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Last updated
1 November




Date Event
Wed. 2 Nov. 11:40-13:10 Class 18 in HT104 (Marxism)
Mon. 7 Nov. 11:40-13:10 Class 19 in Á301 (NH - CM)
Wed. 9 Nov. 11:40-13:10 Class 20 in HT104 (Postcolonial I)
Mon. 14 Nov. 11:40-13:10 Class 21 in Á301 (Postcolonial II & WSS)
Wed. 16 Nov. 11:40-13:10 Class 22 in HT104 (Narratology I)
Sun. 20 Nov. At 23:59 - deadline for home assignment
Mon. 21 Nov. 11:40-13:10 Class 23 in Á301 (Narratology II)
Wed. 23 Nov. 11:40-13:10 Class 24 in HT104 (Ecocriticism)
Thu. 15 Dec. 13:30-16:30 FINAL EXAM (in a computer lab)

Anna's Teacher Blog
for students in Literary Theory at the University of Iceland

Changes to timetable
As you can see, I've updated the timetable to reflect that the exam has been moved to the 19th of October. I still need to hear about the booking of the rooms, but I think they must be available on that date (at least I hope so). I'll keep you informed.
Tuesday 27 September 2011

To students - autumn term
Welcome to this course, which will start on August 29th. You can get an idea how this all works by browsing through the pages. Please note that some pages may still have information which applied to the spring term (dates and such), but the curriculum is similar. There will, however, be only one home assignment instead of two.
Monday 4 July 2011

Trial quizzes in the air until?
Students have asked if the quizzes will be turned off tomorrow morning at 8:00, as usual before a test. As the exam is so late, these will be in the air until 15:00. Please DO NOT TAKE THE INDIVIDUAL QUIZZES AFTER THAT TIME. Have a soak in the hot tub instead, or celebrate Iceland's success in Eurovision (I'm optimistic).
Tuesday 10 May 2011

About the final exam
You can see information on the final exam on the "Evaluation" page (click here).
Monday 9 May 2011

The class on Wednesday (30 March)
I'm sometimes so confused, sorry. I thought that we had one whole class for Wide Sargasso Sea, but now I see that we have a class on postcolonialism AND Wide Sargasso Sea. As we need that class on Wednesday on narratology 1, there WILL be a class on Wednesday. I promise it will be a good class.
Sunday 27 March 2011

Home Assignment
I see that over fifty students uploaded their home assignment on time. I'm very surprised to see how many of them name their document "Home Assignment.doc" after my detailed instructions about naming the document - but they will, as advertised, get minus 1.0 for that. This applies to about FIFTEEN students, believe it or not.
........ This means that instead of downloading all the 52 documents from UGLA to a folder in my computer, I need to right-click on EACH SINGLE ONE and rename it as I download it. It doesn't make me very happy, and it's better to have a happy teacher grading your paper than an unhappy one. Well, thanks to the bright students who named their documents as they should, for instance "Egill_Arnaldur_Asgeirsson."
Sunday 27 February 2011

Testing: Pages in Quizzes
As some of you have already seen, the "Structuralism" quiz is different from the other quizzes - it has pages. This means fewer clicks, as you don't move from question to question, you move from page to page (with 6 questions per page). I want to see how you like this function. Would you like it in all the quizzes? Please vote below - and by all means, comment (for instance if your scroll bar freezes in the middle of a quiz). VOTE!
Sunday 30 January 2011


Video probably tomorrow
I've requested the "Class 4 Structuralism II" videos from last year, but it still isn't up. I wish I could post it myself, but I must rely on technical help at H.Í. Hopefully, they'll react quickly.
Thursday 20 January 2011

A „green" course
I'm proud to say that this course is almost entirely paperless. No handouts, no written exams, and you hand in your essays by e-mail. I correct and grade them in my computer, and send you back. The old exams were about 12 pages each, mid-term and final (24x60 students = 1,440 pages). The essays are about 4-5 pages (5x60 students = 300 pages). You can take notes in your computer, instead of on paper, so we act in a pretty sustainable manner, don't we?
Sunday 2 January 2011

A big WELCOME to all of you
It's good to see how many students have signed up for this course, and I look forward to our first class - to see many familiar faces again. It's been 2-3 years since some of you took my British Literature I class.
........ I decided to leave some of last year's discussions (below) for your information.
Sunday 2 January 2011

Sending out the last essay grades & first exam grades
Well, I intend to send out the last essay grades today. I stopped grading for a while just to get my mind clear and rinse out the anger over the fact that THREE essays are pure plagiarism. I always find it strange when a student who can hardly write basic English suddenly uses words that I haven't even seen before and have to look them up in a dictionary. Three students have simply taken articles from the Internet and copy-pasted whole paragraphs into their essay! No recognition, no mentioning of the original article. Sometimes they change a word or two, to hide the crime. I don't think that students realize the seriousness of this act.
........ The rule at most universities is that a student who commits this type of misdemeanor has to answer for it in front of a university committee. For HÍ each department has its own rules, and actually it is up to the teacher what s/he does. I decided to give these students a grade from 0.0-3.5, based on the percentage of plagiarism, and hope that they will learn their lesson.
........ Many students excuse plagiarism by saying "I was running out of time," or "my boyfriend left me and I was feeling down," or "my grandmother died" or something like that. It's sad, of course, but no excuse for committing an academic crime. In those situations, just write an e-mail to your teacher and ask for an extension. I gave many extensions because of dire circumstances, and those students will not get a lower grade for late submissions.
........ Anyway, I have a few essays left to grade and hope to have finished them in the early afternoon. Then I'll celebrate, with my brothers and sisters, my mother's 90th birthday (she died 5 years ago, but we're doing it in her honour). After the cakes and coffee, I'll start on the exams. I'll send you your results (from Questionwriter) with the grade for you essay, and the overall grade for the course - which will be submitted to HÍ later, when all have been graded.
Sunday 10 May 2009

Trial quizzes off the air tomorrow at 9:00
As announced, the trial quizzes must be down by 9:00 tomorrow. There are many distance students that are 3-4 hours ahead of us and need to start the test at 12:00-13:00 their time (to be finished within normal working hours of embassies and universities, at 16:00), which is 9:00 our time and it is impossible to overload the server with trial quizzes AND the exam itself at the same time.
Wednesday 5 May 2009

You're testing the quizzes!
Boy, the results are flooding in! I just hope that nobody merely concentrates on the quizzes, and forgets that there are questions about other issues as well. If you're already scoring high on the quizzes, check "What xxxx do," and your slides. There are, of course, also unseen questions, but you know that already.
........ Anyway, I've sent out as many results as possible, it's 23:52, the exam is ready but needs to be tested. I'm going to sleep now, and I hope that you're all asleep by now, knowing that you'll do well tomorrow. It's a piece of cake. After all, I've been driving you like crazy for the past four months, and you'll never forget literary theory (hopefully). That's the whole point. G'night.
Wednesday 5 May 2009

You asked for this, too
Here are all the theories for Block 3, plus the stories, combined into a 60-question-quiz. This excludes questions from all the theories (unexpected) and the essay. But you can try ... and I did it with a nice cat picture background to cheer you up and cool you down. Click here to try.
Wednesday 5 May 2009

Purloined with feedback
In some momentary stupidity, I promised some students feedback on "The Purloined Letter." It's up now.
Wednesday 5 May 2009

373 plus 27 e-mails
I think I'm going crazy. My Ritlist mailbox has received 373 e-mails today (your attempts at quizzes, plus some e-mails from friends that get lost in the heap) and my HÍ mailbox has received 27 e-mails. I've managed to reply to 23 of the HÍ mails. They are about distance students taking exams in embassies and distance learning centres, some last-minute panic attacks about the exam, some good questions about the exam, and a couple of complaints about grades.
........If you have complaints about grades, please rest easy, they will be dealt with. I have other things to do. I'm trying to finalize the exam (not ready yet) and grade the last papers (not finished yet) and answer all these e-mails. If you know a 10-minute-cloning-agency, please let me know, as I need about 3 Anna Heiðas. ;=) I'm actually longing for student life, just reading for an exam and doing my best, hehe.
........I'll try to send out all grades for essays submitted within the deadline, and then you have to wait until after the exam. You missed your deadline, and I'll miss the self-imposed deadline. It doesn't matter so much anyway, if you see it before or after the exam. Say, if you get a bad grade, it will only get you annoyed and you won't do well at the exam because you're pissed. If you get a good grade, you'll get so confident that you'll stop reading and just go to a pub. See what I mean?
Wednesday 6 May 2009

About the final exam - more questions added
Some students have written that they are unclear about the final exam, so let me just go through this one more to be absolutely clear, and leave no doubts. Some questions and answers:

Question: What if I fail the exam, and, say, get only 3.5?
Answer: It is the overall grade that counts. You've seen the Excel file on UGLA where you can enter your grades and see what your average grade is - what you need to pass the exam. So, even if you get only 3.5, the opera ain't over. I haven't sung yet ;=).

Question: When and where is the exam?
Answer: It starts at 13:30 and you are located in either Háskólatorg 204 (by the service desk, past the bookstore), or in Oddi 301. Be early to make sure you're in the right room. I'll try to start the exam (it will not start counting) in some computers to minimize the overload on my server. Last year, some took longer to start because of the overload, and it makes students nervous. We don't need that!

Question: What can I take with me into the exam? Can I use my laptop?
Answer: Only writing utensils (to write notes on blank paper). No notes, no books, no laptops, no dictionaries. Remember your ID-card.

Question: You say there will be questions from Block One and Block Two, plus all the questions from Block Three. This is too much!
Answer: I said there will be GENERAL questions about the other theories, things that should really have stuck, about what these kind of critics do. Look here, at last years exam, at the first page and a half ("Identify the Theory"). One of the aims of this course is that the student knows about all the modern theories, and these questions are about that. You can't have "forgotten" feminism. So, there are only FIVE questions out of 60 about this (see the division list here). It is not that much, and fairly easy if you remember mainly what a theory is about, and who the main people are (you know, for instance, that Baudrillard was a post-modernist, I hope).

Question: What about the essay? Is there one or two essays?
Answer: You remember the Block One exam, when you ticked a box that was 10% of your exam, and wrote your answer, graded afterwards? It contained four short essay questions, unprepared. Now, you have one essay question, that is, you write about your chosen topic, so you can prepare for it (see slides from our last class). It need not be more than approximately 300-400 words (one page, but you write in a box).

Question: Is this exam much harder than the home quizzes we've taken?
Answer: It's the same level of difficulty. But, at home, you had your books, and you had Google, if you ran into trouble, and here, you have nothing except your fabulous brain. There may be a difference because of the stress factor, but at least you have very much time - triple the time you had for your other quizzes, so you can think, think and think, and relax.
Weednesday 6 May 2009

And still grading
I've graded 29 papers, so I'm more than halfway through the pile. Many good essays! This is NOT boring! I'll send out batch 21-30 before 21:00 tonight.
TUesday 5 May 2009

Grading, grading, grading
It's going slower than I thought, because I'm writing some feedback to all of you that could be useful for the future.
........A student has written, worrying that s/he is one of those who have misquoted. Stay cool, it isn't that bad, and you won't do it again. At least I haven't seen any examples of plagiarism so far, and it makes me happy.
........The grades I've given so far are in the range from 6.8 to 9.1 (most of them in the range from 7.5-8.5). I'll send out the next batch this evening, late.
........If you've sent an e-mail, give me a little time - I want to finish grading ASAP.
Monday 4 May 2009

You like batches
OK, the votes for batches have it (90%), so I'll send out the first batch now. I have 2 essays left to grade for the next batch.
Sunday 3 May 2009 - at 18:26

Oh, I have to vent. So far, FOUR students have misquoted texts from an original source. You are in your second and even third year at a university, and you don't know that anything put within two quotation marks, from a source, must be 100% correct, with dashes, commas, question marks, italics, etc.? There are also students who misspell words within a quotation (change "market" to "marked" and such).
........Please, please: always double-check and triple-check your quotations. This is so serious that it costs you a whole 1.0 (and more if you do it more than once).
Sunday 3 May 2009

Please vote ...
My dear children, who are both students at the U of Iceland, think that it's unfair to send out the results from your home essay in batches of ten. They think that I should wait and send them all out at the same time.
........"But I want to reward the early birds," I say.
........"They all submitted before the deadline," my son says. "So, you're actually punishing people who turned in before the deadline."
........"But," I say, "they're all waiting, and it's better if fewer and fewer students need to wait."
........Well, it's hard to argue with a student in engineering, so I put it up to a class vote. What do YOU think? I'll start sending out batches at 18:00 if you all vote that way (the only one against it is mine, I was testing the system).
Sunday 3 May 2009

Don't write essays only for your teacher to read
I'll take a break from grading to give you a little advice. Many students tend to write an essay for an "implied reader," and in most cases it is the teacher. So, in some of the essays, a student writes: "Applying the Proppian 'seven spheres of action' to this story," etc. Who is Propp? What are the "seven spheres of action"? The student is addressing ME (s/he knows that I know Propp), but s/he should be addressing an unknown reader - and at least refer to some source for Propp's ideas.
........Another student discusses "Barry's distribution" of Aristotle's ideas - and doesn't explain who Barry is (Barry Jones?), or what this "distribution" is (I don't even know). Please remember this when writing essays: if you refer to something from a book, you must at least say which book, or explain what something like this "distribution" is.
Sunday 3 May 2009

Happy Labour Day
Today, if you're not marching, you can test your knowledge on Marxism - very appropriate. And do you remember the line from the Internationale? Remember Frank Fanon? If you don't, look it up and sing the song, please!
........Here's the author list for all the assignments I've received - in the order I received them. As stated, I start with grading No. 1 (Maria) and grade them one by one. I'll highlight the ones that are finished, and each of the steps I reach, so you know how I'm progressing. After finishing ten at the time, I'll send the essays back to the students, with my comments and corrections. You also get a document with your grade.
........I need to finish the last steps with a couple of BA-thesis sufferers today, and then I'll grade as many as possible of your assignments over the weekend. I know you're eager to get your grades. Gosh, looking at the long list doesn't give me a thrill, to be honest! But then, so many essays turn out to so good that they make my day.
........IF YOUR ASSIGNMENT IS MISSING from this list, please don't panic; just send me an e-mail telling me when you sent it, and I'll look it up.
Friday 1 May 2009

The difference between a document name and a subject line
Having returned, I'm saving your assignments and sending out "receipts" for them. I must say that it amazes me how, year after year, students just ignore my instructions and test my patience. It was made so clear, crystal clear, that you must NAME YOUR DOCUMENT with your name, like: jona_jonsdottir.doc. It's simple as that. Now I have so many versions:
........Some students name their document jona_jonsdottir.doc, so the document actually appears as jona_jonsdottir.doc.docx. This is OK, and, well, understandable. Their grades will not suffer.
........Others name their document "Home Assignment.doc" and actually put jona_jonsdottir.doc IN THE SUBJECT LINE. Hello? Give me a break, please. There is a difference between a subject line and the NAME of a DOCUMENT. This is unacceptable. I received about sixteen documents called "Home Assignment" or "A Jury of Her Peers," or something like that. When I save them in my folder, how do I know who wrote them? Did these students even bother to read the instructions? AAaaargghhh ...
........If you're one of these students, please, by all means, don't send an e-mail to excuse your "misunderstanding." Just make sure that in the future, each time you submit something, you follow the teacher's instructions. And remember that if you don't follow instructions for a home assignment, or an exam, your grade will suffer. If you were studying at a university in the USA, your assignment would simply not be accepted. Grade: zero.
........Now, I just hope that they are all double-spaced, 12 p Times New Roman and so on ...
Tuesday 28 April 2009

I'm off to see the fairy
Well, at least I may see a troll, as I'm flying off to Finland in a few hours. So, don't be impatient if you have a request tonight (well, it's 23:30) or tomorrow, as I will be travelling. I'll have my laptop, but I may not have any connection, so hold your horses until Monday evening, please. Hello, Helsinki!
Thursday 23 April 2009

Happy Summers Day

Oh, no, lots of e-mails and messages!
Hmmm, on this last day of winter I opened my HÍ e-mail and had a shock, as the first page is all in bold (unread messages). I'm going through the lot, and trying to answer dutifully, because Kennslukönnun (Teaching Survey) is on, and students have short memories (they forget how nice I was in February), and it's my absolutely last chance to play my Pollyanna piece.
........You all know how I like Google, but there's no standard picture there for Happy Summer's Day! Instead, I placed a picture of me and my husband, in Skaftafell, my favourite summer place on this whole earth, above.
........I also point to an article that I wrote about the weird celebration of the first day of summer as an undergraduate in the English Department and had the guts to send to Lögberg-Heimskringla, a Winnipeg Icelandic-Canadian newspaper. They published it - on the FRONT PAGE! I was so happy. To read it, click here. (Of course, reading it now, I'm embarrassed about the language, my grammar, etc., but I was just an undergraduate, after all.) And I hope you all try sending out articles to newspapers and magazines. Getting published is a thrill!
........If you send out something, and don't get published - don't give up. It just wasn't the right journal, the right time of year, etc.
Wednesday 22 April 2009

Please participate in Teaching Survey
The Teaching Survey ("Kennslukönnun") has started, as you may have noticed. It is very important that you all participate in it, so please do. It doesn't matter if you're satisfied with the course, or not pleased about some parts of it,
Saturday 18 April 2009

Ecocriticism quiz is up
I've posted the Ecocriticism quiz on the Internet (choose button on the right). I haven't reviewed it from last year, so I hope all the questions refer to your material. There is nothing yet from Tallmadge - it will be added.
Wednesday 15 April 2009

A complete reading list
I was looking for the reading list here and on UGLA and if I can't find it, I guess you can't. Sorry about that. Please ask if you think you're missing something.
........Click here to download the list (PDF-file, 4 pages). It is complete for all three blocks and may help you to remember things from Block One and Block Two. You can use the empty boxes to "tick" what you've read.
........I can't believe we only have one class left. Time passes quickly! I look forward to this one, like the other ones, and hope that you've all enjoyed the classes: I certainly have.
Monday 13 April 2009

Some articles to help with home assignment
I have placed some articles on UGLA that may help you with your home assignment.
........Please note: I don't like FOOTNOTES. If you have references in your assignment, do not use footnotes - do it MLA-style as directed (with page numbers in parentheses). According to MLA, you only use footnotes in dire situations, when you need to explain something that would disrupt the flow of the text.
Saturday 11 April 2009

Narratology quiz is up
The quiz on narratology is up, or at least part of it (around 90 questions). Some of the questions are on "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber," but don't panic: they could be from any story at all, as the questions are about the mechanisms of narratology, not the story itself. Enjoy! UPDATE on Sunday: Now 110 compelling questions.
Friday 3 April 2009/Sunday 5 April 2009

Today's lecture - before the break
A student has informed me that today's lecture on postcolonial criticism BEFORE THE BREAK is damaged: there is no sound. She very kindly wrote: "I attended the class and I know you said a lot of noteworthy things, but I wanted to make more notes, and I couldn't do it using the video, as the sound didn't work." When students throw in compliments, I melt like butter. I checked, and she's right, damn it! (Excuse my French).
........Therefore, I will make a new tape for the first part of this lecture (before the break). I think I'll do it tomorrow, as I'm a little annoyed at the moment (not your fault), and you will sense it. Tomorrow, I'll have some background "Oriental" music, relax, and tell you again everything about the origins of postcolonial criticism. Aaaaahhh ...
Monday 23 March 2009

Grade sheet published
I have uploaded an Excel-sheet (under "Downloads" on UGLA), which shows your grades for Block One and Block Two. You can only see the last five digits of your "kennitala."
........Don't get a heart attack when you see your final grade! It assumes that you get a zero for your home assignment and the final exam. But, of course you won't. You can "play" with the rest of your grades to see what your final grade may be.
Monday 23 March 2009

Switching subjects Wed/Mon
When I made the Time plan, they hadn't allocated rooms, so I didn't know where we would be. Now, looking at the plan, I see we're supposed to be in Lögberg for our Wide Sargasso Sea discussion. A lecture theatre is the worst place to be for a class if we want some interaction. Therefore, I decided to switch classes, so we will have Postcolonialism II on Wednesday, and Wide Sargasso Sea on Monday. I hope it's not an inconvenience for you.
Monday 23 March 2009

Postcolonialism: please watch this 10-minute video
There is a great video on You Tube which introduces and explain's Edward Said's ideas about ORIENTALISM. Please click here to watch this 10-minute video (it is a MUST for you). The Postcolonial Criticism Quiz is now up, and the slides are already on UGLA.
Sunday 22 March 2009

Marxism Quiz is up
I've "aired" the Marxism Quiz for those of you ready to deal with Marx, Althusser, and the rest. UPDATE: I have now changed it into a "widescreen" quiz - and added the "New Historicism/Cultural Materialism" quiz.
Wednesday 18 March 2009

Students learn! They think!
It made me very happy in class today to hear a student use the term "a transcendental signified" like she was talking about a type of sandwich. Gosh! I hope you all internalize the terminology like that :=).
Monday 16 March 2009

11 students have finished Block Two
Yesterday, eleven students took the Block Two exam. The grades are very good! Two students scored 9.5 (they are my most active "testers"). I can't help wondering, as a teacher, if the quiz was "too easy" but then again, maybe you're just so bright!
........I can't forward the quiz results to these students until the others have taken it, so hold your horses, please.
........The rest of you will take it on Tuesday, and you can practice as much as you want - the test quizzes are up again.
Friday 13 March 2009

Sorry, but the sound recording did not work today. I'm posting the slide show WITH NOTES PAGES instead, so that those who could not attend class can see what I said.
........Please note, if you think these are a lot of notes, that the majority of it is from either Barry or Mary Klages (the stuff you were supposed to read, anyway). If you don't know how to read notes - please choose VIEW in Power Point - and NOTES PAGES. I hope there are no notes to myself in there ("Tell the stupid students to remember this," etc.).
Wednesday 11 March 2009

Gay, Lesbian, Queer Theory Quiz & slides
I've posted the Queer Theory Quiz (see button on the right) and the slides will be on UGLA later tonight - so those of you who want to have a head start, can kick off. My mailbox is filled with your results, so I know that you're all practicing!
Monday 9 March 2009

Wuthering Heights slides
I'm a little late with the slides - they'll probably be on UGLA around noon. I hope we can have a lively discussion section.
Monday 9 March 2009

Lots of question added today
More questions added today to "A Jury of Her Peers" and to "Feminism." I'm surprised that four days away from the Block 2 quiz, only 11 students have tried the Feminism Quiz. Well, to be honest, I'm no longer surprised; I should know by now that the majority "crams" for exams. Mea culpa. Now I need to "cram" for tomorrow's presentation: I've never done a whole Wuthering Heights session, as this is the first semester we "do" the novel.
Sunday 8 March 2009

BLOCK 2 Quiz information
I just want to make a few things clear about the Block 2 quiz on Thursday this week (or Tuesday next week).
........1) The "practice quizzes" will only be available until 18:00 on the day of the quiz (yes, I added two hours).
........2) There will be no "essay" questions this time, so you will know your grade right away.
........3) As there are no "essay" questions, you have 60 questions to answer in 60 minutes.
........4) You can see the combination of the quiz on the Block 2 Quiz page (click here).
........I decided to skip the essay questions because a) students tended to just copy and paste the answers from Google or my presentations, and b) students want to know their grade right away. I will, however, review your "written" questions, that is, if you've made a spelling mistake, and raise your grade if I consider the reply to be correct.
........Students with certified special needs can, of course, get extended time for the quiz, just contact me by e-mail.
Sunday 8 March 2009

"A Jury of Her Peers"
The quiz on Glaspell's story is up - only about 20 questions so far, but it keeps you amused. I've added questions to "The Purloined Letter" quiz, and also to the Feminism quiz. Boy, I keep you busy! And to the BOG: Thanks for a great evening - good food, good company, lots of fun!
Saturday 7 March 2009

"The Purloined Letter"
A couple of students have written to say that they don't seem to get a full score on this quiz. I opened up for feedback for a couple of days, and found out what the problem was. Marbles, my dear Watson. It's been corrected.
Saturday 28 February 2009

Feminism quiz available now
You can now try the quiz on feminism - around eighty questions already.
Saturday 28 February 2009

Update on QUIZ participation
We've covered two theories of four, so far, Freud and Lacan. FIFTEEN students have tried the Freud quiz (60 attempts) and SIX have tried the Lacan quiz (116 attempts, by the same students). Ehemm, there are over sixty students in this course. I hope the rest of them are just reading and feeling confident about their intimate knowledge on Freud and Lacan. In comparison with the Block Two theories we have now, Block One theories were a joyride. Two weeks to go, now, and many, many feminist theorists to learn about, so, please make sure that you know psychoanalytic theory before delving into feminism.
Tuesday 24 February 2009

Question FR-110
Those of you who have taken the Freud Quiz: Please note that the wrong answer to FR-110 had been ticked as correct. The right answer is REALITY, not vice versa. This has been corrected - thanks to Sigrún for noting it.
Tuesday 24 February 2009

A small quiz on "The Purloined Letter"
I've added an itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny quiz on Poe's "The Purloined Letter" - with no feedback as it is a short story. I've also updated the Lacan quiz, that is, added some new questions.
Monday 23 February 2009

Bad sound quality - I'll try to fix it
A student informed me that the sound in my last recordings is bad, that I need to turn down the mike. I apologize, and will make sure to adjust the mike to low sensitivity.
Tuesday 17 February 2009

Wuthering Heights quiz
Hehe, I need to keep you entertained all the time, so I've "aired" the first 34 questions of the Wuthering Heights quiz. As I stated in class, it will be left with feedback during Reading Week and for one week thereafter, because I want to encourage you to read the book NOW. Doing the quizzes is fine, to test your knowledge, but merely learning the answers by heart, without knowing the context, will not get you far when it comes to essay questions. UPDATE 21 February: Now 62 questions.
Tuesday 17 and 21 February 2009

Freud and Lacan quizzes ready
You can try them as you wish. I hope you like the new custom backgrounds. I will soon add the Wuthering Heights quiz. Read the book during your Reading week, please. That's what it's for.
Sunday 15 February 2009

Back to normal
Now I've removed all that exam stuff, things are back to normal. Forty-four attempts have already been made at the Freud quiz! Well, 16 of them are by one student, 4 by another, and 3 by each of five students. Around 12-14 students have taken it, actually - but it shows that now you know the importance of trying them.
........EVERYBODY should have received the results from their Block One quiz by now. If you haven't, please send me an e-mail. Grades are very high for this one. Seventeen students have a grade of 9.0 and above. Twenty-two have a grade between 8.0 and 8.9. Six are in the 7.0-7.9 area, and five in the 6.0-6.9 zone. None in the 5.0-5.9 range, and only four are under 5.0 (and of these, all are above 4.2). Actually, it is done on purpose to have the first part easier than the others. It gives you self-confidence. But I think too many students got by with Google, keeping my presentations open, etc., and in the next exam, Block 2, it will be harder for you to seek answers from your Google buddy. As for the moment, just bask in your joy over this success.
........Oh, and HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!
Saturday 14 February 2009


Are you ready for Freud?
I've uploaded tomorrow's presentation on UGLA. Please note that I've put all the Block 1 material into one folder, so it will not be in our way as we proceed with Block 2. The Freud quiz is also available now, with almost 200 questions for you to test.
Sunday 8 February 2009

Eight students have finished Block One
I was surprised to see that only eight students took the exam on the set day - I thought people would want to get this over with and move ahead to the next theory. The extra day was added for the few who needed to watch the postmodernism video. You may be "buying time" at the cost of Freud, and he really needs your full attention.
........The students who took it were quite successful: 6.0-8.2-8.3-8.5-8.6-8.7-9.2-9.4, which is after I reviewed their essay questions.
........One of the "essay" questions was: "What is 'aporia'?" Two of the students had actually just looked up the definition in an on-line dictionary, copied it and pasted into the text box. Not adding anything about post-structuralism. Come on! You are grown-ups. And sometimes, the student had simply taken text from my slides, for instance one whole slide, and pasted it into the text box. Is this independent thinking? No. Not at all.
Saturday 2 February 2009

Postmodernism quiz is up
So, go ahead and try it. I will upload the second set of slides (for Wednesday) later tonight). You may notice that the "Story of an Hour" and "Wide Sargasso Sea" buttons have appeared, too.
Monday 2 February 2009

UGLA isn't working
I've tried to upload tomorrow's presentation but it is impossible to log on to UGLA. You can download from here, the presentation, 6-page-printout or 3-page-printout (click on your choice).
Sunday 1 February 2009

The amount you need to read these days ...
... is really, really meager. So, please use the time and read the short stories and Wide Sargasso Sea. Get a head start before the avalanche hits you. And never come unprepared to class, it's a shame and a waste of your time. This is important in order to understand the material and excel in this course. Remember I warned you ;=).
Tuesday 27 January 2009

You can skip 2 pages
Actually, although Barry is easy to understand, there is one section that is simply incomprehensible, and you can ignore it for Wednesday's class (and the exam). It's the STOP AND THINK section on pp. 68-69.
Monday 26 January 2009

Something wrong with the video-recording
The videos from today did not upload, and the HÍ-technician, Grettir, is trying to upload them. They don't seem to work yet. I hope the problem will be solved very soon. Meanwhile, the post-structuralism quiz is up by now! I had to remove some "Death of the Author" questions from last year.
Monday 26 January 2009

Working on updating all information on these pages
I have devoted this day to updating all the information here on Ritlist: checking dates, completing the reading list, instructions on the home assignment and detailed info on each of the 3 quizzes (no. of questions, timing, etc.).
........As I mentioned in class, some students have said that taking the BLOCK 1 Quiz the day after I teach post-modernism, hardly leaves the distance students any time to listen to the video from that class. Of course they are right (sometimes, students are right). Therefore, I leave you with two choices: the day you may have planned for this (5 February) or the next Tuesday (10 February). You decide, and you don't need to inform me which day you plan to take it.
........You're all taking the quizzes (well, more than half of the students), and some of you score 100% on all of them already. Yes, and today I'll add the post-structuralist quiz for the most enthusiastic ones ...
Sunday 25 January 2009

Don't bother writing question numbers
You will all have noticed that question number five when you take a quiz may be question number twelve the next time you take it - or it isn't there at all. This is a very post-structuralist notion (meaning is fluid, uncertain)!
........For this reason, I have to turn to structuralist practices and ATTRIBUTE a meaning to each question by giving it a name, for instance STRUCT-16. So, if you have an enquiry about a question, you can refer to the name (not the number in your individually generated quiz).
........Those of you who have taken, say, the structuralist quiz a number of times may get the smart idea to write that the answer to STRUCT-16 is "Jacques Derrida." And so on, and so on. But, to save you that trouble, I assure you that these numbers will change in the Block 1 quiz. The same question may be STRUCT-67 by then. You're supposed to learn, you see?
Sunday 25 January 2009

Now you can try "The Lottery" Quiz
I've updated and uploaded "The Lottery" quiz - you have unlimited time, but no feedback, as it's a short story. I need to review some of the questions (too simple, and they focus on names instead of checking for an understanding of the story). But still, most of the questions are OK and may help you to remember the story. The slides for tomorrow's class (Structuralism 4) are now on UGLA.
........It's good to see how many of you have tried the quizzes. Remember that the Liberal Humanism quiz will be without feedback from Wednesday the 28th (I give you 2 weeks, as it's the first quiz).
Tuesday 20 January 2009

Having problems with technology
I'm at the end of my tether after a two-day battle with technology, trying to let the sound recording work in order to tape the "Liberal Humanism" class again. It seems to work now, so I'm going to record it, and will upload later today.
Sunday 18 January 2009

The Structuralism Quiz is in the air
For those of you who have mastered Liberal Humanism - the Structuralism Quiz is up. Also, "The Oval Portrait." Quizzes about short stories/novels have no "feedback" - you get a grade, but you need to find out yourself what the correct answer would have been. The aim with the short story/novel quizzes is to find out if you've read them, not if you've done the quizzes often enough.
Thursday 15 January 2009

9% of you doing the quiz!
It's good to see that students are doing the "Before Theory" quiz. Since the class yesterday, there are 21 attempts. Nine by one student, nine by another, three by one, two by one and one attempt from a student. Five students.
........So, as we move on to another theory, my advice is to try the quiz for the first class: Liberal Humanism. It's a drizzle now, but soon it will be raining cats and dogs. So, my message to the OTHER FIFTY students is: go ahead while things are slow.
........Step by step. Theory by theory. Best method. Don't wait.
Thursday 15 January 2009

Bad microphone in L-101
Two students have kindly informed me (thanks!) that there is something wrong with the sound from yesterday's class (Session 2). I'm trying to find a solution - either to record it again, or use last year's recording. Stay cool. Prepare yourself for structuralism, or try the quiz.
Thursday 15 January 2009

I forgot to say about the presentations ...
Today, I was going to tell you that I always upload:
........1) The Power Point presentation (for those who want to take notes directly into PPT in class
........2) A PDF file with 3 slides per page (to write on)
........3) A PDF file with 6 slides per page (for the paper-savers)
........This method should accomodate all students - you just download what is most convenient for you. And this semester seems to be great, as I've already uploaded the slides for Wednesday to UGLA. Two days ahead - I'm getting better at this after all these years!
Monday 12 January 2009

Our first class is tomorrow!
I was planning to do one thousand things during Christmas vacation, but now it's over. I like a fresh start, seeing all the new faces, and seeing again the people I taught British Literature a month, a year or a couple of years ago.
........Three students (Rakel, Julia and Bryndís) have written me an e-mail to ask me to bring a copy of the Study Notes in the first class. If you need one, please let me know ASAP (, as I don't want to have too many copies printed and bound (it's very cheap where I get it from, or 1,500 krona).
Sunday 11 January 2009

Listen to your favourite stories
I 've uploaded some sound files and links to sound files on UGLA. You can download to your MP3 and listen while you drive, sit on the bus, ride your bike or clean your bathroom. Most of the short stories are there, plus the whole novel Wuthering Heights.
........I haven't managed to find a "legal" free sound file of Wide Sargasso Sea (it's all torrent-something, and I shouldn't encourage law-breaking) so if anybody knows about one, I'd appreciate the link.
Sunday 11 January 2009

The website is not quite finished
I see that some students assume that there will be groupwork - because there is something about last year's groupwork on some pages. Please don't think that all the pages are ready - I'm still going through them to update them. They will be ready before the course officially begins.
........You can, however, trust everything that's under "Course Outline" (description, evaluation, textbooks, etc.). What's left is mainly the home assignment and time schedule (which you have, however, on UGLA - it's just the webpage that hasn't been updated, as I'm working on sick/re-take exams).
Tuesday 6 January 2009

Reading Plan & Study Material uploaded
The Time Schedule for the term has been uploaded on UGLA. I include all the reading material in it, for your convenience, so you know how to prepare for the classes. I have checked it, and re-checked, and I think it is 100% done - you can rely on it for your planning of the term (I hope that you DO plan the term :=)).
.........I have also gathered all the "extra" reading material into one document, with a Table of Contents and everything. These used to be many, many PDF and Word files, and it can be awfully hard to keep a record of the articles and short stories you must read without something like this.
.........I remember when some of my teachers in the English Department kept giving us more and more photocopies of articles we had to read - and they kept piling up throughout the term. I promise you: These are all the articles and short stories you should read, I will not add to it.
......... Barry's little book, the two great novels, and this. That's it!
Friday 2 January 2009

Ah, lovely Brontë!
I really hope that you're sitting there with Wuthering Heights in your hands, enjoying it! I haven't read it for about ten years now, and, oh, the joy. It was my favourite novel when I was just a child, and I wanted to be Catherine, roaming the moors with that "gipsy". And now I'm lucky enough to teach it (having read it about six times in my life). I want to see the movie, too, with Ralph Fiennes as Heathcliff (1992) ... or maybe the one with Timothy Dalton (1970).
.........You have two novels to read, plus your textbook, four short stories, and some articles, so you really should use the time to read the novels without the pressure of delivery dates, classes, my presence, etc.
Monday 29 December 2008

Barry's book - read an excerpt
If you haven't bought Peter Barry's book, Beginning Theory (our main textbook), and you're simply dying to read it, you can read several chapters on Google.
Saturday 27 December 2008

Welcome to course ENS415G
It is really promising to see how many of you have already visited the UGLA-site for this course. As I just finished grading for the last semester, I haven't done much work on this website or the course yet. Please note that I will change the setup of the course somewhat - the new programme should be ready in the beginning of 2009. Still, it's the same reading material PLUS Wuthering Heights.
.........Any page which has changed totally to this new colour sceme has been updated for 2009.
Friday 26 December 2008

and only if the other link does not work.

Regular version: Part one - Part two

Longer version - Part one - Part two

Quizzes - Mid-Term

Postmodernism is FUN!
Jean Rhys novel
A quiz on Sigumund Freud!
Try a little of LACAN!
Do you know
New questions have been added
The shortest of short stories ...
Try this one!
Try a quiz on Poe's story


Quizzes - Final exam:

Try the feminism quiz!
Try the QUIZ on Queer theory, NOW!
Try the Marxism quiz!
New Historicism and Cultural materialism QUIZ!
Opostcolonialist criticism QUIZ!
Take the Narratology QUIZ!
Take the ECO-QUIZ!
The shortest of short stories ...
Take a quiz on Glaspell's story
Try this one!




Click on the link for a great on-line glossary of Literary Terms.


There is a whole lot of information and instructions for students be found on the St. Martin's Handbook Homepage. Take a look!


Webmaster: Anna Heida Palsdottir - anna (at)