ENG 251: Film and Literature, Fall 2017
Section N2: Thursday, 2:30
–5:15 pm, E-311
CRN 10916

 

Brian T. Murphy

Bradley Hall, Y-16
516-572-7718

e-mail: brian.murphy@ncc.edu

Schedule and Office Hours
 

 

 
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
 

Description

Objectives

Texts

Policies 

Assignments

 Grading 

Schedule

Links

Important Announcements and Updates: Click HERE
 

Print-friendly (MS Word) course outline here.
Other printable documents:
Model for Evaluation of Student Writing
Revision and Editing Checklist
Essay Outline

“Everyone who sees films based on novels feels able to comment, at levels ranging from the gossipy to the erudite, on the nature and success of the adaptation involved. That is, the interest in adaptation [...] ranges backwards and forwards from those who talk of novels as being ’betrayed’ by boorish film-makers to those who regard the practice of comparing film and novel a waste of time.

—Brian McFarlane, Novel to Film
 

“Dystopian fiction enables readers to taste a darker timeline, albeit one that a protagonist invariably triumphs over. The world could be a lot worse, you think while reading. But the thrill goes beyond the vicarious. A dystopian worldview, whether derived from fiction or real-world events, can have therapeutic value—no matter which side of the aisle your politics belong on.

—Charley Locke, “The Real Reason Dystopian Fiction Is Roaring Back
 

 

DESCRIPTION:
This course compares different techniques and effects of literature and film. Students explore genre, form, structure, symbolism, myth, and convention in both media. Writing is an integral component of the course.

Prerequisites: ENG 102 or ENG 109.

This course explores the complex interplay between film and literature. Selected literary works are analyzed in relation to film versions of the same works in order to gain an understanding of the possibilities—and problems—involved in the transposition to film. As this is a course in literature and film analysis, students do not need to have taken other film courses before taking this course. However, it is assumed that students have successfully completed the prerequisites for this course, ENG 101 and ENG 102 (or their equivalent).  Therefore, students are expected to have the necessary background and experience in analyzing, discussing, and responding to literature, as well as the ability to conduct independent research and to write correctly documented research essays  using MLA format. Students are cautioned that this course requires extensive reading and writing in addition to viewing films and taking part in class discussions. Students not prepared to read (up to 150 pages/week), to write on a regular basis, and to take an active part in class discussions should not consider taking this course.

 

 

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OBJECTIVES:

Course Goals

Learning Outcomes

Writing Literacy: to produce precise, clear,   grammatically-correct, well-developed, and well-organized writing appropriate   to academic, social, and occupational fields

Produce coherent texts within common college level forms

Revise and improve such texts

Critical Thinking: to develop critical thinking skills

Identify, analyze, and evaluate arguments
  as they occur in their own and others’ work

Develop well-reasoned arguments

Informational Literacy: to develop skills to locate, evaluate,   and incorporate relevant source materials into the construction and   expression of an informed point of view

Access and utilize basic computer and   internet functions, demonstrating appropriate and effective utilization of   programs and functions

Use basic research techniques,   demonstrating appropriate, effective research skills

Locate, evaluate, organize, and   synthesize information from a variety of sources, demonstrating the ability   to implement an effective search strategy to obtain reliable information

Apply ethical and legal standards for use   of source information, demonstrating the application of accepted ethical and   legal restrictions on the use of published works

Cultural Literacy: to develop exposure to literary texts   that reflect the diversity of the human experience in a variety of historical   and cultural frameworks

Demonstrate understanding of the various   influences that shape perspectives, values, and identities

Demonstrate understanding of social   divisions such as gender, ability, ethnicity, and racial formations in a   pluralistic nation and world

Recognize the roles and responsibilities   of citizens in a diverse world

Aesthetic Literacy: to understand the role of literary art   as a craft that allows for the expression, enhancement, and questioning of the human experience

Identify creative techniques/craft   elements that shape aesthetic responses/meanings and be able to communicate   that information by using appropriate vocabulary

Interpret creative work through a variety of lenses such as knowledge of the creator’s work, the tradition the creator   is working within, the culture and history the work is embedded in, and the creator’s aims and intentions

Students will

ball2.gif (137 bytes)  Enhance their ability to understand, appreciate, and discuss works of literature through extensive reading and discussion of short stories, novels and plays.

ball.gif (137 bytes)  Analyze works of fiction and drama for plot structure, setting, characterization, theme, and narrative point of view.

ball.gif (137 bytes)  Develop an understanding of critical analysis of film through careful examination of cinematic adaptations of literary texts, focusing on character development, dramatic structure, and performance.

ball.gif (137 bytes)  Learn and utilize the terminology of film analysis, both those terms shared with literary discussion (character, plot, theme, setting) and those specific to cinema (lighting, montage, special effects, etc.).

ball.gif (137 bytes)  Demonstrate an understanding of the possibilities and problems involved in the transposition of literature to film, applying terminology and critical skills acquired during the semester to analyze a cinematic adaptation of a text not discussed in class.

 

 

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TEXTS:
(see also Additional Textbook Options, below)

The choice of  texts and  films cannot in any sense be considered an exhaustive or even seriously representative one. Instead, the aim has been to select sufficiently diverse literary and analytical texts to allow the study of a number of different approaches to the concept of dystopia, as well as to provide sufficient examples of cinematic adaptation, including multiple versions—or visions—of a text, and modernizations or adaptations of classic works of literature.

All of the following texts will be available at the Nassau Community College bookstore; click here to purchase your course materials from the bookstore. Alternatively, although I have ordered specific editions, these texts are all widely available in several different mass market editions; almost any edition that you find will be acceptable, so check school or public libraries and used bookstores. Prices listed at Amazon.com (below) do not include shipping, and are accurate as of posting date only; no guarantees of prices or availability are express or implied§.

Required:*

ball.gif (137 bytes)  Atwood, Margaret. The Handmaid's Tale. New York: Anchor, 1998. ISBN 978-0-385-49081-8 (Available used starting at $2.30 at Amazon.com***)
NCC College Bookstore (B&N) prices:

ball.gif (137 bytes)  Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2013. ISBN 978-1-4516-7331-9 ( Available used starting at $3.77 at Amazon.com***)
NCC College Bookstore (B&N) prices:

ball.gif (137 bytes)  Burgess, Anthony. A Clockwork Orange. New York: Norton, 1995. ISBN 978-0-393-31283-6 (Available used starting at $2.88 at Amazon.com***)
NCC College Bookstore (B&N) prices:

ball.gif (137 bytes)  Orwell, George. 1984. New York: Signet Classic, 1950, 2009. ISBN 978-0-451-52493-5 (Available used starting at $1.24 at Amazon.com***)
NCC College Bookstore (B&N) prices:

Additional  required readings may also be assigned and  will made available as photocopies or as links, including

Alderman, Naomi. “Dystopian Dreams: How Feminist Science Fiction Predicted the Future.” The Guardian 25 Mar. 2017. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/mar/25/dystopian-dreams-how-feminist-science-fiction-predicted-the-future 

Brooks, David. The Child in the Basement.” New York Times 12 Jan. 2015. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/13/opinion/david-brooks-the-child-in-the-basement.html?_r=0.

Crow, Jonathan. “Huxley to Orwell: My Hellish Vision of the Future is Better than Yours.” OpenCulture.com 27 Mar. 2015. http://www.openculture.com/2015/03/huxley-to-orwell-my-hellish-vision-of-the-future-is-better-than-yours.html

Geffen, Sasha. “Death by Paradise.” Dystopia Now! MTV News. 30 March 2017. http://www.mtv.com/news/2998368/death-by-paradise/.

Le Guin, Ursula K. “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas.” (from The Wind's Twelve Quarters: Short Stories by Ursula Le Guin.) Utilitarianism.com. 2017. https://www.utilitarianism.com/nu/omelas.pdf.

Lepore, Jill. A Golden Age for Dystopian Fiction.” The New Yorker 5, 12 June 2017.  http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/06/05/a-golden-age-for-dystopian-fiction

Locke, Charley. “The Real Reason Dystopian Fiction Is Roaring Back.” Wired.com. 22 Feb. 2017. https://www.wired.com/2017/02/dystopian-fiction-why-we-read/

Mead, Rebecca. “Margaret Atwood: The Prophet of Dystopia.” The New Yorker 17 Apr. 2017.  http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/04/17/margaret-atwood-the-prophet-of-dystopia

Phillips, Brian. “In the Temple of Gum: How Pop-Culture Dystopias Can Help Us Understand Our Current Moment.” Dystopia Now! MTV News. 27 March 2017. http://www.mtv.com/news/2996978/in-the-temple-of-gum/.

Shattuck, Kathryn. “Elisabeth Moss on Her Emmy Nomination and The Handmaid’s Tale.” (published as Speaking Up for a Show and for Principle.) New York Times 14 Aug. 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/13/arts/television/elisabeth-moss-interview-emmys-handmaids-tale.html.

And many, many, many more to come....

 

Recommended additional texts:**

Hacker, Diana and Nancy Sommers. Rules for Writers, 7 ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2012, or another current college-level handbook including 2009 MLA updates. (Available used starting at $21.35 at Amazon.com)
Note: The sixth edition of Rules for Writers with 2009 MLA Updates is also available, and quite a bit less expensive (Available used starting at $14.00 at Amazon.com).

Monaco, James. How to Read a Film: Movies, Media, and Beyond, Revised 9 ed.. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009. (Available used starting at $9.00 at Amazon.com)

A good college-level dictionary (Available used starting at $0.01 at Amazon.com).

Additional recommended readings, predominantly critical essays or background information, will be indicated on the schedule (see Outline, below) with an asterisk (*).

 

On Grammar, Writing, and Language:

Bloom, Harold. How to Read and Why. New York: Scribner, 2000. (Available starting at $1.00 at Amazon.com)***

Casagrande, June. Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies: A Guide to Language for Fun and Spite. New York: Penguin, 2006. (Available starting at $3.94 at Amazon.com)

---. Mortal Syntax: 101 Language Choices That Will Get You Clobbered by the Grammar SnobsEven If You’re Right. New York: Penguin, 2008 (Available used starting at $6.61 at Amazon.com).

Cathcart, Thomas and Daniel Klein. “Logic.” Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar...: Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes. New York: Abrams Image, 2006. 27-49. (Available used starting at $6.73 at Amazon.com)

---. Aristotle and an Aardvark Go to Washington: Understanding Political Doublespeak through Through Philosophy and Jokes. New York: Abrams Image, 2007. 27-49 (Available used starting at $10.85 at Amazon.com).

Crystal, David. Words, Words, Words. New York: Oxford U P, 2006 (Available used starting at $9.28 at Amazon.com).

Garvey, Mark. Stylized: A Slightly Obsessive History of Strunk & White’s The Elements of Style. New York: Touchstone/Simon & Schuster, 2009. (Available starting at $14.48 at Amazon.com).†

Lederer, Richard. Anguished English: An Anthology of Accidental Assaults Upon Our Language. Charleston, SC: Wyrick & Company, 1987 (Available used starting at $0.01 at Amazon.com).

---.  More Anguished English: An Expose of Embarrassing Excruciating, and Egregious Errors in English. New York: Dell, 1994 (Available used starting at $0.01 at Amazon.com).

Levitin, Daniel J. A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age. New York: Dutton/Penguin, 2016. ( Available new starting at $9.53 at Amazon - cheaper than used!)***

Postman, Neil. Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business. New York: Penguin, 1985, 2005. (Available used starting at $6.74 at Amazon.com).

Truss, Lynne. Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation. New York: Gotham Books, 2004 (Available used starting at $2.70 at Amazon.com).

 

On Film and Adaptations:

Cahir, Linda Costanzo. Literature into Film: Theory And Practical Approaches. [New York?]: McFarland, 2006.(Available used starting at $21.84 at Amazon.com) †

Corrigan, Timothy, ed. Film and Literature: An Introduction and Reader. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1999. 340-356. (Available starting at $11.00 at Amazon.com)

---. Film and Literature: An Introductioon and Reader, 2 ed. [New York?]: Routledge, 2011. (Available used starting at $32.10 at Amazon.com) †

Desmond, John M. Adaptation: Studying Film and Literature. Boston/New York: McGraw-Hill, 2005. (Available used starting at $23.00 at Amazon.com) †

Giannetti, Louis. Understanding Movies, 10 ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2005. (Available starting at $54.00 at Amazon.com)

Harrison, Stephanie. Adaptations: From Short Story to Big Screen: 35 Great Stories That Have Inspired Great Films. [New York?]: Three Rivers P, 2005. (Available used starting at $8.50 at Amazon.com)

McFarlane, Brian. Novel to Film: An Introduction to the Theory of Adaptation. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1996. (Available used starting at $9.99 at Amazon.com)

Mendelsohn, Daniel and Zoe Heller. What Are We Meant to Get Out of Movies Based on Short Stories and Novels? New York Times Sunday Book Review 29 Dec. 2013.

Monaco, James. How to Read a Film: Movies, Media, and Beyond, Revised 9 ed.. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009. (Available used starting at $9.00 at Amazon.com)

Seger, Linda. The Art of Adaptation: Turning Fact And Fiction Into Film.  [New York?]: Owl Books, 1992. (Available starting at $1.25 at Amazon.com )†

Vankin, Jonathan. Based on a True Story: Fact and Fantasy in 100 Favorite Movies. Chicago: Chicago Review P, 2005. (Available starting at $4.99at Amazon.com)†

 

On Reading, Literature, and Specific Texts:

Bloom, Harold. How to Read and Why. New York: Scribner, 2000. (Available starting at $1.00 at Amazon.com)***

Bradbury, Ray. A Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451 Stories. New York: Harper Perennial, 2010. ( Avauilable used starting at $5.99 at Amazon.com)

Denby, David. Great Books: My Adventures with Homer, Rousseau, Woolf, and Other Indestructible Writers of the Western World. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996. (Available starting at $0.29 at Amazon.com).

Dirda, Michael. Classics for Pleasure. Orlando, FL: Harcourt, 2007. (Available starting at $1.49 at Amazon.com)

Foster, Thomas C. How to Read Literature Like a Professor. [New York: Harper, 2008 ?]. (Available used starting at $3.21 at Amazon.com)†

---. How to Read Novels Like a Professor. New York: Harper, 2008. (Available used starting at $4.51 at Amazon.com)

Scheibach, Michael. Atomic Narratives and American Youth: Coming of Age with the Atom, 1945–1955. Mcfarland, 2003.†

 

 

* Note that some major reading selections for the semester are available online, as indicated by links (see Schedule, below). However, students must have a copy of the appropriate text(s) with them for each class session, whether they have purchased the textbooks,  obtained paperback versions or  library copies. or printed out hardcopy from the Internet;  no excuses about computer or printer problems will be accepted.

** Recommended additional texts are not required purchases, and have not been ordered for the course; however, they provide—depending on the course— alternative readings, historical and cultural backgrounds, criticism, personal literary responses, or entertaining (irreverent, possibly sacrilegious) revisions. Students who find themselves becoming deeply interested in one or more of the required readings may find these interesting and/or useful. When indicated with a dagger (†), texts are only provisionally recommended, as I have not read these works yet, although they have received excellent reviews or recommendations.

*** Prices listed at Amazon.com do not include shipping, and are accurate as of original posting date only; no guarantees of prices or availability are express or implied§.

 

 

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POLICIES:

Attendance:
As per the Nassau Community College attendance policy“Students are expected to attend all classes. Absences due to illness or for other serious reasons may be excused at the discretion of the instructor. Students are advised that absences in excess of 10% of the total class meetings may result being dropped from the course.”  Students must not only attend every class and lab meeting, but also arrive on time, be prepared, and take an active part in class (see Participation, below); students may be required to sign in each class session to verify their attendance. Excessive absences or latenesses will adversely affect your grade: Students may miss no more than three classes or lab meetings; further absences will result in a reduction of the final grade by one full letter grade for each additional absence. Students unable to attend class should contact the instructor regarding their absence; in addition, students are responsible for submitting all work on time regardless of absences. In addition, once students get to class, they are expected to stay in the classroom until the class is over. Leaving class early or getting up in the middle of class is considered disruptive behavior and should happen only in extreme emergencies.

Classroom Behavior:
Students are expected to be present, prepared, attentive, and active participants in the learning process. As such, any distracting or inappropriate behavior or unauthorized use of electronic devices* is strictly prohibited. Students who wish to use a laptop for note-taking may be allowed to do so at the instructors discretion, but will be required to sit in the front row and to submit a copy of their notes to the professor at the end of each class; failure to do so will result in being recorded as absent. Eating, sleeping, texting, or other inappropriate behavior may result in your being asked to leave the class and will adversely affect your final grade. According to the “Student Code of Conduct,” “The College is committed to providing an atmosphere in which students have freedom to learn and engage in the search for truth, knowledge, and reason in accordance with the standards set forth by the academic community. Conduct that adversely affects a student’s responsible membership in the academic community shall result in appropriate disciplinary action.” Appropriate disciplinary action may include but is not limited to probation, suspension, and expulsion from the college. See the Nassau Community College Classroom Management Policy and Student Code of Conduct in the college catalog.

*On cell phone use in class, see Andrew Lepp, Jacob E. Barkley, and Aryn C. Karpinski. The Relationship between Cell Phone Use and Academic Performance in a Sample of U.S. College Students.” SAGE Open 19 Feb. 2015.

Plagiarism and Cheating:
Plagiarism includes copying or paraphrasing another’s words, ideas, or facts without crediting the source; submitting a paper written by someone else, either in whole or in part, as one’s own work; or submitting work previously submitted for another course or instructor. Plagiarism, cheating, or other forms of academic dishonesty on any assignment will result in failure (a grade of zero) for that assignment and may result in further disciplinary action, including but not limited to failure for the course and expulsion from the college. See the Nassau Community College policy on Academic Dishonesty & Plagiarism.

Homework/Essay Submission:
All writing assignments must be received by the instructor on or before the due date, by the beginning of the class period, as indicated on the schedule, below. Students may also be required to submit an electronic copy of their work via TurnItIn.com; details to be announced. Essays submitted by email will not be accepted, and late work if accepted will be penalized 10% for each day it is late; see below. All at-home work must be typed (in 12-point Times New Roman), double-spaced, with one-inch margins, and stapled when submitted. In-class work must be neatly printed in blue or black ink on loose-leaf composition paper or in bluebooks provided by the instructor and double-spaced§. All essays must also include a proper heading (see Purdue Online Writing Lab’s Formatting and Style Guide), including Word Count; have an appropriate, original title; contain a clear, explicit, assertive, objectively worded thesis statement (thesis statements must be underlined); and (unless otherwise indicated) avoid use of I or you throughout. Finally, all work should be grammatically correct, free of errors in mechanics, grammar, usage, spelling, and documentation, and will be evaluated according to the Model for Evaluation of Student Writing. Please refer to the Paragraph Outline or Essay Outline and Revising and Editing Checklist for additional assistance.

§  On format, handwriting, and neatness, see Chase, Clinton I. “Essay Test Scoring: Interaction of Relevant Variables.” Journal of Educational Measurement 23.1 (1986): 33-41; and  Marshall, Jon C. and Jerry M. Powers. “Writing Neatness, Composition Errors, and Essay Grades.” Journal of Educational Measurement 6.2 (1988): 306-324.

Make-up Exams/Late Work:
All assignment deadlines and scheduled exam dates are provided at the beginning of the semester; therefore, no make-up opportunities will be offered or late work accepted, except under extraordinary circumstances with appropriate documentation, and late work will be penalized 10% for each day or portion thereof it is submitted after the due date. Note: As all work is due at the beginning of the class period, this includes work submitted after class has begun on the due date.

Excuses such as “crashed computers,” “lost flash drives,” or “empty printer ink cartridges” will not be accepted. All essays or work should be saved both on your computer’s hard drive and again on removable storage device as well as uploaded to cloud storage. (OneDrive, et cetera) Students should also keep backup copies of all work submitted.

*See also,  Mike Adams, “The Dead Grandmother/Exam Syndrome.”

Disabilities and Accommodations:
If you have a physical, psychological, medical, or learning disability that may impact on your ability to carry out the assigned coursework, I urge you to contact the staff at the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD), Building U (516 572-7241), TTY (516) 572-7617. The counselors at CSD will review your concerns and determine to what reasonable accommodations you are entitled as covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. All information and documentation pertaining to personal disabilities will be kept confidential.

Additional Assistance: Students should avail themselves of the Writing Center, located in Bradley Hall (Bldg. Y), 572-7195, and on the second floor of the Library, room L 233, 572-3595. The Writing Center offers one-on-one tutoring as well as workshops. email: wcenter@ncc.edu.

 

 

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ASSIGNMENTS:

ATTENDANCE AND PARTICIPATION (5 %):
As this class will combine both lecture and discussion, students are expected both to attend every session and to take an active part in class—joining in discussions and raising questions. Discussion is one of the best ways to clarify your understandings and to test your conclusions. Open discussion always involves personal exposure, and thus the taking of risks: your ideas may not be the same as your fellow students’ or even the instructor’s. Yet as long as your points are honest and supportable, they need to be respected by all of us in the classroom. Questions, discussion, disagreement, and laughter are all encouraged in this class. (However, ridicule or scoffing is never tolerated.)

QUIZZES (7.5 %):
With the exception of the first day, class may begin with a short (five- to ten-minute) quiz or response paper on the reading(s) for the day, at the instructor’s discretion. Quizzes cannot be made up; if you miss a quiz due to absence or lateness, that grade will be regarded as a 0. At the end of the semester, the lowest quiz grade will be dropped. Total number of quizzes during the semester determines the point value of each; that is, the more quizzes during the semester, the less each individual quiz is worth.

RESPONSE PAPERS (5 @ 10 %):
Students will complete at least five short essays during the semester, on topics to be assigned (see Response Paper Topics, below). Essays must be at least 2-3 pages long (500-750 words), typed, double-spaced, grammatically correct, and submitted on or before the due date indicated on the schedule, below. Essays will be evaluated according to the Model for Evaluation of Student Writing. Please refer to the Essay Outline and Revision and Editing Checklist.

RESEARCH PAPER (27.5 % total)
Students will also complete an argumentative (persuasive) Research Essay of at least seven to twelve pages (a minimum of 1500-2500 words), using a minimum of five to seven primary or secondary sources (secondary sources must be reliable: scholarly criticism or analysis, not summaries, reviews, or “analysis” from sites such as e-Notes, SparkNotes, Wikipedia*, 123HelpMe, or Gradesaver.com), correctly documented utilizing MLA format (see also Documenting Films in MLA Style), with a cover page and Works Cited page (cover page and Works Cited do not count toward the seven-page requirement). Topics should be selected from a list of suggestions provided (see Research Paper Topics, below), or developed in consultation with the instructor. The research essay will be completed in stages during the semester; points will accrue as follows:

Topic Selection (2.5 %):
Before beginning the research essay assignment, students will develop and submit a clear, well-written, one-page explanation of the topic chosen from the list provided and the reason for selection. This proposal should include a preliminary idea of the plan of the paper, its intention or research question, and a preliminary thesis.

Annotated Bibliography (5 %):
Students will develop and submit an annotated bibliography for the research essay assignment, with a minimum of five to seven sources, correctly documented according to MLA format.

Research Paper: Final Draft (20 %):
The final draft of the research paper must be submitted in a folder, including copies of all sources used and all of the above assignments associated with the research paper.

 

FINAL EXAM (10%):
Students will complete a final exam during the official final exam period, evaluating students’ recognition and comprehension of material studied during the previous weeks. This exam will cover specific texts and films, as well as the principles of cinematic adaptation and critical analysis, and may combine objective questions and short essay answers. Students may be allowed to use notes or textbooks for the essay portion of the exams only.

EXTRA CREDIT (possibly various opportunities, at 1–2 points each):
Students may be notified of opportunities for extra credit during the semester, including attendance at various cultural events related to the class (Recommended Field Trips). If students attend one or more of these events, and provide evidence of attendance (ticket stub, program, unretouched digital image, et cetera) along with a typed one- to two-page personal response (review, analysis, reflection, critique, et cetera), they can receive additional points: a single event and written response is worth 2 points extra credit; attendance at additional events will earn one additional point each. Note: you may not attend the same events two or more times for additional extra credit!

Note: As a general rule, extra credit only helps if you have already completed all of the assigned work, and will not make up for missing an essay (or two, or three). Extra credit opportunities for Fall 2017 will be announced in class, and they will also be posted here as well as on the class Announcements page, so do not ask at the end of the semester for extra credit to bring your average up.

Extra credit opportunities to date:

Blackboard Training for Students (1 point)
The Office of Distance Education will be offering on-campus demonstrations for students during the first two weeks of classes this fall, and we are asking you to encourage students to attend so that they can familiarize themselves with Blackboard in order to make their transition to college more manageable.

All sessions take place in G building, Room 149.
No advance registration needed; first come, first served basis.

 Tuesday, September 5  11:30 am–12:45 pm
 Wednesday, September 6  3:30 pm–4:45 pm
 Thursday, September 7  11:30 am–12:45 pm
 Friday, September 8  9:30 am–10:45 am
 Monday, September 11  2:00 pm–3:15 pm
 Tuesday, September 12  5:30 pm–6:50 pm
 Wednesday, September 13  2:00 pm–3:15 pm
 Thursday, September 14  11:30 am–12:45 pm
 Friday, September 15  11:00 am–12:15 pm

 

Writing Center Grammar Review Workshops (1 point each)
Sentence Building and Avoiding Run-ons, Comma Splices, and Fragments
Using Correct Punctuation: Commas, Semicolons, and Colons
Subject-Verb Agreement, Verb Formation, Tense Usage

Tuesday/Thursday Club Hour Series: 11:30 am to 12:45 pm

Tuesday, October 3

Bradley Hall Ballroom

Building Compound Sentences

Thursday, October 5

Library L 233-A

Building Compound Sentences

Tuesday, October 10

Library L 233-A

Building Complex Sentences

Tuesday, October 17

Bradley Hall Ballroom

Building Complex Sentences

Thursday, October 19

Library L 233-A

Verb Tenses

Tuesday, October 24

Bradley Hall Ballroom

Subject-Verb Agreement

Tuesday, October 31

Bradley Hall Ballroom

The Verb Phrase  

Tuesday, November 7

Library L 233-A

Adjectives and Adjective Clauses

Wednesday Afternoon Series: 2:00 pm to 3:15 pm, Bradley Hall Ballroom

Wednesday, October 4

Bradley Hall Ballroom

Building Compound Sentences

Wednesday, October 11

Bradley Hall Ballroom

Building Complex Sentences

Wednesday, October 18

Bradley Hall Ballroom

Subject-Verb Agreement

Wednesday, October 25

Bradley Hall Ballroom

The Verb Phrase 

Tuesday Evening Series

Tuesday, September 26
 8:30-9:50 pm

G 233

Building Compound Sentences

Tuesday, October 10
 7:00-8:20 pm

Library L 233-A

Building Complex Sentences

Tuesday, October 17
 7:00-8:20 pm

Library L 233-A

Verb Tenses

Tuesday, October 24
 7:00-8:20 pm

G (Room TBD)

Punctuation

The Writing Centers are located in Bradley Hall (Bldg. Y) and on the second floor of the Library, room L233
572-7195 or 572-3595
wcenter@ncc.edu      www.ncc.edu/writingcenter

 

Writing Center MLA Research and Documentation Workshops (1 point)
Topics include: Locating and Evaluating Sources
Integrating Sources into an Essay
Creating and Formatting a Works Cited List

 

Thursday, Nov. 9

w/Prof. Posillico

11:30 am to 12:45 pm

Library L233A

Tuesday, Nov. 14

w/Prof. D’Angelo

11:30 am to 12:45 pm

 

Bradley 205

Tuesday, Nov. 21

w/Prof. Posillico

11:30 am to 12:45pm

Library L233A

Wednesday, Nov. 22

w/Prof. D’Angelo

9:30 to 10:45am

Bradley Ballroom

Tuesday, Nov. 28

w/Prof. D’Angelo

11:30 am to 12:45pm

Bradley Ballroom

Tuesday, Dec. 5

w/Prof. D’Angelo

11:30 am to 12:45 pm

Bradley Ballroom

Tuesday, Dec. 5

w/Prof.  Posillico

5:30 to 6:50 pm

G Building
Evening Activity Hour*

*Regular 5:30 classes are canceled but check with your instructor.

Seating is limited! Sign up now by calling or visiting the Writing Center.

The Writing Centers are located in Bradley Hall (Bldg. Y) and on the second floor of the Library, room L233
572-7195 or 572-3595
wcenter@ncc.edu      www.ncc.edu/writingcenter

Academic Success Workshops and Learning Skills Workshops (1 point each)
NCC Center for Educational and Retention Counseling

Academic Success Workshops Workshops include:

It's About Time:
Managing Time, Self, & College
October 3, 11:30 am12:45 pm M 206

Being Successful in an Online Class
October 12, 11:30 am12:45 pm M 206

Academic Planning
October 26, 11:30 am12:45 pm M 206

Learning Skills Workshops include:

Listening/Note-Taking
October 10, 11:30
am12:45 pm M 206

Studying for Classes
October 17, 11:30 am12:45 pm M 206

Reading College Textbooks
October 24, 11:30 am12:45 pm M 206

Test-Taking
October 31, 11:30 am12:45 pm M 206

Managing Test Anxiety
November 7, 11:30 am12:45 pm M 206

For questions, call 516-572-7141
CERC Office, Nassau Hall, M19

 

1984 on Broadway
Hudson Theatre,
141 West 44th Street,
New York, NY 10036

One of the most widely referenced and best known fiction titles of all time, 1984 has sold over 30 million copies worldwide and has been translated into more than 65 languages. Now, Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan have adapted this iconic novel into “a chilling, ingenious 101 minutes of theatre” (The London Times) starring Tom Sturridge, Olivia Wilde, and Reed Birney. Don’t miss this strictly limited engagement!

$35–$299
Through October 8

 

A Clockwork Orange
New World Stages
at 340 West 50th Street

The award-winning, electrifying production of Anthony Burgess’ controversial masterpiece, A Clockwork Orange, is now an unapologetic New York hit that has everyone talking. The New York Times calls it, “Disturbing, stylish and sexy!” And Entertainment Weekly declares, “It crackles with kinetic energy! It will raise your heart rate (for several reasons).” 

A Clockwork Orange lures audiences into a glass-edged, testosterone filled underworld of a dystopian future and delivers a daring physical production that will leave you breathless. The explosive story of little Alex and his band of Droogs is a ground-breaking classic teeming with sexuality and 'a bit of the old ultra-violence.’ The story feels as hauntingly relevant today as when the book was published in 1962, and when Stanley Kubrick’s Oscar-nominated film caused a stir in 1971. A Clockwork Orange remains a defiant celebration of the human condition and individual freedoms. 

$59–$99
Sept. 25, 2017–Jan. 6, 2018

 

Student Life and the First Year Experience Committee present
Laura Bates, author of
Shakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years in Solitary with the Bard
Tuesday, November 14
CCB Multi-Purpose Room
10:00 am and 1:00 pm

 

Public Theater's Mobile Unit presents Shakespeare: The Winter's Tale
Tuesday, November 14
6:15–8:15 pm
Queens Library (Central) - Main Lobby
89-11 Merrick Boulevard
Jamaica, NY 11432

Free, but advance registration is required.

 

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GRADING:
 

Final average will be calculated as follows:

Attendance and Class Participation

5 %

Quizzes

7.5 %

Response Papers: 5 @ 10 %

50 %

Research Paper:

27.5 %

Topic Selection (2.5 %)

 

Annotated Bibliography (5 %)

 

Final Draft (20 %)

 

Final Exam

10 %

Total

100 %

Extra Credit (if any) will be added to the final total.

Final average will determine the grade received for the course, as follows:

Final Percentage

Final Grade

90–100+

A

8589

  B+

8084 B

7579

  C+

7074

C

6569

D+
6064 D

059

F

Note: Percentages ending in .5 or greater are rounded up. Therefore, 79.5 rounds to 80, a B, but 79.4 rounds to 79, a C+.

 

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SCHEDULE AND PROJECTED OUTLINE:

 

Important Dates: FALL SEMESTER 2017

Fri., 1 Sep.

Day, Evening, Weekend College & Distance Education classes begin

Sun., 3 Sep.

Classes do not meet

Mon., 4 Sep.

Labor Day – COLLEGE HOLIDAY – offices closed

Thu., 7 Sep.

Last day drop/add

Wed., 20 Sep.

Evening classes do not meet (classes beginning AFTER 5:01 p.m.)

Thu., 21 Sep.

Rosh Hashanah – classes do not meet
Last day drop full semester classes without a W grade

Tue., 26 Sep.

Evening Activity Hour: 8:30 p.m. class will not meet; all other classes follow a regular schedule

Fri., 29 Sep.

Evening classes do not meet (classes beginning AFTER 5:01 p.m.)

Sat., 30 Sep.

Yom Kippur – classes do not meet

Tue., 24 Oct.

Evening Activity Hour: 7:00 p.m. classes will not meet; all other classes follow a regular schedule

Fri., 3 Nov.

Last day automatic W full semester classes

Sat., 11 Nov.

Veterans’ Day – classes do not meet

Tue., 21 Nov.

Day & Evening classes meet on a Thursday schedule

Wed., 22 Nov.

Evening classes do not meet (classes beginning AFTER 5:01 p.m.)

Thu., 23 Nov.

Thanksgiving – COLLEGE HOLIDAY – offices closed

Fri., 24 Nov.

Thanksgiving Recess – COLLEGE HOLIDAY – offices closed

Sat., 25 Nov.

Classes do not meet

Sun., 26 Nov.

Classes do not meet

Tue., 5 Dec.

Evening Activity Hour: 5:00 p.m. class will not meet; all other classes follow a regular schedule

Mon., 11 Dec.

Evening classes extended by 5 minutes for final exams

Wed., 13 Dec.

Evening classes extended by 5 minutes for final exams

Thu., 14 Dec.

Evening classes extended by 5 minutes for final exams

Mon., 18 Dec.

Evening classes meet on a Wednesday schedule

Tue., 19 Dec.

Evening classes extended by 5 minutes for final exams
Evening classes end

Wed., 20 Dec.

M Makeup – if necessary DAY & EVENING classes will meet

Thu., 21 Dec.

Day, 2nd half semester & Distance Education classes end

Sat., 23 Dec.

Weekend College classes end

Sun., 24 Dec.

MW - Makeup Weekend – if necessary WEEKEND classes will meet

Note: All dates subject to change;
See
Academic Calendar: Fall 2017 (.pdf)

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Projected Schedule of Readings and Assignments

Note: All readings below are required, and must be completed by the day indicated; the only exceptions are those indicated with an asterisk (*), which are recommended additional readings or resources.

Red text indicates due dates or links to assignments; Blue text indicates links to assignments, resources, or online versions of texts (Note: While every effort is made to verify the accuracy and usefulness of these links and their contents, no guarantees are made. Please notify me of any broken or outdated links at brian.murphy@ncc.edu).

Note: This schedule is subject to revision according to the instructor’s discretion, the Academic Calendar for the semester, school closings due to inclement weather or other reasons, and the progress of the class. Additions or changes will be announced in class, and they will also be posted here as well as on the class Announcements page.

 

NOTE: ONLY FIFTEEN SESSIONS!

 

DATE:  
Fri., 1 Sep. Day, Evening & Distance Education (online) Classes Begin
Mon., 4 Sep. Labor Day: College Closed
Thu., 7 Sep.

Class canceled
Introduction:
Syllabus, texts, policies, assignments
Problems and Possibilities of Cinematic Adaptation

Utopia and Dystopia

Last Day for Drop/Add

Thu., 14 Sep.

Introduction: Syllabus, texts, policies, assignments
Problems and Possibilities of Cinematic Adaptation
Utopia and Dystopia

Thu., 21 Sep. Rosh Hashanah - College Holiday;
Last Day to Drop
Thu., 28 Sep.

Research Topic Due

Reading: Orwell’s 1984. Read at least through Part 2 (1–224)
 

Additional Reading:
Lepore, Jill. “A Golden Age for Dystopian Fiction.” The New Yorker 5, 12 June 2017.  

Locke, Charley. “The Real Reason Dystopian Fiction Is Roaring Back.” Wired.com. 22 Feb. 2017. 


Viewing:  George Orwell's 1984  (Westinghouse Studio One, 1953)
                Radford’s
Nineteen Eighty-Four, a.k.a. 1984 (1984)

Response Paper 1 due
Response Paper 2 due

*See also:
Phillips, Brian. “In the Temple of Gum: How Pop-Culture Dystopias Can Help Us Understand Our Current Moment.”
Dystopia Now! MTV News. 27 March 2017.

Smith, Ethan Indigo. The Matrix of 1984 and the Allegory of the Cave.The Minds Journal.com [Jan.?] 2016.

Apple’s 1984 Superbowl commercial and Lisa's 1984 Fantasy.” (parody of the commercial) from The Last Traction Hero. (Season 28, Episode 9)

Online summary and quizzes at Online-Literature.com

The Eurythmics “Sex Crime 1984

Michael Anderson’s 1984, 1956;

Rudolph Cartier’s BBC television version, 1984, 1954.

Mike Gerenser’s 1984 site

Summary and Analysis at SparkNotes.com.

Online quiz on George Orwell’s 1984 here.

Thu., 5 Oct.

Reading: Orwell’s 1984. Read through Part 3, Appendix: “The Principles of Newspeak,” and Afterword (225–326)
Viewing: Radford’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, a.k.a. 1984 (1984)

Response Paper 3 due

In-class writing assignment

Thu., 12 Oct.

Reading: Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange. Read at least through Introduction and Part 1 (ix–xv, 1–81)
Viewing: selections from Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange (1971)

Response Paper 4 due

*See also:
 A Nadsat Glossary and [another] Nadsat Glossary
Rich Flaherty's A Clockwork Orange page
Singing in the Rain” from Singin' in the Rain
Michiko Kakutani, “Inside the World of Big Data: 'The Circle,' Dave Eggers's New Novel.”
New York Times 3 Oct. 2013. Web.

Albeck-Ripka, Livia. “Apocalyptic Fiction, Too Close for Comfort.” New York Times 10 Oct. 2017: D7.
(published online as
Is Climate-Themed Fiction All Too Real? We Asked the Experts.” 26 Sep. 2017).

Thu., 19 Oct.

Reading: Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange. Read at least through Part 2 (83–143)
Viewing: Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange (1971)

Response Paper 5 due

Thu., 26 Oct.

Annotated Bibliography Due

Reading: Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange. Read through Part 3 (145–212), including Chapter 21. (Part III, Chapter 7);
Burgess, Anthony. A Clockwork Orange Resucked.” (Burgess’ introduction to the 1986 American edition.)

Viewing: Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Response Paper 6 due;
Response Paper 7 due

*See also:
McDowell, Edwin. Clockwork Orange Regains Chapter 21.” New York Times 31 Dec. 1986.
Melis, Matt. “The Real Cure: A Clockwork Orange's Missing Ending.” Consequence of Sound.  Feb. 2015. Web.
And, from The Simpsons:
Santa's Little Helper Experiences Ludovico's Technique from
“Dog of Death.” (Season 3, Episode 54)
A Clockwork Yellow” from “Treehouse of Terror XXV.” (Season 26, Episode 556)

Thu., 2 Nov.

Annotated Bibliography Due

Reading: Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. Read at least through Introduction and Part 1 (xi–xvi, 1–65)
Viewing: Truffaut’s Fahrenheit 451 (1966): Available on Amazon, iTunes, and Microsoft Movies & TV
Response Paper 8 due

See also:
Bradbury, Ray. A Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451 Stories. New York: Harper Perennial, 2010.

Fri., 3 Nov.

Last Day for Automatic W
Thu., 9 Nov.

Reading: Bradbury’s  Fahrenheit 451. Read at least through Part 2 (67–106)
Viewing: Truffaut’s Fahrenheit 451 (1966): Available on Amazon, iTunes, and Microsoft Movies & TV
Response Paper 9 due

Thu., 16 Nov.

Reading: Bradbury’s  Fahrenheit 451. Read through Part 3 (107–158)
Viewing:Truffaut’s Fahrenheit 451 (1966): Available on Amazon, iTunes, and Microsoft Movies & TV
Response Paper 10 due

Tue., 21 Nov.

Day & Evening classes meet on a Thursday schedule

Reading:

Alderman, Naomi. “Dystopian Dreams: How Feminist Science Fiction Predicted the Future.” The Guardian 25 Mar. 2017.  

Mead, Rebecca. “Margaret Atwood: The Prophet of Dystopia.” The New Yorker 17 Apr. 2017.  

Atwood’s The Handmaid's Tale. Read at least Introduction and Parts I–V (xiii–xix, 1–75)

Viewing: Schlöndorff’s The Handmaid's Tale (1990)

*See also:
Mujib Mashal, Their Identities Denied, Afghan Women Ask, ‘Where Is My Name?’ .” New York Times 31 July 2017. Web.

Response Paper 11 due
Response Paper 12 due

Thu., 23 Nov. Thanksgiving - College Holiday
Thu., 30 Nov. Research Paper Due ?

Reading: Atwood’s The Handmaid's Tale. Read at least through Part X (77–187)
Viewing: Schlöndorff’s The Handmaid's Tale (1990)
Response Paper 13 due

Thu., 7 Dec. Reading: Atwood’s The Handmaid's Tale. Read through Part XV and “Historical Notes” (189–311)
Viewing:  Schlöndorff’s The Handmaid's Tale (1990)
Response Paper 14 due

Research Paper returned

Thu., 14 Dec. Final Exam
Research Paper Revisions Due
Thu., 21 Dec. Final Conferences;
Day & Distance Education classes end

 

 

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WRITING ASSIGNMENTS:

Response Paper Topics:
For each week, a question or topic will be provided. You may complete any five response papers, but  your response must be on the assigned topic for the week it is submitted, and must be submitted on or before the due date, by the beginning of the class period, or it will receive a zero (0). Late work will not be accepted. Students may complete more than five response papers for extra credit: only the best five scores will be utilized in determining final grades.

Instructions: Respond to each question or topic in a brief, well-developed, coherent, and thoughtful essay of at least two to three pages (500-750 words). Your essay should include independent analysis and demonstrate careful thought, but no research is necessary, nor should any secondary sources be used. This is not a research essay; the only sources utilized or quoted should be the texts themselves. Use of secondary sources, whether credited or not, will be considered grounds for failure. Although these are personal responses, and therefore there is no correct answer, remember that they are still formal essays: in your analyses, formulate a clear, explicit, assertive (persuasive), objectively-worded thesis statement, and avoid use of I or you throughout. Do not attempt to address all aspects of the text, but carefully focus your topic, and avoid merely paraphrasing or summarizing the work. Be sure to support your answers with specific references to the work. Essays must be typed, double-spaced, and grammatically correct; essays will be evaluated according to the Model for Evaluation of Student Writing.

1) Choose from one of the following:

Numerous writers, including Jill Lepore, Charely Locke, and Brian Phillips, have observed that since the election of 2016, there has been a significant rise of interest in dystopian literature. Sales of works such as 1984 and It Can't Happen Here have skyrocketed, seemingly propelled up the sales charts by current events. However, why this sudden interest? Clearly phrases such as “alternative facts” led to s resurgence of interest in 1984, but why read dystopian literature? What is its value, be it in our current socio-political milieu, or ever?

Sasha Geffen asks, “What would it take to build utopia—a universally humane, livable earth—without walls? It seems that utopian and dystopian literature often stem from the same impulse, a desire to show how the world could be, either as a model to strive toward or as a cautionary tale. She also suggests that one person's utopia could be another's dystopia, that  paradise for us” often seems to involve somehow keeping them” out,  however we define us” and them,” excluding or even persecuting the other.Is it possible, as she asks, to have a true utopia, or must utopia always be simultaneously utopian and dystopian?

2) Choose from one of the following:

One of the criteria common to dystopian literature is the separation of humanity from nature, the abolition of so-called “natural” impulses and desires. Consider the relationship between Smith and Julia and the very idea of “sexcrime.” Is sex a revolutionary action in 1984? Why, or why not?

What is Orwell’s 1984 really about? That is, if it can be said to have a theme, what is that theme? Is it concerned with truth, with politics, with war, with language, with man’s place in the cosmos?  What is Orwell saying—not about Smith, or even Oceania, but about modern life, society, or the human condition?

3) The Westinghouse Studio One Production of George Orwell's 1984 (1953) presents a purposed retelling of the novel. Consider the socio-cultural and/or political milieu that generated both the novel (1949) and this version; in terms of story elements (plot, character, theme...) and film elements (cinematography, framing, use of light and shadow, music...) how is this adaptation successful or unsuccessful? That is, how well does it achieve its purpose?

4) Despite his penchant for violence and criminality, Alex appreciates classical music, both symphonic and operatic, stating that “Music always sort of sharpened me up...and made me feel like old Bog himself, ready to make with the old donner and blitzen and have vecks and ptitsas creeching away in my ha ha power.” (I.3) Why does Burgess choose to give us a narrator who appreciates Mozart, Beethoven, and others, and what does this suggest about the connection between cultural education, aesthetic sensibility, and civilized behavior, if anything?

5) After Alex has been “cured” of his impulse to violence, Dr. Brodsky says, “Our subject is...impelled towards the good by, paradoxically, being impelled towards evil. The intention to act violently is accompanied by strong feelings of physical distress, To counter these the subject has to switch to a diametrically opposed attitude.” However, the Chaplain objects, arguing that Alex “has no real choice.... Self-interest, the fear of physical pain drove him to that grotesque act of self-abasement. Its insincerity was clearly to be seen. He ceases to be a wrongdoer. He ceases also to be a creature capable of moral choice.” Ludovico’s Technique works, that is, it achieves its goal, but is Alex “good” now? Can one be good absent the ability to choose evil?

6) Why “A Clockwork Orange? That is, what is the real significance of the title, beyond F. Alexander’s apparent belief that “all lewdies nowadays were being turned into machines and that they were really—you and me and him and kiss-my-sharries—more like a natural growth like a fruit? What does Burgess seem to be saying here—not about Alex, or even Ludovico’s Technique, but about society or the human condition?

7) The original American edition of A Clockwork Orange included only twenty chapters, not twenty-one, an even though he made the film in England, Stanley Kubrick chose to follow the American version. What does the lack of Chapter 21 mean, to the text and the film?

8) When Captain Beatty visits Montag at home in Fahrenheit 451, he delivers an impassioned albeit limited explanation of the firemen's purpose and history, stating at one point,  “We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone made equal. Each man the image of every other; then all are happy, for there are no mountains to make them cower, to judge themselves against” (55-6). Kurt Vonnegut explores a similar theme in his short story, Harrison Bergeron,” in which all citizens are made equal,” as does Aldous Huxley in A Brave New World, and others. Is democracy somehow suspect? That is, why is literal equality, whether natural or imposed, seen as threatening or dangerous?

9) After Montag reads from Matthew Arnold’sDover Beach,” Mrs. Bowles exclaims, “I've always said, poetry and tears, poetry and suicide and awful feelings, poetry and sickness; all that mush!...Why do people want to hurt people? Not enough hurt in the world, you got to tease people with stuff like that!” (97). Later in the same section, as the firemen rush to the site of yet another burning, Beatty shouts, “Here we go to keep the world happy, Montag!” (106). Is poetry, reading, or knowledge a source of misery? Is it better to be uneducated, unaware, but happy?

10) In Atomic Narratives and American Youth: Coming of Age with the Atom, 1945–1955, Michael Scheibach writes,

[Bradbury], like Orwell, also portrayed a world  where individuality was threatened by social control and authoritarian power, obvious allusions to the threat of communism. Although Bradbury offered a post-holocaust ending, he reflected Orwell's overall negativity toward the massification of society. To both authors media had become the primary means of monitoring the populace and placating it at the same time. These books are clearly atomic narratives because they contain themes of atomic destruction, loss of individuality, lack of control, fear of conformity, and alienation from society.

Both authors were writing in the mid-twentieth century, however, decades before the personal computers and cell phones, the Internet, and social  media. Drawing upon evidence from these two and potentially other texts, explore this idea: Is media—in these texts, and in our societya means of both monitoring and placating society?

11) A dystopia is, virtually by definition, a possible world, one that logically and at least semi-plausibly arises from our current world. (Or from the time period in which the work was written.) Furthermore, dystopian works generally focus on society and its impact on the individual. As such, certain works of science fiction or fantasy, while interesting, are not dysptopian. Consider the society depicted in The Handmaid's Tale: Is the development of the Republic of Gilead possible? Plausible? Why, or why not?

12)  In “Their Identities Denied, Afghan Women Ask, ‘Where Is My Name?,’ Mujib Mashal writes,

The denial of women’s basic identity in public is emblematic of how deep misogyny runs in this society, when even male schoolchildren often get into fights to defend their honor, which they are taught is besmirched if someone mentions their mother’s or sister’s name. Hassan Rizayee, an Afghan sociologist, said the custom was rooted in tribal ways of life:

“According to tribal logic, the important thing is the ownership of a woman’s body,” Mr. Rizayee said. “The body of a woman belongs to a man, and other people should not even use her body indirectly, such as looking at her. Based on this logic, the body, face and name of the woman belong to the man.”

Similarly, The Handmaid's Tale, women’s identities are subsumed by the use of names such as Offred and their bodies concealed; however, this clearly does not stem from “honor” or “tribal ways of life,” as Gilead is a near-future theocracy/theonomy in the United States. Why and how does the subjugationor ownershipof women in the Republic of Gilead differ from that described by Mashal as extant in Afghan culture?

13) The children born to handmaids are, if healthy, adopted into and raised by the families the handmaids serve. However, this creates a thorny question, one not addressed in the novel nor in the movie:
Once the first generation of fertile women drafted as handmaids has been...depleted, let’s say, where do more handmaids come from?

14) “Historical Notes,” the last section of The Handmaid's Tale, seems to suggest that the Republic of Gilead is short-lived, at best. Furthermore, the names, cultural origins, and relative positions of the conference presenters and attendees also seem to suggest not just the overthrow or dissolution of Gilead, but a radical shift from contemporary world politics, as well. How do the “Historical Notes” function as a coda and as a suggestion of a better society, even a Utopia?

 

 

Research Paper: Due in stages (see below)
Compose a clear, well-written, properly documented (MLA format) argumentative essay of at least seven to twelve pages (1500-2500 words minimum), with a cover page and Works Cited page (cover page and Works Cited do not count toward the seven-page requirement). The paper must be argumentative (persuasive), with a clear, explicit, and assertive thesis statement, and must use a minimum of five to seven sources, including three to five secondary sources; secondary sources must be scholarly criticism or analysis, not summaries, reviews, or “analysis” from sites such as e-Notes, SparkNotes, Wikipedia*, 123HelpMe, or Gradesaver.com. You must include at least one short quotation, one long—block—quotation, and one paraphrase, and these sources must be properly documented (utilizing MLA format), and integrated into your writing smoothly and correctly. See also Research Paper checklist.

* On use of Wikipedia in college-level research, see Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales on PBS NewsHour, here: I don't think at a university level it makes sense to cite any encyclopedia in an academic paper. That's just not what an encyclopedia's role is in the research process. Maybe if you're in junior high, you know? If some kid out there is twelve years old and they wrote something and they put in a footnote, we should be thrilled, right? That's his first start on the idea of crediting other people with ideas and things like that, but at the university level? No, it's a bit junior high to cite an encyclopedia.

Please refer to the following as well:

ball2.gif (137 bytes)   Formatting and Style Guide (Purdue Online Writing Lab)

ball2.gif (137 bytes)   Incorporating Sources (class handout)

ball2.gif (137 bytes)   Class Plagiarism Policy (on syllabus), as well as the Nassau Community College Policy on Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism (page 63 in the college catalog).

You might also find the following additional resources useful:

ball2.gif (137 bytes)   Works Cited page (Instructions & Sample) (Microsoft Word document)

ball2.gif (137 bytes)   Avoiding Plagiarism (Houghton-Mifflin web site)

ball2.gif (137 bytes)   Practice Incorporating Sources into Your Work (Houghton-Mifflin web site)

ball2.gif (137 bytes)   MLA format (Purdue university's Online Writing Lab)

Topic Selection and Preliminary Thesis: Due 28 September
You must establish a plan and a clear thesis before you can begin to put together a focused, well-organized, and purposeful research essay. Therefore, as your first step in the research essay assignment, you must develop and submit a clear, well-written, one-page explanation of the topic you have chosen, your reason for the selection, your focus and opinion, and a clear, well-written, explicit, and assertive preliminary thesis. This proposal may also include a preliminary idea of the plan of the paper, its intention or research question. Note: Choose your topic carefully. You will not be allowed to change your topic once you have made your selection, although you may change your position on the particular issue and will, presumably, modify your thesis during the process of research and writing. *Note: Students must obtain prior approval for independent topics; speak to me before or after class or email me to set up an appointment during my office hours.

Your work should take the following form:
Topic: the topic selected from the list provided or one you have developed in consultation with the instructor.
Rationale: why you have chosen to research and write about this particular topic.
Focus: a narrowed form of the subject, and the issue or debate involved.
Opinion: your subjective opinion on the debate or issue.
Thesis: your opinion, worded objectively.

For example:
Topic:
War and Dystopia in Harlan Ellison’s “Soldier Out of Time,” The Terminator, and Terminator 2: Judgment Day (Note: this is not a real topic choice!)
Rationale: I selected this topic because I saw all of the Terminator films and I just heard the newest one will feature Linda Hamilton again. I am curious about how the film versions differ and why, and what relation they all have to the short story.
Focus: How do these works differ in terms of realism and audience appreciation? Is each a true dystopia, or merely an end-of-the-world scenario, and how do we distinguish between the two?
Opinion: I think that while all three are okay, the Terminator films are more interesting for contemporary audiences.
Thesis: While “Soldier Out of Time” is at least innovative and interesting for its time, the movie series captures and expands upon the central conceit of the story  in an entertaining, realistic, and commercially successful manner, despite presenting less of a critique of contemporary society and thus diverging from traditional notions of dystopia.

Topic Choices:

1) A number of works of dystopian literature, in addition to those discussed in class, have been adapted to film (cinema or television), sometimes more than once. Choose one such text, other than those on the syllabus, and analyze a cinematic adaptation or, even better, two or more different film versions (see Sample Introduction). How does each version adapt, revise, or alter the story? What is changed or left out, and why? How do all of these individual changes contribute to a different interpretation of the text; that is, what is the significant difference between the versions? And, finally, how does the socio-cultural milieu of each film inform these differences? Some suggested works (see me if you have others in mind):

ball.gif (137 bytes)  Jerome Bixby, “It's a Good Life” (as “It's a Good Life” on The Twilight Zone, 1961; as the third story, directed by Joe Dante, in Twilight Zone: The Movie, 1983; as well as the segment  “The Bart Zone,” from The Simpsons episode 8F02, “Treehouse of Horror II”)

ball.gif (137 bytes) Pierre Boulle, Planet of the Apes (or, La Planète des Singes) (as the original Planet of the Apes, 1968, the Tim Burton remake, Planet of the Apes, 2001, and less directly, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, 2011, and possibly its sequels)

ball.gif (137 bytes) Richard Matheson, I Am Legend (as The Last Man on Earth with Vincent Price, 1964, The Omega Man with Charlton Heston, 1971, and I Am Legend with Will Smith, 2007, and—I am not making this up—as the low-budget I Am Omega, 2007, as well as the segment  “The Homega Man,” from The Simpsons episode 5F02, “Treehouse of Horror VIII”)

ball.gif (137 bytes) and more to come, as I think of them...

2) Many familiar tropes, ideas, or themes appear over and over again in dystopian works either in literature, in film, or both. For example, numerous texts and films assume our world becomes unimaginably horrible due to one or more of the following:

 ball.gif (137 bytes) “After the Bomb”: Nuclear Apocalypse and Its Aftermath

 ball.gif (137 bytes) “Did You Raise the Dead?”: Vampires and Ghouls and Zombies (oh, my);

 ball.gif (137 bytes) “If This Goes On...”: Political or Religious Oppression

 ball.gif (137 bytes) “It Came from Outer Space”: Alien Invaders

 ball.gif (137 bytes) “No Blade of Grass”: Environmental/Ecological Collapse, natural or man-made

 ball.gif (137 bytes) “Rise of the Machines”: Computer, Robot, or Cyborg Domination

 ball.gif (137 bytes) “When Animals Attack”: (a sub-category of Environmental/Ecological Collapse, above)

 ball.gif (137 bytes) and more to come...

Select a recurrent trope such as one of these, and analyze how it features in at least three texts and/or films, ideally from at least three different decades, not including those on the syllabus. For example, “When Animals Attack” could in theory include such diverse works as Daphne du Maurier’s “The Birds” (filmed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1963) to Night of the Lepus (1972) to James Patterson’s Zoo, and countless others. As above, your discussion should focus on the significant difference between the interpretations, and how (and why) the socio-cultural milieu of each film creates and reveals these differences.

 

*Note: A dystopia is, virtually by definition, a possible world, one that logically and at least semi-plausibly arises from our current world. (Or from the time period in which the author was living, as in the case of Jack London’s The Iron Heel, 1908, and E.M. Forster’s The Machine Stops, 1909.) Furthermore, dystopian works generally focus on society and its impact on the individual. As such, certain works of science fiction or fantasy, while interesting, are not dysptopian. I Am Legend? Dystopian. (Maybe.) Dracula? Not dystopian.

Annotated Preliminary Bibliography: Due 26 October 2 November
You must submit an  annotated preliminary bibliography with a minimum of five to seven sources, correctly cited according to MLA style. This may include up to three primary sources and a minimum of three to five secondary sources; secondary sources must be scholarly criticism or analysis, not summaries, reviews, or analysis” from sites such as e-Notes, SparkNotes, Wikipedia*, 123HelpMe, or Gradesaver.com; instead, use the library resources, including the available electronic databases such as Academic Search Complete, InfoTrac General OneFile, Lexis-Nexis Academic, Opposing Viewpoints in Context, Points of View Reference Center, and CQ Researcher, to locate appropriate sources. To access the databases from home, click on the individual database link. Then, when prompted, enter your username (N #) and password (PIN). You may also utilize MRQE.com, The Movie Review Query Engine, but be sure to select only professional, reliable reviews: New York Times? Probably okay. JoBlo's Movie Emporium? Not so much.

In addition to a correct citation for each source, you must include a description or summary of the source, at least one paragraph long, and an explanation of how you foresee incorporating it into your essay. For additional information on Annotated Bibliographies, see the Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL)’s Annotated Bibliographies, as well as “Sample Annotated Bibilography” and Ebel, Kimberly, “Class and Gender in Cinderella: Annotated Bibliography.”

You might also find the following additional resources useful:

ball2.gif (137 bytes)   MLA Documentation of Films: Works Cited and In-Text Citations

ball2.gif (137 bytes)   Works Cited page (Instructions & Sample) (Microsoft Word document)

ball2.gif (137 bytes)   MLA format (Purdue university's Online Writing Lab)

 

Research Paper: Due 30 November
The final research essay must be submitted, in its folder with all supporting materials: photocopies or printouts of all sources, preliminary thesis, preliminary bibliography, outline–if you have completed one–and any preliminary drafts. Failure to bring the required essay on the due date will result in a zero for the assignment.

 

 

Final Exam:

To be announced

 

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