Ancrene Wiseass

A would-be medievalist holds forth on academia, teaching, gender politics, blogging, pop culture, critters, and whatever else comes her way.

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Yes, this really is yet another blog by a disillusioned grad student. I sympathize, but that's just the way it has to be. For hints as to what my bizarre alias means, click here and here and, if needed, here and here. To get a sense of what I'm up to, feel free to check out the sections called "Toward a Wiseass Creed" and "Showings: Some Introductory Wiseassery" in my main blog's left-hand sidebar. Please be aware that spamming, harassing, or otherwise obnoxious comments will be deleted and traced.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Help me develop this course, and I'll send you a present!

My latest professional obsession-by-necessity is the syllabus for the composition/intro. to literature course I'm teaching next term because the library gig fell through and which I have to develop pronto since the book orders are due, like, yesterday already.

I'm planning to use folk tales (including fairy tales and myths) to introduce students to major genres and issues in literary studies. I taught a similar course before, but for reasons which include not only my own tendency toward ambitious projects and perfectionism, but also a sense of what did and didn't work last time, I'm ripping the old syllabus to shreds.

I'm having a hard time finding the types of material I want in order to adequately develop the scope and diversity of the class. For example, it's incredibly easy to find many lovely feminist revisions of fairy tales, but following that lead skews the class material in the direction of white women working in a single genre, and I want to avoid that.

If you suggest a text or film that I end up using in the course or if you offer me a good lead, I will happily send you a nice little prize of some sort. Given that I'm a grad student, it won't be very grand, but I have pretty decent gift-giving abilities, so I promise it'll be something appealing.

I'm especially interested in suggestions of movies (especially if you can point me in the direction of a good critical review or article on that film), short stories, shorter poetry, novellas, and shorter novels (max. 250 pages). And I'm hunting for a diversity of perspectives, ethnic, gendered, geographical, temporal, and otherwise.

In case it's helpful, stuff I'm strongly considering so far includes:
Angela Carter, "The Bloody Chamber"
Shakespeare, "Midsummer Night's Dream"
Jorge Luis Borges "The House of Asterion"
Nalo Hopkinson, "Greedy Choke Puppy" or "Tan-Tan and Dry Bone"
Sandra Cisneros, "Woman Hollering Creek"
A handful of traditional ballads
John Keats, "La Belle Dame Sans Merci"
Marie de France, "Lanval" and/or "Bisclavret"
Anne Sexton, "Snow White"
Judith Wright, "The Beanstalk, Meditated Later"
C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces
Fran Ross, Oreo
Bernard Malamud, "The Magic Barrel"
Adrienne Rich, "The Knight"
Thomas Hardy, "Ah, Are You Digging on My Grave?"
Paul Muldoon, "The Lass of Aughrim"
Ursula K. Le Guin, "The Wife's Story"
A.S. Byatt, "The Thing in the Woods"
Osamu Dazai, Blue Bamboo