Philip Nel > Courses > English 545: Literature for Adolescents (Fall 2011)
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.
Requirements: Papers | Quizzes | Class Participation and Attendance | Technology | Message Board | Assignments
Quizzes: Approximately 12 times during the semester, there will be a quiz. Sometimes the quiz will be announced, and sometimes it won't. But the quiz will always address the reading for that day. Because everyone can have a bad day, I will drop the lowest quiz grade.
Message Board: Post comments to the message board every other week (or more frequently, if you wish). An average posting should run 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 asses 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 your classmates' comments on the message board. Though extra postings to the message board will not automatically replace participation in class discussions, regular contributions above and beyond your weekly posting can improve your class participation grade.
Access the message board via K-State On-Line.
Email: My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Please use the subject line. Due to the sheer volume of email I receive, messages without clear subject lines will be deleated unread. You can write with questions, send a thesis statement or outline for an essay, make an appointment to meet me in my office, or do anything else that could be handled with a quick exchange of messages. I check email several times daily, but I am not on-line at all times.
[W] = Web. [CP] = Class Pack. [R] = On Reserve (at Hale Library).
Note: "through" means "to the end of" (not "up to"). Page numbers refer to the editions assigned.
Introduction: Some Traditions of Adolescence
|Th 25||Robert Cormier, The Chocolate War (1974), through Ch. 23 (p. 160); Lee A. Talley, "Young Adult" (2011) [CP]|
|T 30||Cormier, The Chocolate War (1974), to end; Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye (1951), through Ch. 10 (p. 76); Brian McMullen, "A Coming of Age Reading Checklist" (2003) [CP].|
|September||Th 1||Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye (1951), to end. Peggy McIntosh, "White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences Through Work in Women's Studies" (1998) [CP].|
Beauty and the Beast: Realism, Fairy Tales, Magical Realism
|T 6||Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak (1999), through "Third Marking Period" (p. 137).|
|Th 8||Anderson, Speak, to end.|
|T 13||four versions of "Beauty and the Beast" (18th and 19th centuries) [CP]; Francesca Lia Block, Weetzie Bat (1989).|
|Th 15||Block, Weetzie Bat; Sara Ryan, Empress of the World (2001), through p. 133.|
|T 20||Ryan, Empress of the World, to end.|
|Th 22||M.T. Anderson, Feed (2002), through p. 150.|
|T 27||Anderson, Feed, to end.|
|Th 29||Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games (2008), through Part I.|
|October||T 4||Collins, The Hunger Games, through Part II.|
|Th 6||Collins, The Hunger Games, to end; Larry Siems et al, "Dark Realities: What Can't Be Said in Children's Books" (2004) [CP].|
And Here My Troubles Began: History, Poetry, and the Graphic Novel
|T 11||Karen Hesse, Out of the Dust (1997), through Winter 1935 (p. 149). Slide show: Photos from the 1930s (to be shown in class).|
|Th 13||Hesse, Out of the Dust, to end; Christopher Paul Curtis, Bud Not Buddy (1999), through Chapter 12.|
|T 18||Curtis, Bud Not Buddy, to end.|
|Th 20||Midterm Exam|
|T 25||Art Spiegelman, Maus I: My Father Bleeds History (1986).|
|Th 27||Spiegelman, Maus II: And Here My Troubles Began (1991).|
Narrative and Identity
|November||T 1||Gene Luen Yang, American Born Chinese (2006)|
|Th 3||Walter Dean Myers, Monster (1999), through p. 151.|
|T 8||Myers, Monster, to end.|
|Th 10||Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis (2003).|
Coming of Age
|T 15||Robert Lipsyte, One Fat Summer (1977).|
|Th 17||Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (2007), through "Thanksgiving" (p. 103).|
|T 22||University Holiday|
|T 29||Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (2007), to end.|
|December||Th 1||Francisco X. Stork, Marcello in the Real World (2009), through Chapter 10 (p. 103). Paper Due.|
|T 6||Stork, Marcello in the Real World, through Chapter 21 (p. 215).|
|Th 8||Stork, Marcello in the Real World, to end. Conclusion and Review.|
|W 14||Final Exam, 2:00-3:50 p.m.|
|Literature for Adoescents is often BANNED or CHALLENGED. Here are some RESOURCES on that topic.|