PLACE/DAY/TIME: SH 348—R: 4:00-6:45
INSTRUCTOR: Professor Mary Warner
OFFICE/PHONE: FO 116 (924-4509)
OFFICE HOURS.: T/R: 10-12:00; Fridays by appointment
WEB PAGE: http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/mary.warner/
PREREQUISITES: As this is an upper division course, it is expected you have already taken general education requirements, such as English 1A/1B, and that you have already developed upper division study skills as well as high standards for your written work. In English department courses, your instructors comment not only on the content of your written work, but also on the quality of work being displayed. All student writing should contain clear focus, correct grammar and punctuation, appropriate diction and syntax, and well-organized paragraphs. (See the English Department Paper Evaluation Guide later in the syllabus)
COURSE DESCRIPTION/OBJECTIVES: English 112B is an upper division English literature course designed to introduce adult readers to young adult literature, a genre most commonly written for adolescents between the ages of 13-18. Keep in mind that although the main characters of our novels are children/adolescents, the authors of these books still structure their works with complex literary devices and themes found in adult literature. Young adult literature has been erroneously classified as simple-minded, didactic, and inferior to writing for adults. Traditionally, literature has served not only to entertain but as a conduit for social commentary. This is no different with the genre of YA literature; although we tend to regard this type of writing as “unimportant” because we mistakenly think it exists solely to entertain. Social issues such as death, religion, politics, race, economics, and sexuality are just a few of the common themes this genre of literature tackles. People who disregard YA literature as “inconsequential” are ignorant of the profoundly important role this genre plays in offering commentary on the norms and social mores for adolescents. We might find it helpful to keep in mind that Nicole St. John refers to teenagers as “inexperienced adults,” who can find in literature a safe haven to accrue much worldly experience. In this course, we will examine YA literature in the same manner in which we examine adult literature: we will expand our abilities to think critically, trace relevant themes, and offer analytical assessment of the novels.
Class sessions will involve some lecture, but will primarily be interactive with discussion, in-class writing, Book Talks, and other presentations. You may find it particularly helpful, especially if you are taking the course to fulfill the requirement for middle and/or secondary education, to have a 3 Ring Binder, in which you can assemble resources, handouts and materials related to YA literature. This course is not a methodology course, but I have attempted to tailor assignments with options to address the different majors represented in the class. An overall goal is to become immersed in the vast selection of YA literature, the more reading you can do and share with your classmates, the richer your experience will be.
1. Thorough and conscientious reading of the text, all assigned novels, and a novel of your choice for Book Talks, as well as readings for your unit plan or annotated bibliography project.
2. A 3-page literary analysis paper for each of the required novels; each paper earns 10% of your course grade for a total of 50%; the following are the Due Dates for the papers. Anyone doing a Book Talk presentation the same week as one of these assigned papers is eligible for a week’s extension.
I do NOT accept late papers. IF for some reason you need an exception, you must contact me IN ADVANCE of the due date, but the paper may still be accessed as late and the grade lowered.
3. Book Talk Presentation—You will read a novel of your choice—everyone in the class will read a different novel, giving us an introduction to about 40 books. You will need to submit your choice to me via email before Feb. 10 class period so I can make sure there are no duplicate selections. Beginning Feb. 17, we will have 5 Book Talks at each class meeting until everyone in the class has presented. There will be a sign-up for the presentation dates during the Feb. 3 class session. Book Talk presentations will include
4. Unit Plan (for those who are English Credential/Middle Grades majors) or Author and Critical Annotated Bibliography for non-education majors a. A hard copy of unit paper or the annotated bibliography author and critical material b. Group planning session (Literature Circle model) in-class on April 28 c. Group Presentations during May 5 and May12 class sessions—include handouts for your peers A more complete description of the project will be provided early in the course. The Unit Plan or Annotated Bibliography project earns 20% of your course grade 5. Quizzes, In-Class Writings, Final Exam, and overall participation earn 15% of the course grade; The Final Exam will be a comprehensive essay exam covering all readings, presentations, lectures, etc. It will be open-notes, open notebook and is meant to be an integrative response to the work of the semester.
GRADES: The above requirements equal 100%; I assign numerical values to each assignment according to the following range
The Department of English reaffirms its commitment to the differential grading scale as defined in the official SJSU Catalog (“The Grading System”). Grades issued must represent a full range of student performance: A=excellent; B=above average; C=average; D=below average; F=failure
ATTENDANCE/PARTICIPATION: When a class meets only once a week, we cover an incredible amount of material, which simply can’t be made up. I also believe in student-directed learning that suggests you want to be present at every class to get all you can from the course. Any absence will affect your overall grade in the course since writing activities, discussion and other participative activities cannot be made up.
ACADEMIC INTEGRITY POLICY: The University emphasizes responsible citizenship and an understanding of ethical choices inherent in human development. Academic honesty and fairness foster ethical standards for all those who depend upon the integrity of the university, its courses, and its degrees. This policy sets standards for such integrity. The public is defrauded if faculty and/or students knowingly or unwittingly allow dishonest acts to be rewarded academically and the university’s degrees are compromised.
PLAGIARISM: At SJSU plagiarism is the act of representing the work of another as one’s own without giving appropriate credit, regardless of how that work was obtained, and/or submitting it to full academic requirements. Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to
DISABILITY RESOURCES: If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, if you have emergency medical information to share with me, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment to see me as soon as possible.
Th., Jan. 27: Introduction to the course, the syllabus, the instructor, each other; YA
literature inventory; writing activity with “Wordstruck” by Eudora Welty;
YA literature resources; highlights of Ch. 1: “Young Adults and their
Th., Feb. 3: Writing activity connected to After the First Death; Discussion of the
novel, specifically related to the characteristics of YA lit. and analysis; Guidelines for Literary Analysis papers; Cont. Ch. 1 and key ideas from Ch. 2: “History of YA Literature”
Th., Feb. 10: Presentation of “A Curriculum of Difference”—sample unit plan ideas; Sign-up for Book Talk presentations and Unit Group Presentations; Model for Book Talk presentations; Discussion of Ch. 3: “Pop Culture, YA Lit, Big Business, and Archetypal Images”
Th., Feb. 17: Writing activity connected to Whale Talk; Discussion of Whale Talk;
Work with Ch. 4: Contemporary Realistic Fiction”; 5 Book Talk
Th., Feb. 24: Finish work on Whale Talk; 5 Book Talk Presentations;
Th., Mar. 3: Library Presentation on YA research/reference materials; MEET in King Library, Rm. 217; 5 Book Talk presentations;
Th., Mar. 10: Discussion of Ch. 6: “Adventure, Sports, Mysteries, and the
Supernatural”; Writing activity and begin discussion of The Prisoner of Azkaban; 5 Book Talk Presentations;
Th., Mar. 17: Discussion of material from LfTYA; Ch. 7:”Fantasy, Science Fiction,
Utopias, and Dystopias; 5 Book Talk Presentations;
Work with Ch. 8: “History and History Makers: Of People and Places
Th., Mar. 24: Readers’ Theater and discussion of Witness; 5 Book Talk Presentations;
Th., April 7: Ch. 9: “Nonfiction: Information, Literary Nonfiction, Biographies, and Self-Help Books; Writing activity and discussion of Krik? Krak! ; Any remaining Book Talk presentations
Th., April 14: Poetry for Young Adults and Discussion of Ch. 5:”Poetry, Drama, and Humor”; Catch-Up from earlier novels and topics;
Th., April 21: Discussion of Ch. 10 on evaluating YA lit. and creating a canon of YA lit., Possible video presentation of a YA novel
Th., April 28: Video of a Children’s Fantasy
T., May 3: Video of a Children’s Fantasy
T., May 10: Presentations of Folk Tale/Fairy Tale/Fantasy Projects
T., May 17: Finish any remaining presentations; Review for the Final
Monday, May 23: Final Exam 12:15-2:30