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The Writing Section of Connections.

Syllabus

Thursday, August 29th

First day: introduction to the course, academic honesty exercise.

Tuesday, September 3rd

Assignment
Write down the best story you know about making something that didn't quite work as you intended. I imagine most people have such a story, but if you really cannot think of one about yourself, write a story that happened to someone else or even a fictional one. The story will become the material for a writing exercise; it will not be graded, and your goal should be to make it as enjoyable as possible for yourself and your readers. It should be more than a page long (double spaced) but no more than two and a half.

In Class
We will use your stories as the basis for our first writing exercise.

Thursday, September 5th

Reading
Perrault, Charles. "Blue Beard" and "Cinderella" (1697, http://www.math.grinnell.edu/~simpsone/Ft/).

Assignment
Group I Response: Most of you probably knew these stories as children, and most of you probably have not read them recently. (If that description does not match your experience, adjust your response accordingly.) Discuss what you see in fairy tales as grizzled young adults that you do not expect to find in fairy tales. What details jump out at you? How can you make sense of these two stories fitting in the same genre of the "fairy tale"?

Tuesday, September 10th

Reading
Reiner, Rob. The Princess Bride (1987).

Assignment
Group II Response: Why is The Princess Bride such a popular film? Do not simply say "It's entertaining" or "It has wide appeal"; as many films share those characteristics. What is it about this film that makes it especially appealing to adults? What is it about this film that makes us so unwilling to look further in to how it works and what it plays on in us?

Thursday, September 12th

Reading
In the writing section of Connections (http://www.math.grinnell.edu/~simpsone/Connections/), read the "Thesis" subsection, including my own materials and the pages linked under "Other Resources."

Assignment
Mini-Response for everyone: on the discussion board, post a) a point from the thesis materials (by any of the six writers) you find especially helpful or interesting and b) a question you have or a point you would like to be clarified. We will be working on thesis development in class.

Tuesday, September 17th

Reading
Angela Carter, "The Bloody Chamber"

Assignment
Group III Response: Discuss one or more ways that Carter uses and alters the conventions of fairy tales in order to help her story feel familiar but disconcertingly new simultaneously.

Thursday, September 19th

Reading
Angela Carter, "The Courtship of Mr. Lyon" and "The Tiger's Bride" In the writing section of Connections (http://www.math.grinnell.edu/~simpsone/Connections/), read the "Quotation" subsection. You are not responsible for the "Other Resources" section, but you should look at the links to see them in case you need them in the future.

Assignment
Group I Response: Pick a few passages that give you a specific point of comparison between the two stories and move towards a broader comment on how they work together. We will also do a quotation exercise in class.

Tuesday, September 24th

Workshop: papers from ___________ and ____________, with respondents ___________ and _____________.

Thursday, September 26th

Reading
No reading assignment. Work on those papers! Draft, revise, rethink, rewrite!

In Class
We will work through the beginning of Frankenstein (the novel) together, and I will hand out introductory materials on Shelley and her book.

PAPER #1 Due Friday, September 27th

Tuesday, October 1st

Reading
Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein, Volume I.

Assignment
Group II Response: Discuss a theme or set of metaphors you see developing in this first part of the novel that you would like us to trace as the novel progresses. Be as specific as possible.

Thursday, October 3rd

Reading
Shelley, Frankenstein, Volume II.

Assignment
Group III Response: Using Group II's responses and the class discussion on Tuesday, continue the conversation by discussing how Volume II shifts the ground that Shelley established in Volume I.

In Class
In addition to our discussion of the novel, I will give out an information-gathering assignment that we will go over on Tuesday.

Tuesday, October 8th

Reading
Shelley, Frankenstein, Volume III.

Assignment
Group I Response: Pick up any of the threads we have left dangling in the past week.

In Class
In addition to our discussion of the novel, we will go over the information-gathering assignment from Tuesday.

Thursday, October 10th

Library visit

Tuesday, October 15th

Workshop: papers from ___________ and ____________, with respondents ___________ and _____________.

Thursday, October 17th

Workshop: papers from ___________ and ____________, with respondents ___________ and _____________.

PAPER #2 Due Friday, October 18th

No Classes Oct 21-25

Tuesday, October 29th

Reading
Happy fall break: no reading for Tuesday.

In Class
We will work on writing using excerpts from your papers.

Thursday, October 31st

Reading
Peake, Richard Brinsley. Presumption; Or, the Fate of Frankentein (1823, http://www.rc.umd.edu/editions/contemps/peake/).

Assignment
Group II Response: Discuss Presumption as not only an adaptation of Shelley's novel but as an interpretation of Frankenstein; that is, what argument does Peake develop about the themes of Shelley's novel that Shelley herself did not?

Tuesday, November 5th

Reading
None.

Assignment
Group III Response: Using any resources you want to draw on (or none at all, if you like), write a response on the question, "How is reading a film different from reading a book?"

Thursday, November 7th

Reading Whale, James. Frankenstein (1931).
The Motion Picture Production Code of 1930, also known as the Hays Code (http://www.artsreformation.com/a001/hays-code.html)

Assignment
Group I Response: Discuss Whale's film in relation to the Hays Code not only as the code closes off possibilities for the film but also as it helps shape a new kind of Frankenstein story.

Tuesday, November 12th

Reading
Whale, Bride of Frankenstein (1935).

Assignment
Group II Response: As an early incarnation of the cinematic sequels we now know so well, Bride of Frankenstein necessarily works with the audience's expectations from Whale's Frankenstein as well as Shelley's novel and other adaptations. Discuss one or more ways in which Whale uses or plays with his earlier film in this one.

Thursday, November 14th

Workshop: papers from ___________ and ____________, with respondents ___________ and _____________.

PAPER #3 Due Friday, November 15th

Tuesday, November 19th

Reading
Brooks, Mel. Young Frankenstein (1974).

Assignment
Group III Response: open response. That is, using the general guidelines for responses, take this one big chance to write on whatever aspect of the film you choose.

Thursday, November 21st

Reading
Sharman, Jim. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975).

Assignment
Group I Response: open response.

Tuesday, November 26th

Reading
Scott, Ridley. Blade Runner (1982 release; we'll watch the director's cut).

Assignment
Group II Response: open response.

Thanksgiving: No class November 28th

Tuesday, December 3rd

Workshop: papers from ___________ and ____________, with respondents ___________ and _____________.

Thursday, December 5th

Workshop: papers from ___________ and ____________, with respondents ___________ and _____________.

Tuesday, December 10th

Portfolio presentations

Thursday, December 12th

Last day: wrapping up, last questions about the portfolio.

PORTFOLIO DUE WEDNESDAY,
DECEMBER 18, 5:00 PM