MTWR 12:20 PM to 2:20 PM
Lewis Carroll, J. M. Barrie, L. Frank Baum, J. R. R. Tolkien, and C. S. Lewis, among others, set in motion a form of young people’s fantasy that expanded on traditional fairy folklore, laying the groundwork for the Young Adult Fantasy (YAF) of Rowling, Meyer, Sniegoski, and Pullman today. In YAF the youthful protagonist experiences an extraordinary “other” world which reflects something profound about our own and which challenges preconceived notions. This experience offers the protagonist a chance at some level of mastery over dynamic forces associated with that remarkable world. In this course, Owen Barfield (a friend of Tolkien and Lewis) offers us a template for the role of the imagination, including key terms like “participation” (including “original” and “final” participation) and “directionally creator <span class="scayt-misspell" data-scayt_word="relation." "="" data-scaytid="1">relation.” According to Barfield, we are active participants in the nature of what we perceive. The imagination is a conduit for, and witness to, the way in which we shape and influence our reality.
In our course we will be on the alert for the level, and type of, of creator agency available to the protagonist. In Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, Alice speculates on the epistemological rules of a looking-glass world and then enters that world, discovering a universe that arises from her own intuitive vision. One of her first acts is to write impulsively in the White King’s notebook. The White King cannot understand why he wrote this statement about the White Knight: He balances very badly. When (at the end) Alice feels compassion on the unbalanced White Knight who keeps falling off his horse, the reader realizes that his problem is Alice’s own creation—she unthinkingly made him that way and he ironically takes pride in his constant falls. The situation becomes even more playful—and even more participative in that Barfield sense—when we suspect that Lewis Carroll has cast himself as the White Knight, implying that Alice is the true creator of her own creator (and author).
Not surprisingly in regard to creator agency, this genre teaches accountability. The YAF protagonist may seem, at first, to be utterly inconsequential, even alienated and rebellious. But we ultimately discover the protagonist to be unusually sensitive to the human dilemma. In her Adventures in Wonderland, Alice falls for a long time down the rabbit hole, but she refuses to drop a marmalade jar for fear it might hurt someone down below. The YAF protagonist is someone inclined to take on responsibility. She or he is on a learning curve to becoming a savior-figure. Towards this end, the youthful protagonists are privy to unusual knowledge, a revelatory experience regarding the innermost mystery of a remarkable world. This experience usually signals that the protagonist has graduated to a new level of understanding: a level of knowledge that imparts not only power but also greater responsibility for the good of all concerned.
Checklist for YAF Dynamics
English Department Goals
GOAL 1. Critical Inquiry
Objective 1.1: Student engages in an increasingly sophisticated discourse and demonstrates aesthetic and critical discernment through close textual analysis.
Objective 1.2: Student evaluates secondary sources and applies skills in information gathering and management, and document design, using traditional sources and emerging technologies.
GOAL 2. Knowledge of Language and Literature
Objective 2.1: Student understands the usage and structure of the English language.
Objective 2.2: Student recognizes the stylistic techniques that distinguish key literary texts relevant to subject and genre.
Objective 2.3: Student is familiar with the legacy of important ideas and contexts associated with literary periods.
Objective 2.4: Student is introduced to academic and professional publications in the field.
GOAL 3. Writing as Process
Objective 3.1: Student reflects on his or her arguments over multiple stages of development.
Objective 3.2: Using traditional resources and emerging technologies, the student references and formats primary and secondary sources in MLA style.
GOAL 4. Engagement
Objective 4.1: Student is aware of a cultural context for his or her own values and those of his or her sources.
Students are required to do the following:
Thursday, June 30th, 12:20–2:20 PM. Students may pre-enter the Block Quote in their Blue Book. They may already have an outline with bullet points on the inside Blue Book covers. The Blue Book is open-book (you may have your Martina Gardner text with you). The Works Cited may also be pre-entered in the Blue Book. There is NO introductory paragraph, but otherwise everything is the same including proper MLA in-body citing.
Each of the three essays is one third of the total semester grade. The semester grade will be the average of the three writing assignments.
Proper Submission of Student Writing
Late Penalties and Illness
An assignment is late if submitted after the class period it is due and penalized 10 points. If late by two class periods, the essay is penalized 20 points. No late work may be submitted after the last official class period, Dec. 3rd. A class period is officially over when the instructor dismisses it.All late work must be submitted IN PERSON.
If students are too ill to submit their work personally, they should submit it when they return to class. They may avoid penalty for late submission by obtaining documentation from a relevant professional in a timely fashion (e.g., a doctor or the Dean of Students’ office). Absence for the sake of others requires similar documentation.
Roll is taken right away as soon as class begins. The instructor is not obliged to count people present who arrive late. A student with three unexcused absences receives a warning from the instructor. As of the fourth unexcused absence, the instructor reserves the right to notify the Dean of Students and to initiate removal of the student from the course. Students who anticipate being late or absent on a given day (or days) should work out an individual plan with the instructor for due dates and keeping up.
ENGLISH DEPARTMENT POLICY: Plagiarism is the use of someone else’s thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")—whether you use that material in a quotation, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.
Plagiarism and Proper Documentation
Any use of a source’s words as your own is plagiarism, even if most of the essay is original. It does not matter if you provide partial documentation (for instance, mention of the source in your Works Cited). Lack of proper acknowledgement and citing of sources—whether in the body of the essay or the Works Cited—can result in a failing grade and/or the charge of plagiarism and may require being reported to the university.
Remember: Any use of a source requires in-body attribution—e.g., “according to [name of author(s)] in his or her article [title of article] for the journal [name of journal]—and then a page number in parentheses when you’re finished explaining a given point. Each time you finish making a point from the source you need to provide a parenthetical page at the end of the point’s final sentence. You need in-body attribution and a parenthetical page number even if you’re not directly quoting.
Any verbatim use of a source must be distinguished clearly from the student’s own language: i.e., set off on the left by an extra 10 spaces (i.e., Block Quotes) or enclosed by quotation marks (for shorter passages), immediately followed by the parenthetical reference.
Disabilities Act: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, 397-4140.
Safe Zone: The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being – regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor’s expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.
Writing Tutors: I encourage you to begin drafting papers as early as possible and to take advantage of the MSU Writing Labs located in 224 Bea Wood and RC246 Moffett Library. Writing tutors will not edit your papers for you, but they will provide you with specific suggestions for improving your writing.
Writing Proficiency Exam after 60 earned credits: All students seeking a Bachelor’s degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they have 1) passed English 1113 and English 1123 and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you have earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit-hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at http://academics.mwsu.edu/wpr, or call 397-4131.