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Azin Arefi - English

ELIT 44: International Fiction 

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This course is designed to help students develop analytical and comparative skills in reading and writing, in a cross-cultural class, by reading and analyzing works from the international community, especially emphasizing the Middle East. The class will include a variety of writings from old and contemporary texts, works by men and women, in the forms of folklore and oral tradition, novels, graphic novels, short stories, as well as essays. 

Course Objectives:

Students will develop analytical and comparative skills in reading of literary and other texts linked by the cultural and historical aspects of the Middle East. We will look at texts as a way to analyze not only the works themselves, but the cultural and gender identity of individuals, those living in and out of the United States.  We will analyze connections between culture and literature within particular language groups or geographical areas.


Course Requirements:

  • Regular attendance and active participation in class discussions.
  • Keeping up-to-date on the assignments and readings.
  • Two papers
  • Presentations and group work
  • Keeping a Journal
  • Unannounced quizzes and in-class assignments

Required Texts:

  • Persepolis:, Marjane Satrapi
  • The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini
  • Let Me Tell You Where I’ve Been, Ed. Persis Karim
  • A Course Reader, available from the instructor
  • The Pocket Handbook, Kirszner & Mandell, eds. (Optional) or a grammar guidebook of your choice

Course Evaluation:

Assignment Percentage
Papers 40%
Midterm 20%
Quizzes 10%
Journals 10%
Participation/Attendance 10%
Group Work/Presentations 10%
Total 100%

Grading Scale:

100-95% = A, 94-90 = A-, 89-85% = B, 84-80=B-, 79-75% = C, 74-70=C-, 69-60% = D, 59%-below = F

Course Assignments:

Journal/Discussion Questions. You will keep a course journal in which you write responses to particular discussion questions or ideas discussed in class or to specified readings. You will write some of your journal entries in class, but others will be given as homework. I will collect and evaluate them towards the end of the quarter.  

Quizzes. These quizzes measure your preparation for class and your understanding of class lecture and concepts covered. Quizzes will be given at the beginning of the class period so do not be late.  They are meant to reward you for your preparation and your on-time attendance.

Participation. You are expected to come to this class prepared with paper, pen, appropriate text, having completed the reading and all assignments due, and ready to participate in discussion.  Whether as a class or if you are in small groups, your contribution is required and necessary. 

Papers. You will be required to write two papers during the course. In each of these essays you should pay close attention to style and mechanics and implement the writing skills we discuss in class. You must demonstrate your critical thinking abilities. Your papers should be typed, double-spaced, 12-pt font, with one-inch margins all around. Each essay must be organized and written clearly. Careful proofreading and correct grammar and punctuation usage are crucial. Three to five pages is appropriate for each. Use MLA format (refer to the sheets in your course reader.)

Course Policies:

Plagiarism. Plagiarism is using someone else’s words or ideas in direct quote, paraphrase, or summary form and submitting them as your own. I expect no copying or cheating whatsoever, at any time, by any student. IF YOU EVER FEEL BOGGED DOWN BY WRITER’S BLOCK OR FRUSTRATED WITH AN ASSIGNMENT IN ANY WAY, COME TALK TO ME! IF YOU ARE WORRIED ABOUT YOUR WRITER’S VOICE AND WANT TO SOUND BETTER ON PAPER, COME TALK TO ME! Plagiarism is often committed on accident, by people who want to sound better or by those who do not know how to correctly incorporate and cite research into their papers. But these are not excuses for it. Plagiarism, whether intentional or not, is always wrong. Plagiarism may result in automatic failure of the course.

Attendance: Attendance every day is required. You should come to class on time and prepared. If you have to be absent, please call to excuse yourself.  If you have three unexcused absences, I will assume that you have withdrawn, and give you a W. Repeated tardiness will equal absences.

Respect: In class we will be discussing a lot of sensitive issues and each individual person's opinion must be respected. You are to listen to each other and be considerate of one another at all times. You can disagree with someone, but always in a respectful manner.

Disruptive behavior may result in being dropped from the class. As part of that, please remember to turn off cell phones and pagers, as they are disruptive to the class. If your cell phone does go off, you are to bring treats for the class the next day J.  

And finally…

Welcome to ELIT 44! I am sure we are going to have a great and productive quarter!

Note: This greensheet is subject to change with advanced notice.

email icon Email: Azin Arefi
phone icon Phone: 408.864.8547


Last Updated: 4/25/16