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Victorian Literature & Culture



Attendance and Participation

  • I expect regular and punctual attendance. Regular attendance will enable you to make regular contributions to our discussions. The more you contribute, the better—both for the intellectual climate of the classroom and for your own learning curve. The discussion format of the class should allow you to speak freely. You will receive an attendance grade for your participation in group and individual activities. By not showing up (on time), you deprive yourself of valuable class discussion, just as you deprive your classmates of your own contributions. So: If you know that you're going to have to miss more than 3 classes, you should drop the course this semester and enroll at another time. I can't accept "excused" absences.


  • I will ask you to keep a notebook, which should prepare you for class discussion by allowing you to write in advance about our material: At the end of most classes, I will pose a question or suggest a topic that is related to your assigned reading, in which case you should demonstrate that you have thought about a text critically at some length. Alternately—what I really encourage you to do—I want you to explore the readings on your own and develop your own insights, provisional, fleeting, and tentative, as they may be. — I will ask you to hand in your typed and stapled notebook three times during the semester. You cannot submit it electronically. Your weekly notebook output should be about two double spaced pages in a reasonable font. Bottom line: notebooks are not essays, but a space of exploration and experimentation. Please take risks! I will read all of your entries in their entirety each time, but please indicate at least one entry (with a big *, for example) to which you would like me to respond in detail. Here is a Student Sample Notebook

Oral Report

  • Since this course builds on the exchange of insights and viewpoints among class members, the development of your speaking skills is central to its (and your) success. I will ask you (perhaps in groups of 2 or 3) to give an introductory presentation of about 15-20 minutes on a writer/artist or group of writers/artists, which we will not have time to "cover" in class (including library research, film footage and web resources). Your presentation should serve as a point of departure for further discussion and must be accompanied by a typed handout that you distribute in the class period before your report. The handout should not exceed two pages (one sheet, front and back) and contain the following information:
    • title of presentation/name of presenter(s)
    • text(s) you expect your fellow students to study
    • a summary of your major ideas and observations
    • the sources/web sites you have consulted
  • This way we can all think through your report in advance and formulate helpful questions and responses. A sign-up sheet for these presentations is posted on my door. To enhance your learning (and, let's be honest, to kill two birds with one stone, different as these birds may be), I encourage you to build upon your oral report for your paper. Use the class as a testing ground for your ideas! Here is a sample handout

Final Essay

  • You are required to write one 5-7 page paper on any of the texts on the syllabus that ought to include a library research component. Please avail yourself of the Toolbox and the Writing Center if you feel you are "comma-tose" or grammatically challenged. Naturally, you may (and graduate students must write a longer paper if you wish . . . . Message: let’s talk! Here is an undergraduate student sample essay

Final Exam

  • An in-class or take-home essay question exam that will allow you to demonstrate what you have learned this semester. Your final grade will be made up as follows:
Notebook 30%
Class Participation 20%
Oral Presentation 10%
Final Essay 20%
Final Exam 20%

Please note that you will have to fulfill all of these requirements to pass the class. Master's Students: Please talk to me about your individual requirements.

It is your responsibility to become familiar with the standards of academic integrity at WSU. Passing off someone else's work or ideas as your own is grounds for failure.


  • Laptops and notebooks are part of classroom resources, but I expect you to use them judiciously. That means you are focused on class learning, not checking email, surfing, gaming, etc. during class. I reserve the right to ask a student to switch off a laptop/notebook if I feel it is not used appropriately. I do not allow the use of cell phones or handheld devices in class and, in the event of non-compliance, will ask you to leave class for the remaining period. Please turn off your phone during the class hour. Thank you.


  • Plagiarism is a violation of the WSU Student Code. To plagiarize means to pass off someone else’s work as your own or to improperly or insufficiently document your sources. If you plagiarize, you will receive an E for the assignment. If it happens again, you will fail the class, and I will notify university authorities about disciplinary action.
  • WSU subscribes to, an electronic service that verifies the originality of student work. Enrollment in this course may require you to submit some or all of your assignments to, and documents submitted to are retained, anonymously, in their databases. Enrollment in this course constitutes an understanding of an agreement with this policy.

Disability Accommodation

  • PPM 3-34 notes: “When students seek accommodation in a regularly scheduled course, they have the responsibility to make such requests at the Center for Students with Disabilities (SSD, #181 of Student Services Center) before the beginning of the semester in which the accommodation is being requested. When a student fails to make such arrangements, interim accommodations can be made by the instructor, pending the determination of the request for a permanent accommodation." Such accommodations include reading services, provisions in case of mobility impairment, sign language and interpretive assistance, and closed captions for the hearing impaired, among others.

Emergency Closure

  • In the unlikely event of an extended campus closure, we will conduct our course electronically via email and virtual discussion groups. In this case, please make sure that you check your email account regularly for messages and attachments (in Word, PowerPoint, or audio) coming from me and/or your fellow seminar participants. Such messages may function as lecture substitutes, provide directions for reading and writing assignments, and contain other relevant information. Also make sure that your account has adequate storage capacity for transmitting documents. Please let me know by the end of the first week of the semester if you do not have access to a computer and/or the Internet from your home. Thanks.

Core Beliefs

  • According to PPM 6-22 IV, students are to “determine, before the last day to drop courses without penalty, when course requirements conflict with a student's core beliefs. If there is such a conflict, the student should consider dropping the class. A student who finds this solution impracticable may request a resolution from the instructor. This policy does not oblige the instructor to grant the request, except in those cases when a denial would be arbitrary and capricious or illegal. This request must be made to the instructor in writing and the student must deliver a copy of the request to the office of the department head. The student's request must articulate the burden the requirement would place on the student's beliefs."


  • If you prefer an alternate name or gender pronoun, please advise me of your preference and I will happily honor your request.

Recycling Policy

  • Weber State University is dedicated to being a leader in sustainability to ensure present needs are met without compromising the ability for future generations to inherit a healthy planet, society, and economy. Part of this commitment includes sustainable waste management practices with the ultimate goal of becoming a zero-waste campus. In order to achieve this goal, it is up to the WSU community to be informed about the various recycling policies on campus.
  • Please recycle following items on campus: plastics #1 & #2 (rinsed), cardboard, non-glossy paper, & metal cans.
  • *Please look at plastic identification symbol on the bottom of plastic bottles & jugs before recycling.
  • For more information on recycling at WSU, please reference Energy & Sustainability Office website

The Golden Rules

  • Assignments must be typewritten and are due on the date specified—no exceptions.
  • For reasons of class integrity, and out of consideration of others, do not come late or leave early.
  • No electronic submissions, and no cell phones, blueteeth, blackberries, iPods, and other "electronic devices" (the airline phrase) in class--no matter how healthy they sound for you. :)
  • Bottom line (repeat): Be there in body and mind!

Let's Connect!

mwutz@weber.eduPhone  801-626-7011
Skype  michaelwutz007

LebenslaufCurriculum Vitae
Weber – The Contemporary West
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Mailing Address


Michael Wutz, Brady Presidential Distinguished Professor
Editor, Weber - The Contemporary West
Department of English, 1404 University Circle
Weber State University
Ogden, UT 84404-1404 USA