ACLAnet Menu

Back to ACLAnet Syllabi & Documents

William Moebius
Comparative Literature
University of Massachusetts at Amherst

MYTH, FOLKTALE, CHILDREN'S LITERATURE
COMPARATIVE LITERATURE

SPRING, 1993

 

REQUIRED TEXTS (available at Textbook Annex)

REQUIRED TEXTS (not available at Textbook Annex: excerpts provided by instructor)

Useful for background ("recommended" at Textbook Annex)

Children's books (other than Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Prisoners of the Sun) may be borrowed from the Jones Library (Town Library, on Amity Street) or purchased at the Jeffrey Amherst Bookshop on North Pleasant Street in Amherst. Certain picturebooks featured in the first part of the course (Where the Wild Things Are, Curious George, The Story about Ping) will be read in class and need not be purchased or borrowed.

LECTURE SCHEDULE, SPRING, 1993

Jan. 27 Introduction: scope, aims, methods

Feb. 1 Four axes of transformation

Feb. 3 Reading picture books: presented world

Feb. 8 Reading picture books: presentational process

Feb. 10 Reading text: the child reader

Feb. 15 HOLIDAY

Feb. 17 Richness of text: story as instructions

Feb. 22 All-powerful? child in tale and story

Feb. 24 Quest for food: object and obstacle

Mar. 1 Quest for food: from appetite to identity

Mar. 3 Animals and plants as food factories

FIRST PAPER DUE Wednesday, March 3.

Mar. 8 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Mar. 10 Animal helpers as parts of the self

Mar. 13-Mar. 21: Spring break

Mar. 22 Siblings as vice-existers

Mar. 24 Parents as donors and challengers

Mar. 29 Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Mar. 30 MID-TERM EXAMINATION

Mar. 31 Taxonomy by twos I: raw and cooked

Apr. 5 Taxonomy by twos II: perspective

Apr. 7 Animal talk, human hearing

Apr. 12 Lost on the sound track: meanings... but values?

Apr. 14 Multicultural perspectives: whose values? Hergé's Prisoner's of the Sun

Apr. 19 HOLIDAY

Apr. 21 Unmentionable, not to be silenced: image and song

Apr. 22 Child as master or servant:- roles, rules and power

Apr. 26 Competing sisters: roles, rules and power

Apr. 28 Coming to terms with mothers and fathers: voices

SECOND PAPER DUE, Wednesday, April 28.

May 3 Contracts: personal and sexual freedom I

May 5 Contracts: personal and sexual freedom II

May 10 To be announced

May 12 To be announced

INSTRUCTORS

SUMMARY OF COURSE REQUIREMENTS

*If you do not receive a passing grade on an assigned paper, you may rewrite and resubmit the paper within one week after the original paper has been returned to you with a grade. If you do not receive a passing grade on an examination, you may, with the instructor's permission, make up the examination by taking a second examination and writing an additional paper.

TIPS

Notice that you may choose which of the recommended children's stories you read each week of the semester. Exercise that choice! The more widely you read, the better informed will your choice of children's books be, come the time when you must write a critical paper.

Avoid the rush. The Jones Library cannot meet borrowers' demands for certain books a week before papers are due.

Try the Forbes Library in Northampton, the Munson Library in South Amherst, the North Amherst Library and, as a last resort, the University Library, for children's books you cannot find at the Jones.

ASSIGNED READINGS

I. INTRODUCTION TO THE READING OF CHILDREN'S LITERATURE

Jan. 27: Introduction: scope, aims, methods

Feb. 1: Four axes of transformation: "The Adventures of Mrile" (hand-out); Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are

Feb. 3: Reading picture books: presented world: Rey, Curious George

Feb. 8: Reading picture books: - presentational process: Molly Bang, Yellow Ball; Flack and Wiese, The Story About Ping; Waber, Ira Sleeps Over

Feb. 10: Reading the text: the child reader: Michael Ende, The Neverending Story (excerpts provided at previous discussion)

Feb. 17: Richness of text: story as instructions: Required: de Jong, Along Came a Dog (excerpts provided at Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting discussion on 9/26-27)

II. MODES OF SELF-SUFFICIENCY AND DEPENDENCY: CHARACTER IN ACTION

Feb. 22: All-powerful? child in tale and story

Feb. 24: Quest for food: object and obstacle

Mar. 1: Quest for food: from appetite to identity

FIRST PAPER DUE Wednesday, March 3, 1993

Mar. 3: Animals and plants as food factories

 

Mar. 8: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Mar. 10: Animal helpers as part of the self

Mar. 10: Animal helpers as part of the self (continued)

Mar. 22: Siblings as vice-existers

Mar. 24: Parents as donors and challengers

III. THE ORDER OF THINGS: REPRESENTATIONS OF WORLD AND HUMAN VALUES

A. LANGUAGE AND LOGIC

Mar. 29: Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Mar. 30: MID-TERM EXAMINATION

Mar. 31: Taxonomy by twos I: raw and cooked

April 5: Taxonomy by twos II: the shaping of perspective

April 7: Animal talk, human hearing

Apr. 12: Lost on the sound track: words, meanings...but values?

Apr. 14: Cultural conventions: whose values?

Apr. 21: Unmentionable, not to be silenced: image and song

B. ROLES, RULES and POWER

Apr. 22: Child as master or servant

Apr. 26: Competing sisters

SECOND PAPER DUE WEDNESDAY, April 28, 1993

Apr. 28: Coming to terms with mothers and fathers: voices

IV. CONTRACTS AND GIFTS: COMING OF AGE

May 3 and 5: Contracts: personal and sexual freedom

May 10 and 12: To be announced

FINAL EXAMINATION: DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED

Additional Resources

A limited supply of the books listed below may be available at the Textbook Annex.

Recommended Theory and Criticism

(*) On reserve

Back to ACLAnet Syllabi & Documents

Home button
Home


About ACLAnet - Syllabi & Documents - Syllabus Related Materials - Pedagogical Theory and Practice
Participant List/Profiles - Additional Resources - Suggest New Links - Submit Material - Search ACLAnet