Unit III: Carried to the Wall, ch. 5 and Epilogue Visit by Kristin Hass to class
Mon Apr 12 Unit III: Carried to the Wall, chs. 2 and 3
Weds Apr 14 Workshop on final projects: presentation, peer response and review Mon Apr 19

Debriefing and evaluation. Discussion of poetry as inspiration in the nineties. 



Class Times and Places: We will start exactly at 10:40. The first ten minutes of the class often contain crucial announcements. Attendance is required, and important. Since we will be visiting a number of sites on campus (including some on North Campus and in downtown Ann Arbor) you will need to make sure ahead of time that you can find the class location or the relevant transportation (van or bus) and will be able to get there on time. 

Some Things to Expect in (and sometimes out of) Class: 

Class Scribe: On a rotating basis, one student will be responsible for serving as scribe for each class. The duty of the scribe is to take careful and legible notes (laptops are acceptable) and to be prepared to give a five-minute oral summary of that class at the start of the next one. This provides a record for anyone absent due to illness, develops a strong collective memory, and sharpens oral presentation skills. 

Reading Aloud: 

We will all take turns reading aloudsometimes more than oncethe poems that we are studying closely. 

Commonplace Books/ Show and Tell: 

Your commonplace book is the place for you to record the poetry of everyday life as you encounter it this term. You might discover it in magazines or newspapers (feel free to paste clippings in your blank book); on the internet; in graffiti or in inscriptions on monuments; in greeting cards; in song lyrics; in chants and cheers; in nursery rhymes. You may include drawings, photos, contributions from your friends, poetry you write yourself. Be sure to date all entries, and assume that your commonplace book will be shared with the whole class. At the start of most class periods, we will have show and tell during which you should share notable recent findings from your book. 

Occasional unannounced quizzes on the assigned reading. No trick questions. 

Poetry readings: Read the Ann Arbor Observer, the University Record, and visit Shaman Drum Bookstorelocal home of poetry activitiesto find out about upcoming poetry slams, readings, and receptions with visiting and local poets. You are required to go to at least two poetry readings during the semester and to describe each reading itself and your responses in a 1-2 page paper. 

Written Work: 

You will be expected to uphold the English Department's plagiarism policy (to be handed out). 

Success in this class depends on three things: a) keeping up and engaged with the reading; b) coming to class (wherever class might be that day) is absolutely required and unexcused absences will result in grade deductions; c) the quality of your contribution to class discussion and to group projectsalways come to class prepared to talk about specific issues, specific passages in the texts at hand, and the wide array of language experiments connected with this course; and d) the quality of your written work. 

I have required The Norton Introduction to Poetry because of its excellent section on Writing About Poetry. A number of assignments will be geared to the varieties of critical response described in this section of the Norton Introduction. Also, the Norton contains helpful definitions of critical termsterms such as metaphor, allegory, meter, rhyme, personification, caesura, and so on. Use it as a reference book. 

Please type or print written work with a new ribbon. You should use a 12 pt. font and double-space everything, with margins no greater than 1". Proofread your work, too, please. Do use your "SpellCheck" program, if you have one, but don't rely on it exclusively. I am always delighted to receive a paper with legible hand-written corrections on it. In addition to the assigned reading and written work, you are responsible for assiduous class attendance, preparation, and participation. Since I am imperfectly organized, you also need to keep hard copies of all written work you hand in. If you are ill and will not be in class, please let me know in advance via an E-mail message. I subtract one full letter grade from late work unless, under extraordinary circumstances, you have made another arrangement with me in advance. I do take into account essayistic skill--style, argument, supportive examples, logic--in grading written work. 

Written and oral assignments include the following. All work is graded. A detailed handout will explain them in detail. 


Poetry And Place: Imagining Broadway Park 

Faculty (Universty Partner) : Julie Ellison (English Dept) 
Teacher (Community Partner): Chris Reeves (4th Grade, Bach) 

Affiliated With Students On Site A Campus-Community Partnership Through The U-M Arts Of Citizenship Program 

Carole Mull, Students On Site Staff 


Working with a 4th-grade class at Bach School, UROP students will create resources for the Bach students to use in writing poems inspired by a joint field trip to Ann Arbors Broadway Park. Following the field trip, UROP students will work in small groups with the 4th grade poets, create a book of the poems written by the students in Room 22, and install an exhibit of the poems and art work in an appropriate Ann Arbor location.