EN 410: The Children's Literary Tradition

TR 12:00-1:20


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Instructor: Dr. Amie A. Doughty

Office: 301 KJS Library

Office Hours: MWF 11:00-11:50, TR 10:00-11:00, and by appointment

Phone: 635-2378

E-mail: adoughty@lssu.edu

Web Address: http://www.lssu.edu/faculty/adoughty

Required Texts:*

Lang Orange Fairy Book (1906)

Grahame Wind in the Willows (1908)

Lewis The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950)

Norton The Borrowers (1952)

Tolkien Fellowship of the Ring (1954)

Jansson Comet in Moominland (1961)

Juster The Phantom Tollbooth (1961)

LeGuin A Wizard of Earthsea (1968)

Cooper The Dark Is Rising (1973)

Duane So You Want to Be a Wizard (1983)

L’Engle Many Waters (1986)

Colfer Artemis Fowl (2001)

*For all texts, you may use any unabridged edition. The texts are listed in the order in which we will read them.

Course Description and Goals:

English 410 surveys the history of children’s literature and its relationship to the development of cultural and societal conceptions of childhood. Emphasis is on critical reading and in-depth analysis of the various forms of this literary tradition. Prerequisite: EN 231-232 or EN 233-234, or permission of instructor.

This class is first and foremost a literature course. We will do significant amounts of reading and analysis throughout the term. Along the way, we will discuss the way that the texts change from one generation to the next. The focus of the course this term is the history of Fantasy Fiction in Children’s Literature. We will examine it from its roots in folk literature to its modern forms. In addition to the assigned readings for class, you will be required to read additional texts from a different literary genre and to complete a presentation about picture books.

Class Policies:

Attendance: This class is a discussion class, and you are expected to participate in all of the discussions. Missing class will mean that you miss an important aspect of the course—the analyses we make of the texts and also the presentations your classmates make about their specific topics. If you must miss a class, it is your responsibility to make up your work by talking to other class members or by making an appointment to see me outside of class.

Class Discussions: I firmly believe that the best learning comes from student-generated class discussions. Therefore, I expect you to come to class having read the materials and prepared to discuss them. If I call on you, I expect you to have something to say about the readings we're doing, even if it's a question about what was going on or your objections to what we've been saying about the text. It is OK to disagree with me and with your classmates, as long as you express your disagreement in a courteous manner. Because this class is so small, it is important that everyone has something to say, so leave your discussion inhibitions at the door.

Assignments: All assignments need to be completed in MLA format and should be typed. If you're not sure what MLA format is, look it up in a handbook, go to the Writing Lab, or see me. See the separate Assignments sheet for specific details about the required work.

Grammar and Mechanics: All of you are competent, experienced writers. As such, I expect your papers to have correct grammar and mechanics and to be proofread. Significant errors, especially proofreading errors, will lower your paper grade. For papers of 5 pages or fewer, for every 5 different grammar and mechanical errors (including MLA formatting errors), you will lose 1 letter grade. For papers longer than 5 pages, the number of different errors at which a paper grade is lowered by a letter equals the number of pages in the paper (thus a 12 page paper will lose a letter grade if it has 12 different errors). There is no limit to the number of letter grades you can lose (past students have lost as much as 30 points due to sloppy work), so take the time to edit and proofread your work.

Late Work: I will accept work no more than one week late. All late work will lose 10%. If you know that you won’t be able to get work in on time, see me before the due date, and we may be able to make arrangements for an extension.

Plagiarism: Plagiarism is the passing off of another's work (whether quoted, paraphrased or summarized) as your own without proper documentation and can result in serious repercussions, including expulsion from the university. Do your own work.

Students Accommodations and Support Services: In compliance with Lake Superior State University policy and equal access laws, disability-related accommodations or services are available. Students who desire such services are to meet with the professor in a timely manner, preferably the first week of classes, to discuss their disability-related needs. Students will not receive services until they register with the Resource Center for Students with Disabilities (RCSD). Proper registration will enable the RCSD to verify the disability and determine reasonable academic accommodations. RCSD is located in the Library 101. The telephone number is (906) 635-2454.