Philip Nel > Courses > English 545: Literature for Adolescents (Fall 2006)

English 545, Sec. A: Literature for Adolescents
Tues. & Thurs., 2:30 - 3:45 p.m.
ECS 017
 
Professor Philip Nel
Office Phone: 532-2165
Office: English/Counseling Services Bldg. 103
Office Hours: Tues. & Thurs. 4-5 p.m., & by appointment.
Virtual Office Hours: philnel@ksu.edu
Website: www.ksu.edu/english/nelp/
 
Syllabus last updated on Tuesday, September 19, 2006.
Paper Assignment | K-State On-Line
     

Required Texts | Objectives | Grading | Requirements | Message Board | Schedule of Assignments | Recommended Resources
Required Texts:
 
Objectives:
        This class is designed to introduce you to a range of literature for adolescents, and to develop your critical skills in reading literary and cultural works. We will study works that feature adolescent characters, depict experiences familiar to adolescents, and are taught to or read by adolescents. We will approach these works from a variety of critical perspectives (including formalist, psychoanalytic, queer theory, feminist, Marxist, historical, postcolonial, ecological) -- perspectives that many high schools want their teachers to know. In summary, this course will be about different kinds of literature read by young adults, approaches to thinking about this literature, and adolescence's relationship to power. As such, the course will be useful both to future teachers and to students fulfilling the General Education requirement.
        In this class, education will not be a passive experience: I expect discussion, debate, and exchanges of ideas. This requires that you not only be present but that you be an active presence.
 
Grading:

Points   

Due

Quizzes

100 (total for all quizzes)   

In class, day reading is due.

Class Participation &   

200

Daily.

Message Board    

Weekly.

Midterm Exam

200   

In class, 10/19.

Paper

250   

In my mailbox (ECS 119) by 12 noon, 12/01.

Final Exam

250   

In class, 12/15, 9:40-11:30 a.m.

Total

1000

Requirements: Paper | Quizzes | Class Participation and Attendance | Computing | Assignments
 
        Paper:
        The paper must: be typed (preferably word-processed) and double-spaced; include a title, your name, and the date; and have numbered pages that are stapled or paper-clipped together. Late papers will be penalized one grade (e.g., B+ to C+) for each day late.
        Sources: Use the MLA method for documenting sources. Don't plagiarize. When you turn in a paper, you pledge that you have faithfully abided by the guidelines for documenting sources -- most grammar handbooks provide these guidelines. Remember: you must cite the sources of any ideas that are not your own. If you quote, paraphrase, or use another's ideas, you must give credit to the person whose ideas you are using. If you have any questions, please ask. If you plagiarize, you will automatically fail this course. For more information on Kansas State University's Honor System, please visit <www.ksu.edu/honor>.
 
        Quizzes:
        Approximately 12 times during the semester, there'll be a quiz. Sometimes the quiz will be announced, and sometimes it won't. But it will always address the reading for that day. Because everyone can have a bad day, I'll drop the lowest quiz grade.
 
        Class Participation and Attendance:
        Read everything, and come to class prepared to talk about what you have read. On the first day of class discussion for each assignment, you must have finished the reading and be ready to discuss it. By "the reading," I mean all of the text assigned for that day. This class will be based on discussion, so class participation is expected, and will count for 20% of your final grade. Discussion will take place both in class, and out of it, via the Message Board (explained below). I reserve the right to assign homework or in-class writing projects that are not listed on the syllabus.
        Class attendance is required. Since the class meets twice a week, you are granted two absences, but more than two will lower your final grade by one grade increment for each absence (e.g., B+ would become B). I appreciate your offering explanations for absences; however, the only way to excuse an absence is to provide me with an official letter from the dean. You cannot earn credit for work missed in class. If you miss class, it is your responsibility to discover what went on that day. "I didn't know because I wasn't in class" is never an acceptable excuse.
 
        Computing -- the Internet, the Message Board, and Email:

        The Internet: For your reference, a hyperlinked version of this syllabus is on-line. Go to <www.ksu.edu/english/nelp/> and click on "Courses." I have linked authors' names to relevant webpages, listed web and library resources, and provided a link to the paper assignment.

        Message Board: Post comments to the message board once a week. An average posting should run about one or two paragraphs in length. In other words, your postings do not need to be long, but they must be substantive -- long enough to convey clearly the problem you are taking up and your point of view, connecting your comment to others' comments, as appropriate. I will monitor these discussions and assess a grade (at the end of the semester) based on the thoughtfulness of your comments, their ability to foster discussion among your classmates, and their responsiveness to both our readings and to your classmates' comments in class and on the message board. I may participate in these conversations, but I see the bulletin board primarily as a way for you to raise issues we haven't addressed -- or addressed fully or to your satisfaction -- during our regular class meetings. Though extra postings to the message board will not automatically replace participation in our class discussions, regular contributions above and beyond your weekly posting can certainly improve your class participation grade.
        You can access the message board via K-State On-Line:
    1. First, log in to our class on K-State On-Line.
    2. At top left, choose the "Collaboration" menu.
    3. Next, choose "Message Board."
    4. To post, you may either reply to a message (when you're reading a message, there's a "Reply" option) or begin a new thread (by selecting "New Thread" at top right).
 
        Email: My email address is philnel@ksu.edu. Please use the subject line. Due to the increased volume of spam, messages without clear subject lines will be deleted unread. If you need help establishing an email account and learning to use email, please visit the Office of Telecommunications at 109 East Stadium or <www.telecom.ksu.edu/> to find out what you have to do. Although I do not require you to use email, I encourage you to use email as a way of touching base with me. You can write me with questions, send a thesis statement or outline for an essay, make an appointment to meet me in person, or do anything else that could be handled with a quick exchange of messages. I tend to check email several times a day, but please keep in mind that I am not on-line at all times. You can access email at the various computer labs around campus: 21 Nichols Hall, 22-25 Seaton Hall, 1-1A Dickens Hall, and 325 Justin Hall and in some residence halls (visit <http://lan.cns.ksu.edu/labs/> for more details).
 

 
Schedule of Assignments
Subject to Change
[W] = Web. [CP] = Class Pack. [R] = On Reserve (at Hale Library).
Note: "through" means "to the end of" (not "up to").

"Rebels Without a Cause": Traditions of Adolescence

August

Tu 22

Introduction.

Th 24

Robert Cormier, The Chocolate War (1974).

 

Tu 29

J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye (1951).

Th 31

Rebel Without a Cause (1955), directed by Nicholas Ray.

 

September

Tu 5

Rebel Without a Cause.

Th 7

Peggy McIntosh, "White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences Through Work in Women's Studies" (1988) [CP].

 

"Beauty and the Beast": Realism, Fairy Tales, Magical Realism

Tu 12

Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak (1999), to end.

Th 14

Anderson, Speak.

Tu 19

four versions of "Beauty and the Beast" (18th and 19th centuries) [CP]; Francesca Lia Block, Weetzie Bat (1989).

Th 21

Sara Ryan, Empress of the World (2001), through p. 102

 

September 23st through 30th is Banned Books Week (sponsored by the American Library Association). Learn more about Challenged and Banned Books by visiting the website.

 

Tu 26

Ryan, Empress of the World (2001), to end. 

 

"And Here My Troubles Began": History, Poetry, and the Graphic Novel

Th 28

Karen Hesse, Out of the Dust (1997). Slide show: Photos from the 1930s (to be shown in class).

 

October

Tu 3

Christopher Paul Curtis, Bud, Not Buddy (1999), through Chapter 12.

Th 5

Curtis, Bud, Not Buddy, to end.

 

Tu 10

Art Spiegelman, Maus I: My Father Bleeds History (1986).

Th 12

Art Spiegelman, Maus II: And Here My Troubles Began (1991).

 

Narrative and Identity

Tu 17

Jacqueline Woodson, The House You Pass on the Way (1997).

Th 19

Midterm Exam.

 

Tu 24

Walter Dean Myers, Monster (1999), to end.

Th 26

Myers, Monster.

 

Tu 31

Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis (2003).

 

Coming of Age

November

Th 2

Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood (2004), through Chapter 11 (p. 137).

 

Tu 7

Sáenz, Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood, through Chapter 18 (p. 239).

Th 9

Sáenz, Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood, to end.

 

Tu 14

Robert Lipsyte, One Fat Summer (1977).

Th 16

Tomoko Ninomiya, Nodame Cantabile, Book 1 (2005).

 

Tu 21

No class. Work on your paper.

Th 23

Thanksgiving.

 

Of Facts and Fantasies

Tu 28

Philip Pullman, The Golden Compass (1995), through Part One.

Th 30

Pullman, The Golden Compass, through Part Two.

December

F 1

Paper DUE in my office (E/CS 103) by 12 noon.

 

Tu 5

Pullman, The Golden Compass, to end.

Th 7

Conclusion and Review.

 

F 15

Final Exam, 9:40-11:30 a.m.
You must take the final exam on the day and at the time scheduled.
NO EXCEPTIONS.  MARK YOUR CALENDARS.

Recommended Resources

In the Library

  • Secondary Sources: Anita Silvey, Children's Books and Their Creators (1995), 500 Great Books for Teens (2006); Humphrey Carpenter and Mari Prichard (editors), The Oxford Companion to Children's Literature (1984); Leonard S. Marcus, Author Talk (2000), and others; the Something About the Author series (1971-); the Dictionary of Literary Biography, Vols. 22, 42, 52, 61, 141, 160, 161, 163, and any other of the volumes devoted to Children's Literature (1983-); the Children's Literature Review series (1976-); the Junior Book of Authors series (1934-89); Barbara Rollock (editor), Black Authors and Illustrators of Children's Books: A Biographical Dictionary (1992); Althea K. Helbig and Agnes Regan Perkins, This Land Is Our Land: A Guide to Multicultural Literature for Children and Young Adults (1994); Roberta S. Trites, Disturbing the Universe: Power and Repression in Adolescent Literature (2002).
  • Novels (in addition to those listed above): Louisa May Alcott, Little Women (1868-69); David Almond, Kit's Wilderness (1999); Julia Alvarez, How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents (1991); Avi, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle (1990), Nothing But the Truth (1991); Lynda Barry, My Perfect Life (1992), Cruddy (1999), One Hundred Demons (2002); Edward Bloor, Tangerine (1997); Gillian Cross, Wolf (1990); Christopher Paul Curtis, The Watsons Go to Birmingham -- 1963 (1995); Nancy Farmer, The Eye, the Ear, and the Arm (1994), The Sea of Trolls (2004); Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (2003); Karen Hesse, Witness (2001); Gail Carson Levine, Ella Enchanted (1997); Diana Wynne Jones, The Dark Lord of Derkholm (1998), The Year of the Griffin (2000); Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, Spider-Man comics (1962-??); Victor Martinez, Parrot in the Oven (1996); L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables (1908); Walter Dean Myers, Fallen Angels (1988); Nancy Osa, Cuba 15 (2003); Terry Pratchett, The Wee Free Men (2003), A Hatful of Sky (2004); Philip Pullman, The Subtle Knife (1997), The Amber Spyglass (2000); Louis Sachar, Holes (1998); Tor Seidler, A Rat's Tale (1986); Mark Twain, The Aventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884); Virginia Euwer Wolff, True Believer (2002).

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Required Texts | Objectives | Grading | Requirements | Bulletin Board | Schedule of Assignments | Recommended Resources

   


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