• Meeting Days/Rooms
    • Tuesday & Thursday: 11-12:20 (Marcil 124)
    • Individual Conferences (TBA in Marcil 116 – English Suite)
  • Office Hours (Marcil 116, English Suite)
    • Tuesday & Thursday 9-11
    • Also, By Appointment (please ask!)

Course Description (from the catalog)

What is justice? How is justice represented in literature? How do literary texts connect with and illuminate contemporary questions of justice? Readings may include texts by poets, novelists, and playwrights such as Sophocles, Shakespeare, Schiller, Victor Hugo, Kafka, Richard Wright, Susan Glaspell, Saadawi, and Jack Gilbert. This course is an elective for the English major and minor, and the Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities major. 3.000 Credit hours

This course is an Explorations course and fulfills one EXP humanities requirement. The Core Handbook indicates that “students should take two Explorations courses during their first and second years. At the least, one Explorations must be taken in the humanities; the second may be taken in the humanities or the social sciences. Explorations courses are designated in the course catalogue as such.”

Specifics for ENG 221 A, Spring 2020

Our class explores the questions of justice through a variety of texts and perspectives ranging from plays, short stories, and philosophy to reporting, opinion articles, and interviews. We will work flexibly from ancient perspectives to contemporary issues. While ENG 221 is clearly an English course, our approach this term will resist a reductive categorization. In this way, the course functions as an introduction to humanistic practice.

We write in the 21st century, so we will also be using some 21st century tools in our work. Our class meetings will be structured as seminars, with student perspectives driving much of any day’s intellectual agenda. Come to class having done the homework, bring the relevant texts to class, and we’ll be ready for robust conversation.

We will document much of our work in an electronic portfolio, a 21st century version of a writing portfolio or journal, and we will do some in-class work to become comfortable with this tool. We will also take on at least one podcast project. Relax. We have resources to support this work. Bring your creativity, intellect, and effort to the class, and you’ll grow over the next 15 weeks!

Workload Expectations in College Courses

Students in 100- or 200-level classes are sometimes taken aback by the quantity of work required in courses. Please know that the quantity is required for the school to be accredited. According to the US Department of Education, a college credit requires student work that “reasonably approximates not less than one hour of class and two hours of out-of-class student work per week.” As a 3-credit course, ENG 221 will require the equivalent of three in-class hours and not less than 6 out-of-class hours of student work each week.

Learning Outcomes (Both ENG & EXP)

  • By the end of ENG 221, as is appropriate for a lower-level course, you will be able to
    • Communicate effectively in oral and written modes, and use writing as a tool of inquiry (EXP)
    • Comprehend a text’s literal/factual content (ENG & EXP)
    • Extrapolate the larger implications (social, philosophical, ethical, argumentative) of these patterns (ENG & EXP)
    • Understand literature as a culturally and historically embedded practice (ENG & EXP)
    • Relate literature to other fields of inquiry (ENG & EXP)
    • Approach writing as a recursive process (ENG & EXP)
    • Develop and support claims about literary texts (ENG)
    • Communicate in accordance with standards of academic integrity (ENG)


This is a seminar class that privileges daily preparation and engagement. 50% of the grade is about the work you bring each day.

  • There are no papers for this course, at least not in the traditional meaning of the term. We will be writing nearly every day. But that writing is intended to bring forward our provisional thinking, to stimulate the conversations required for a productive seminar. I learned very early on in college that I could steer class discussion to issues that interested me if I came to class with specific ideas and questions about the reading, and I have organized the course to help you develop this practice.
    • 20% – Attendance & Participation – Scored with a Quick Report Each Day (We’ll Discuss)
    • 30% – QCQs (Quotation-Comment-Question) – 22 on the schedule and will drop the lowest 7. I’ll score them 0-5.
    • 15% – Midterm Report on Justice Thinking – 3-5 pages bringing together your thoughts about specific ideas of justice, as reflected in the readings, class discussions, and your QCQs. Options: Podcast or Paper-like Report. I encourage a podcast.
    • 25% – Podcast on a Contemporary Justice Issue
    • 10% – ePortfolio

Final Grade Range

  • A = 93-100
  • A- = 90-92
  • B+ = 87-89
  • B = 83-86
  • B- = 80-82
  • C+ = 77-79
  • C = 73-76
  • C- = 70-72
  • D = 60-69
  • F = <60
  • I = Nearly all work completed; fewer than 5 absences
  • WP = Withdrawal while passing after first two-thirds of the term
  • WF = Withdrawal while failing after first two-thirds of the term
  • W = Withdrawal during first two-thirds of the term

Required Texts & Optional Texts

Buying used can often save us a good deal of money and so I’m all for used books! But please don’t buy the wrong book or you’ll have some trouble. Use the ISBN to help you out, especially if you try to buy a book outside of the bookstore!

My “required” list is required. Buy the books. I priced them on Amazon new, and they come to under $45 in total. You can get them used for less.

  • Required
    • Antigone, Sophocles. Prestwick House (ISBN: 1580493882)  $5
    • Between the World and Me, Ta Nehisi Coates. Spiegel & Grau.  (ISBN: 0812993543) $12 or so
    • The Classical Utilitarians: Bentham and Mill. ed by John Troyer. Hackett Classics (ISBN: 0872206491 $13
    • Disgrace, J. M. Coetzee. Penguin Books. (ISBN:  0140296409)  $12 or so
  • Optional
  • I’ll provide some reserve selections of the following texts, but you might want your own copy of at least some of these books.
    • No Future without Forgiveness, Desmond Tutu (ISBN: 0385496907)
    • Mandragola, Machiavelli (ISBN: 0023913509)

Other readings will be available through the use of online search tools and through the UNE library. I’ll provide links or advance notice on “reserve” materials.

Marking Your Texts

Real readers write in their texts! You need to mark your texts in this class. I expect students to have their readings for the day with them in class and marked up.

Academic Integrity (including Plagiarism)

We will conduct ourselves with integrity by doing our own work, by acting as responsible peers in (and out of) class, and by working with sources in ways appropriate to the academic community of which we are a part. I think it’s a great idea to take a few minutes to complete the nationally recognized Academic Integrity 101 Self Test ( to familiarize themselves with the issue.

UNE has a clear policy on academic integrity and a multi-step procedure for addressing cases of suspected academic dishonesty. Both the policy and the procedure are distributed as a two-page handout at the beginning of the term. They are also available on the UNE website: Academic Integrity Policy (Student Handbook); Procedure for Reporting Alleged Academic Dishonesty.

In our class, the policy applies to all of our work, including homework! The policy does not inhibit robust collaboration.

  • Assorted Rules & Regulations
    • I enjoy talking with students. Meet with me if you want to talk, or if you are having any trouble with the class. Reach out early!
    • Attendance is mandatory, period. Class is part of your “job” as a student. Miss more than three classes and expect a reduction in your final grade. (Three absences will certainly cover an illness, emergency, etc.) Miss more than six classes and expect not to pass the course. (Show up more than 10 minutes late and it’s a half absence; show up more than 20 minutes late and you’re absent for the day.)
    • Written work must be typed and double-spaced, with 1″ margins. A cover or title page is not required, though each paper should have your name, my name (Professor Cripps), the date, and a working title (QCQ #? is fine for QCQs).
    • Written work is due on the due date. Expect a letter grade reduction for each day the midterm report or podcast project is late.
    • QCQs or other homework is due on the due date. Since this work advances our class discussions, late homework will not be accepted. I have structured assignments to drop the lowest QCQs, effectively offering up to 7 no-QCQ passes. Be on top of your work consistently and all will be well.
    • Absent but have your QCQ? I WILL ACCEPT an emailed QCQ if it hits my inbox by the start of class. (Posted your QCQ to the ePortfolio but missing class? Just email me the link to your QCQ page.)
    • Place is important. When in class, be in class! No phones and no open computers unless we’re specifically working with a digital tool in class. Expect a human-to-human experience in our class meetings. Will there boring moments in class? Sure. That’s life, and we want to get used to that part of life. If you can’t stay off social media for 80 minutes, you have a serious problem that will limit your ability to progress in any profession!
    • We have a “working” schedule. Assignments and due dates are subject to change as the class unfolds. I will inform you of any changes as they come up and will update the course schedule online so that we can stay on the same (web)page.

Students with Disabilities

The University of New England is committed to creating a learning environment that meets the needs of its diverse student body and will make reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities. Any student eligible for and needing academic adjustments or accommodations because of a disability is requested to speak with the professor at the beginning of the semester. Registration with the Student Access Center is required before accommodation requests can be granted. Visit for more information.

Student Academic Success Center

The Student Academic Success Center offers a range of free services to support your academic achievement, including tutoring, writing support, test-prep and studying strategies, learning style consultations, and many online resources. To make an appointment for tutoring, writing support, or a learning specialist consultation, go to Tutortrac ( or visit the SASC. To access our online resources, including links, guides, and video tutorials, visit

Midterm Academic Progress Reports

The University of New England is committed to the academic success of its students.  At the midterm of each semester, instructors will report the performance of each student as SATISFACTORY (S) or UNSATISFACTORY (U).  Instructors will announce when these midterm academic progress reports will be available for viewing via U-online.  This early alert system gives all students important information about progress in their courses. Students who receive an UNSATISFACTORY midterm report should take immediate action by speaking with their instructor to discuss suggestions for improvement such as utilizing the services of academic advising, the Student Academic Success Center, Counseling Services, and Residential Education.