ENGL 825 "Harry Potter and Literary History "
The weekly bulletin board will run from Wednesday to Wednesday, to encourage you to post right after as well as before our weekly class discussions, but I encourage you to contribute your ideas throughout the week and to check the board for others’ postings. Your postings do not need to be long, but they do need to be substantive: they must be long enough to convey clearly the problem you are taking up and your point of view, connecting your comment to others' comments whenever possible. I will offer models of successful comments early in the semester.
Critical Writing: During the semester, you will be doing different kinds of critical writing: not only informal postings to the message board, but also more formal response papers and an essay review, all of which will lead towards your final paper: a 20-page essay which contributes to the current critical conversation about Rowling's series.
Response papers, your essay review, and your final paper should follow the general rules of composition and be typed or word-processed with standard double-spacing, 1-inch margins, and either 10- or 12-point typeface. Title pages and cover sheets are unnecessary. Pages should be numbered, stapled together, spell-checked, and use the appropriate MLA citation format. These papers are due by the date and time on the syllabus; late papers will be penalized one grade (i.e.: A to B) for each day late.
Response papers are designed to ready you for class discussion and to explore ideas you could develop further in your final paper. In your response paper, you should not repeat previous class discussions or provide a mere summary of the reading. Instead, your response should begin to analyze the primary and secondary reading assigned for that class session, selecting an issue or theme or question you feel to be significant. During the semester, you will write five response papers (2 pp in length) in response to our readings. Everyone will write a response paper for our first set of readings on school stories; for the remaining four response papers, you may choose which four novels or reading assignments you would like to discuss, being sure to choose two that are not novels in Rowling’s series and two that are. Response papers are due at the start of class on the day we begin our discussion of the reading. Responses will be graded on a 1-5 scale: 5=A, 4=B, 3=C, 2=D, 1=F. I do not accept late response papers.
We’ll discuss the essay review (4-5 pp.) and the final paper (20 pp.) in the weeks ahead.
A note on sources: a "Works Cited" page should accompany any assignment that cites books and other outside sources, and you should use the MLA method for documenting sources. When you turn in a paper, you pledge that the work is your own and that you have faithfully abided by the guidelines for documenting sources. The University’s Honor Code obliges you to cite the source of any idea that is not your own. If you quote, paraphrase, or use another’s ideas, you must give credit to the person whose ideas you are using. Otherwise, you have plagiarized. If you have any questions, please ask. If you do plagiarize, you will fail this course.
Online and video resources: Along with some required online reading, I will refer you to additional resources available online or on video to complement our readings and discussions. Links within the online "Schedule of Classes" will take you to related online resources. I will add and update these resources as the semester progresses; if you locate a site or page which you find valuable, please let me know, and I'll consider adding it to the existing links.
Email: I highly recommend email as a way of touching base with me about your work for the class -- a kind of virtual office hours. You can send me queries about reading or writing assignments, your thesis statement for an essay, or anything else that could be handled with a quick exchange of messages. I check my email throughout the day, but please remember that I am not perpetually online.
Conferences: I want you to succeed in this course, and I am happy to meet with you about your work and your progress. I encourage you to see me before exams or papers are due, or if you have questions about material we discuss in class. Please feel free to stop by during office hours (M, W 9:00-10:00 a.m.), or contact me by phone or email to arrange a more convenient time to meet.
Note: If you have any condition such as a physical or learning disability that will make it difficult for you to carry out the work as I have outlined it or which will require academic accommodations, please notify me in the first two days of the course.
Note: All assigned reading should be completed by the date listed.
[CP]= Class Pack [X]= Xerox [W]=Web
|August||24||The Beginning: J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (1997, 1998) and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998, 1999).|
|31||School Stories: Thomas Hughes, excerpts from Tom Brown's School Days (1857) [CP]; Enid Blyton, First Term at Malory Towers (1946) [CP]. Roald Dahl, excerpt from Boy; Pratchett, excerpt from Pyramids (1984) [CP]; Response Paper #1 Due (2 pp)|
|September||7||Realism: Austen, Emma (1815); Doyle, The Van (1991)
Booth, from The Rhetoric of Fiction ; Recommended: Westman, “Perspective, Memory, and Moral Authority: The Legacy of Jane Austen in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter”; Perrson,“‘The culchies have fuckin’ everythin’: Internal Exile in Roddy Doyle’s The Barrytown Trilogy” [all X]
|14||Fantasy (I): E. Nesbit, The Phoenix and the Carpet (1904); Clement Freud, Grimble (1968) [CP]; Roald Dahl, James and the Giant Peach (1961); Rowling, "Let Me Tell You a Story" (2000); Rowling, "Foreword" to Families Like Us: The One Parent Families Good Book Guide (2000); and "The Not Especially Fascinating Life So Far of J. K. Rowling" (1998) [all CP]|
Fantasy (II): C. S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (1950); Lewis, “On Stories” and “On Three Ways of Writing for Children” [X]; Gilead, “Magic Abjured: Closure in Children’s Fantasy Fiction” [CP]
|28||Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999). Literary Value, Readership, and Marketing (I): Philip Hensher, "Harry Potter, give me a break" (2000); Harold Bloom, "Can 35 Million Book Buyers Be Wrong? Yes" (2000); Jessy Randall, "Wizard Words: The Literary, Latin, and Lexical Origins of Harry Potter's Vocabulary" (2001); Nel, "You Say 'Jelly,' I Say 'Jell-O': Harry Potter and the Transfiguration of Language" [all CP]|
Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2000). Gender: Ximena Gallardo C. and C. Jason Smith, "Cinderfella: J. K. Rowling's Wily Web of Gender"; Schoefer, "Harry Potter's Girl Trouble"; Dresang, "Hermione Granger and the Heritage of Gender" [all CP]; Pugh and Wallace, "Heteronormative Heroism and Queering the School Story in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter Series" [X]; Recommended: Westman, "Specters of Thatcherism: Contemporary British Culture in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter Series" (2002)
|12||Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003). Literary Value, Readership, and Marketing (II): Jack Zipes, "The Phenomenon of Harry Potter, or Why All the Talk?" (2001); John Pennington, "From Elfland to Hogwarts, or the Aesthetic Trouble with Harry Potter" (2002); A.S. Byatt, "Harry Potter and the Childish Adult" (2003); Sarah Green, "Letter to the Editor" (2003); Donnelly, "Paperback Writer" (2004); Philip Nel, "Is There a Text in This Advertising Campaign?: Literature, Marketing, and Harry Potter" (2005) [all CP]|
|M 18||Paragraph-length description of paper topic due by 5 p.m. to my mailbox in ECS 119.|
|19||Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2005). Religious Concerns: The Onion's "Harry Potter Books Spark Rise in Satanism Among Children" (2000); "Did you know??????" (email, 2001); Kimbra Wilder Gish, "Hunting Down Harry Potter: An Exploration of Religious Concerns About Children's Literature" (2000); Nancy Churnin, "Easing Up on Harry Potter" (2005); Griesinger, "Harry Potter and the 'Deeper Magic'" (2002) [all CP].
Rowling Speaks: J. K. Rowling's website [W]; "The Leaky Cauldron Interview with Joanne Kathleen Rowling," Parts 1-3 (2005) [W]
|M 25||Wizard rock concert, 6:00-8:00pm, Manhattan Public Library (optional but highly recommended).|
|26||Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2007).
Revisiting Earlier Themes: Horne, "Harry and the Other: Answering the Race Question in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter" (2010) [X]; Pugh and Wallace, "A Postscript to 'Heteronormative Heroism and Queering the School Story in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter Series'" (2008) [X]; Westman, "The Weapon We Have is Love" (2008) [X]; "Snape's Supposed Great Love, or, Why Book 7 Doesn't Make Snape Any Less Interesting" [CP]
|F 29||Essay review (4-5 pp.) due to my mailbox in ECS 119 by 5 p.m.|
|November||2||Fan Culture: Wizard Rock, Websites, HP Cons, HPA, and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Guest participant: Cheryl Klein, Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine Books
Anelli, Harry: A History; Tosenberger, "'Oh my God, the Fanfiction!'
Dumbledore's Outing and the Online Harry Potter Fandom" (2008) [W]; Jenkins, "Night of a Thousand Wizards" (2010) [W]
|9||Stroud, The Amulet of Samarkand (2003); Pullman, The Golden Compass (1995)
Workshop for Paper (I): Thesis, Outline, and "Works Cited" to date
|16||Pullman, The Subtle Knife (1997) and The Amber Spyglass (2000)
"Talking to Philip Pullman"; Gooderham, "Fantasizing It As It Is: Religious Language in Philip Pullman's Trilogy, His Dark Materials"; Gruner, "Teach the Children: Education and Knowledge in Recent Children's Fantasy" [all X]
|30||Workshop for Paper (II): Full Draft and "Works Cited"|
|December||M 6||Paper (20 pages, with abstract) due by 5 p.m. to my mailbox in ECS 119.|
|7||Presentation of Papers|