Course Requirements

Course Requirements:

For four credits:

Discussion questions; Secondary/Theoretical Source Assignment; assignment on children’s humor and the body; post on final paper/project: 40 %

Final Paper or material for first exam (for first year English doctoral students): 60%

For two credits:

Discussion questions; Secondary/ Theoretical Source Assignment; assignment on children’s humor and the body: 100%

Break-down of blog assignments (the first three for everyone)

  •  Blog Assignment #1:  Discussion questions:    Every participant in the seminar will be responsible for generating three or four discussion questions for 2 class sessions (i.e. you will post these questions twice during the semester, not every week).  Note that this blog assignment asks you to produce questions, not discursive posts. Your questions can address the primary source, the secondary sources, or a combination of the primary and secondary sources.  Let your curiosity guide you here—and try to pose questions that will spark the most open-ended, engaged discussion.


  • Blog Assignment #2:  Secondary/Theoretical Source Assignment:  Each participant in the seminar will find ONE helpful secondary or theoretical source for ONE of the primary texts during the semester.  Then, you will make this source available to the entire group (in the class dropbox) AT LEAST ONE WEEK before the relevant class session–and post a brief explanation on the class blog about your choice.  Here, the sky is the limit.  Consider some interdisciplinary forays into new disciplines and methodologies—everything from dis/ability studies to psychology and sociology and medicine.  Your source doesn’t have to address the primary source for that week, although it can.  You will speak about your choice of secondary text for 5 minutes (but not longer than 5 minutes) during the relevant class session.


  • Blog Assignment #3: Assignment on Children’s Humor and the Body:  After reading the Roderick McGillis article on children’s humor and the body, choose a primary source that responds to some of the literary and theoretical issues he discusses (it is ok to use a text he mentions himself).  Write a brief blog post (about 1 page) about this text, and be prepared to talk for 5 minutes in class about your chosen primary texts in reference to McGillis’s article.  To make this session work well, we should plan to coordinate in advance so that everyone covers a different text.


  • Blog Assignment #4: Post on final paper and responses to each other’s post, if writing a final paper:  About a week before you submit your materials for workshop–or before–you should write a 1-2 page post about your final paper and the research you are completing.  I would like everyone to comment on these posts.